The Marigold

ECW Apr. 2023. 360p. ISBN 9781770416642. pap. $19.95. HORROR
The latest from Sullivan (Waste; All We Want Is Everything) gives new meaning to the term “urban blight.” The novel’s near-future Toronto is still standing while other parts of the world suffer environmental catastrophes. There, condo towers like the Marigold promise a better standard of living, even as their structures steadily fall apart. While the city gains more substandard buildings, there’s also something growing beneath it—a strange fungus called the Wet. Citizens like public health inspector Cathy Jin and driver Sam “Soda” Dalipagic soon learn how deep the rot runs beneath Toronto. Delving into different perspectives, from drivers just trying to survive the polluted streets to the one percent that exist far above the filth, Sullivan illustrates an urban hierarchy that seems ready to topple. There are a lot of perspectives to juggle in this novel, but Sullivan never loses sight of the story’s villains: the Wet that permeates the city, and those who have made their own Faustian bargains to keep building.
VERDICT Sullivan’s story blends body horror, urban dystopia, and eco-horror into a unique tale about the high price of progress.
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