cover image The Marigold

The Marigold

Andrew F. Sullivan. ECW, $19.95 trade paper (360p) ISBN 978-1-77041-664-2

Throughout this crisply written urban horror novel, Sullivan (Waste) makes a chilling case for humanity’s obsolescence. Ostensibly, the Marigold is a luxury tower in downtown Toronto. Actually, it’s a dilapidated wreck, emblematic of the city’s decay in the face of climate change, increasingly frequent sinkholes, and a moldlike eruption dubbed the Wet. Public health worker Cathy Jin and her partner, Jasmine, do their best to eradicate the Wet even as it evolves beyond their control, engulfing both buildings and people. At the same time, 13-year-old Henrietta Brakes climbs into one of the mammoth sinkholes in a futile attempt to rescue a friend who’s been dragged down. Meanwhile, Toronto’s movers and shakers discuss new civic developments, led by Stanley Marigold. Stanley’s father built the eponymous structure and now Stanley is eager to validate himself by erecting a second Marigold tower—and he’s willing to pay for each new construction with human sacrifice. Through linked vignettes, Sullivan peels back the layers of Toronto residents’ desperation to reveal a disturbing truth: though condo pitchmen promise customers a secure, worry-free existence, only through succumbing to the Wet can the characters find peace. This impressively bleak vision of the near future is as grotesquely amusing as it is grim. (Apr.)