Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix: Review

horrorstor

Three employees of the Big Box store Orsk, an Ikea knockoff, choose to spend the night in the store in order to catch a suspected intruder. Basil, the store manager, recruits Amy with a promise of a transfer, and Ruth Ann who would do anything for her “family” at Orsk. For weeks, the morning crew has discovered broken and even soiled merchandise. Someone is in the store at night. At least one of the store’s problems would be solved. The Orsk at Cuyahoga has had issues since its opening with technical difficulties and abysmal sales. The layout is disorienting but even the most experienced employee gets lost on the showroom floor. It’s as if the store doesn’t want anyone to leave.

This was fun! First the layout of Horrorstor is clever. It’s part catalogue, part novel. There’s an item description at the beginning of every chapter that get weirder further into the book. I had high expectations just based on design alone.

The plot itself plays out like a horror movie. True to form, there’s a small group of characters with particular personality quirks. Basil is a company man, a by the book kind of guy. Seeing him try to apply his corporate training to this situation was entertaining. Ruth Anne is a devoted employee with a big heart. Amy is our heroine, the black sheep of the Orsk family. She believes Basil sees her slacker ways and has it out for her. Every good horror movie needs a haunted house, or an insane asylum, or a vampire’s castle. In Horrorstor, it’s the Orsk store, a disorienting labyrinth with a secret history. As for the movie monster, I think that’s something to be discovered as you read it.

Even though Horrorstor is a horror novel, it’s also a parody of Big Box companies. Slogans like “It’s Not Just a Job. It’s the Rest of Your Life.” are less inspiring than the company believes. Is it a job or a prison sentence? They work hard to make the “partners” (employees) feel like a part of a big family but when it comes down to it, people are dispensable.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix is a quick and easy read with a bit of gore, though that gore is somewhat ridiculous. Instead of spending a Saturday afternoon at Ikea, spend it at Orsk!

(I wonder if I’m the only one who wants to order the Kjerring (bookshelf) on the cover.)

Thanks to Quirk Books for sending Horrorstor for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

8 comments:

  1. This sounds very clever! An IKEA like store is the perfect setting for a horror story.

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  2. This has been on my radar for a while, but now the reviews are coming it it looks to be worth the hype! I love a quirky, clever idea... consider it bought. OH WHAT A SHAME. :)

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  3. I reviewed this one recently and love it too. I didn't have the physical copy sooo.. the illustrations didn't translate very well. Kind of a bummer. Next time I go to IKEA it will be a totally different experience.

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  4. I have seen this around but I thought it was a magazine. I had no idea it was a novel!

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  5. I have this on my Kindle. It sounded too good to pass up! I hope they make a movie version.

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  6. Ugh, I love Quirk Books. They have such neat books, and I really want to read this one for the RIP Challenge. It looks creepy and cool.

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  7. Oh, my. The cover certainly doesn't seem like it would be thriller/horror, but of course now I'm intrigued. I've not heard about Quirk Books before, so I must be missing out. Will need to put them on my list."

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  8. No, definitely not the only one who wants that bookshelf! I love it! I like that this book took a joke that anyone who has been in Ikea has probably felt - that they really don't want you to leave and it is a labyrinth - and turned it into a fun horror novel. I'm glad this one was fun!

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