Author: Grady Hendrix
Length: 243 pages
Plot Basics: At the Cleveland, Ohio, ORSK story (an IKEA-esque furniture store), a group of employees works a special overnight shift to get to the bottom of weird happenings in the store. Furniture is messed up overnight, employees receive strange text messages and with sales down, the management is getting worried — and with good reason. If you’ve ever been startled by the way the shadows from a piece of furniture looks at night, you’ve got nothing on what happens at ORSK.
Banter Points: I have never been to IKEA and thanks to Grady Hendrix’s inventive Horrorstör, I see no need to correct that anytime soon (by soon here, I might mean “ever”). This book is “House of Leaves” meets “Haunting of Hill House, stuffed into flat-pack furniture that is more like an Iron Maiden when assembled than a futon.
Horror is not my genre but I picked it up because of the format; the book is designed to look like the ORSK product catalog, complete with item descriptions and a mail order form. I’m a sucker for books that don’t appear like regular books.
For reading wildly outside of my preferred genre, I really enjoyed Horrorstör. It had the right amount of action, the right amount of supernatural weirdness and the right amount of characters having to make tough choices.
Also, I grew up not too far from where the fictional ORSK store was set and Hendrix managed to capture the vibe of NE Ohio rather well. There’s is something bleak about that locale that he managed to infuse into the book.
Bummer Points: My primary time for reading is during lunch. It’s horror, so it’s grisly and bloody and not very appetizing. Better at lunch than bedtime, I guess?
Also, I really didn’t like the characters of Trinity and Matt. Halfway through the book, it felt like Hendrix didn’t know what to do with them and so had appropriately horror-story things happen to them, but I think they could have had other interesting things to contribute.
Word Nerd Recommendation: If you like horror, this is a must read. If you want to pick up a spooky read (it is Halloween) that likely won’t give you nightmares (but might make you think twice about big box stores), it’s a good one.