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Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking. To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-ti Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking. To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination. A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom. Designed by Andie Reid, cover photography by Christine Ferrara


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Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking. To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-ti Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking. To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination. A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom. Designed by Andie Reid, cover photography by Christine Ferrara

30 review for Horrorstör

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    this book is a hoot. it gets five stars for concept and design, and a solid 3.75 for execution. i didn't realize when i started this book that the author was guy who wrote yeti vs. bear in Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 4, which was one of the funnier stories in that collection, and has one of the best opening scenes in the broader collection of "stories ever written." this book is set up like an IKEA catalog, and walks that line between humor and horror without ever putting a ring on either o this book is a hoot. it gets five stars for concept and design, and a solid 3.75 for execution. i didn't realize when i started this book that the author was guy who wrote yeti vs. bear in Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 4, which was one of the funnier stories in that collection, and has one of the best opening scenes in the broader collection of "stories ever written." this book is set up like an IKEA catalog, and walks that line between humor and horror without ever putting a ring on either one. the audience that will get the most out of this is anyone who has ever worked for a significant period of time in a retail environment. not you retail dilettantes who worked a summer job at a bookstore after college before you went off to your lucrative careers in whatever it is people have lucrative careers in nowadays. i'm talking to you people who have been in the trenches. who have been beaten down by the atrocious behavior of customers, the inane made-up terminology in handbooks and orientations, and the complete disconnect between the corporate ideals and the reality of the sales floor. those of you who have smiled through verbal abuse, been used as pawns to test new company directives you knew were destined to fail, been called a "nazi" when relaying policies you had no hand in creating, been victims of ever-decreasing perks as the mucky-mucks cut your hours and benefits from the plush safety of their private jets. who were told you were part of a family, and then forced to sit at the kiddie table with juice boxes and pbj. told that you were important but that loyalty means taking one for the team sometimes for the good of the company. told that Your brand connection is weak, your presentation leaves a lot to be desired, your attitude is aggressive and confrontational and not at all consistent with Core Values. this one's for you, my beleaguered brethren. this all takes place at orsk, a beige box store IKEA wanna-be whose headquarters are in milwaukee but adopt the faux-european elegance of their competitor: Over on the wall was a large banner that read: "The hard work makes Orsk a family, and the hard work is free." the completely fake, slightly stilted Euro-phrasing was part of Orsk's fake Ikea act, and Amy couldn't decide if it was slightly annoying or totally offensive. In her opinion, nothing was worse than a store that pretended to be something it was not. amy is like many poor souls in retail jobs - complacent and unambitious, going through the motions, struggling with student loans, both resenting and needing the work. The more Amy struggled, the faster she sank. Every month she shuffled around less and less money to cover the same number of bills. The hamster wheel kept spinning and spinning. Sometimes she wanted to let go and find out exactly how far she'd fall if she just stopped fighting.She didn't expect life to be fair, but did it have to be so relentless? she hates the job, the customers, her younger-than-her boss basil and his commitment to babbling corporatespeak, her hipster co-workers, and the sameness of her days. she's all set to transfer to a different branch to escape some of the irritants when basil offers her a deal: he will approve her transfer and give her 200 dollars cash if she works an overnight shift with both him and another worker: relentlessly upbeat team player/cashier ruth anne. it is to be a very special shift, designed to catch in the act whomever is responsible for a number of incidents of vandalism occurring inside the store. and while it might sound a little inappropriate to invite two female workers to spend the night in the store; workers who are completely unqualified for any sort of security task force, it is all innocently-intended. all the strapping young men were unavailable, and there is an inspection in the morning that needs to go off without a hitch, so time is of the essence. the cash is too tempting to turn down, so amy agrees to spend the night in the dark and spooky store with people who annoy her. she knew it was going to suck, but she didn't know it was gonna get bloody. because the orsk store isn't the only building to ever stand on this spot, and tonight the past is coming back with a vengeance, and if you thought retail was torture, you ain't seen nothing yet. the book is great fun, with fantastic attention to detail as the catalog items introducing each chapter get more and more sinister as the book progresses, and the allusions become darker as what arises out of the "retail hypnosis" maze of the store unleashes its judgments. it's a clever spin on the haunted house story, a parody of consumer culture, and it pokes fun at teevee ghost hunters, hipsters with daddy's credit cards, and companies whose products are sold in shades of "flamingo" and "beaver oak." if nothing else, it's a lot of fun to hold. now, please enjoy these retail-themed gifs: come to my blog!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    4 CREEPY STARS! You can find the full review and more about this book on my blog! First of all,as always,I want to talk about the cover,the design of the physical book in general.I must say this is the most unique book I have ever seen.The pictures inside,the front and the back cover,the maps and the furniture,they are all perfectly made and they raised the book's awesomeness.So greatly done:) Horrorstör is a dark horror creepy novel with suspense and hell of scary moments.I warn you,if you 4 CREEPY STARS! You can find the full review and more about this book on my blog! First of all,as always,I want to talk about the cover,the design of the physical book in general.I must say this is the most unique book I have ever seen.The pictures inside,the front and the back cover,the maps and the furniture,they are all perfectly made and they raised the book's awesomeness.So greatly done:) Horrorstör is a dark horror creepy novel with suspense and hell of scary moments.I warn you,if you are not used to horror,or don't like the genre,that you should consider again reading this book,because it might give you nightmares. The first half of the book was great,a little slow,but still good,and you are introduced to the characters,which to be honest,are some of the most natural and real characters I have ever read about.They seemed to me so random,yet so unique.You happen to meet Amy,a girl who is not really happy with her job,she works at Orsk,which is a furniture shop.There also is a hipster with the beard,Matt.Basil,the boss who is always complaining.So you get the idea. After the first part,everything changes,the sense of humor vanishes,the novel gets darker and darker,and that's where the scary begins.And I am not talking about the fluffy scary,but as creepy nightmary scary. I am amazed with the author's writing style.It matches the design of the book.The plot is awesome and relatable ,and the ending rocks.This would be a great awesome scary movie. I highly recommend this book to every horror reader out there.If this doesn't scare you out,then I don't know what will. *Pictures from the review are not mine, I took them mostly from Google images or Tumblr*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emma Giordano

    Horrostör is one of those books that’s just “fine.” It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t spectacular. It was just fine. CW: death, ghosts, floods (idk other spooky stuff) I love the concept of this book. It is so unique – I’ve never read a book like it and believe I’m unlikely to stumble upon another. I feel it’s pretty much what you would expect from a novel pitched as a horror parody of IKEA. I’m a hoe for that Swedish furniture store and the story fed my home décor-loving heart. I listened to the audiobook Horrostör is one of those books that’s just “fine.” It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t spectacular. It was just fine. CW: death, ghosts, floods (idk other spooky stuff) I love the concept of this book. It is so unique – I’ve never read a book like it and believe I’m unlikely to stumble upon another. I feel it’s pretty much what you would expect from a novel pitched as a horror parody of IKEA. I’m a hoe for that Swedish furniture store and the story fed my home décor-loving heart. I listened to the audiobook version which was also fine. The narrators did a good job, and I appreciated the distinction between the main character's POV and the item descriptions from ORSK. When listening to the audiobook, you do miss the visual diagram of each item which plays a role in the story, but a quick flip through the physical book gave me the info I needed. I particularly liked how the catalogue portions of the book actually felt like I was listening to a radio commercial as opposed to just another paragraph from the narrator. I enjoyed the characters well enough. There’s a fairly eclectic, diverse main cast that was actually given more development than I expected for a story such as this. I enjoyed getting to understand the backgrounds of the characters and how that fuels their motivations. I wouldn’t consider myself attached to any of them, but the main cast propelled the story in a positive way. One element I felt was promised to me yet lacking was the humor? Horrostör is often referred to as a “comedy horror” novel, yet I can’t recall laughing even once? It’s not that the book is a drag or uninteresting, I just didn’t find it all that humorous. As for the horror aspect, I would also deem it “fine.” It was entertaining, but I feel it bordered more on “strange” than “scary.” Paranormal horror can be a hit or miss with me personally and I didn’t fully connect with it. It was unique and interesting, but I didn’t feel terrified or scared at all. It was more intrigue than fear and for that reason, it almost fell a little flat for me. I don’t have a ton to say about Horrostör. It just wasn’t a very substantial read for me. I’m not at all sorry I read it, I just don’t feel very impressed. I am definitely interested in reading from Grady Hendrix in the future, though! My Best Friend’s Exorcism is still for sure on my to-read list.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mort

    ***AMENDED REVIEW*** I am man enough to admit when I am wrong. As my wife so rightly points out during an argument, it gets easier when you make so many mistakes. Still, no furniture were hurt during the writing of this review. For more than a year now, the name Grady Hendrix kept popping up from GR friends, either with a reading, rating, review or recommendation. HORRORSTOR is my virgin dive into the author’s mind. And I will admit, there were a few things I was worried about: 1. I’ve never been ***AMENDED REVIEW*** I am man enough to admit when I am wrong. As my wife so rightly points out during an argument, it gets easier when you make so many mistakes. Still, no furniture were hurt during the writing of this review. For more than a year now, the name Grady Hendrix kept popping up from GR friends, either with a reading, rating, review or recommendation. HORRORSTOR is my virgin dive into the author’s mind. And I will admit, there were a few things I was worried about: 1. I’ve never been in an IKEA, so would I get it? 2. Looking at his profile picture, would I like the humor? 3. Was I expecting too much because everybody raves about him? Well, let me address each worry seperately: 1. There isn’t an IKEA in the country where I live. Like the town whore, I only know it by reputation from what I’ve heard from others. I use that analogy because I heard that (like the town whore) their merchandise is cheap but of low quality. * Thanks to my friend Mike, I see that was was completely wrong in my assumption of IKEA merchandise with the things I have heard. We all know know that assumption is the root to all fuck-ups, so there you have it. Instead of changing what I said, I just want to tweak it a little - the analogy will still stand, I believe. "Town whore" needs to be changed to "high class prostitute" - sadly, I can still use by reputation only. And the merchandise is not really cheap and of higher quality than you might expect, perhaps even an experience that will last more than 30 seconds. (I'm paraphrasing, of course). If I have hurt any feelings with my previous statement...well, you need to get a life, actually. Look, I can’t slam a store I know nothing about. In fact, I think that I might have been a big fan of IKEA – to me, when something is working and doing its job, I really couldn’t care less what it looks like. This is a quality that annoys my wife to no end. Before she bought me a FOSSIL watch as a wedding gift, I used to wear watches that were cheap enough to throw away at the first sign of trouble. And, to come back to the story, I think Hendrix did a good enough job to inform me of all I needed to know about Orsk. 2. Despite his picture, this guy can write very, very well. It was strange and funny, but without actual jokes...can you even understand what I mean when I say that? Now, I am not educated in English beyond high school, but I read a lot, so I think I’m a little above average with the language. However, there were a few words in there that I had to look up (yes, I’m that kind of geek) – I had no idea what pareidolia or panopticon meant. And Drittsekk might be my new favorite insult!! So, yes, don’t judge him by the goofy pic. 3. It was worth every single great review that it got. This was a horror story that took you in and threw you into a maelstrom of madness – it got my heart rate up more than once. Can you think of anything scarier than an asylum with torture devices that would have made the Inquisition jealous? No, I’m not giving too much away, you will still need to take the journey yourself to find out. Loved the furniture with descriptions at the beginning of each chapter! I highly recommend it to all horror fans!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    I worked in retail for ten years, every job from the good (B. Dalton Bookseller), to the bad (Pearle Vision Center), to the really, really ugly (Sear's Outlet - where someone tried to return a used vibrator). The one thing all these jobs had in common? After the customers have gone home and the store is closed and the lights are turned low...it's rather creepy. One of my favorite retail stories (and I may have told this one before - I'M OLD, so I'M ENTITLED!) is the night when Sue and I were clos I worked in retail for ten years, every job from the good (B. Dalton Bookseller), to the bad (Pearle Vision Center), to the really, really ugly (Sear's Outlet - where someone tried to return a used vibrator). The one thing all these jobs had in common? After the customers have gone home and the store is closed and the lights are turned low...it's rather creepy. One of my favorite retail stories (and I may have told this one before - I'M OLD, so I'M ENTITLED!) is the night when Sue and I were closing the bookstore. You had to turn out the lights at the breaker in the back room, then walk all the way to the front of the store to exit. We were about a quarter of the way to the front when something crashed to the floor behind us. We didn't turn around, just took off running for the door. There is no doubt in my mind that had Sue fallen and couldn't get up, I would not have stopped to help her. And I'm sure she would have left me in her dust as monster chow had I dropped, as well. Two women in their thirties, running like bats outta hell, frightened by a noise. See what retail does to you? Poor Amy has become something of a slacker. Forced to drop out of community college, she's been working for retail giant, ORSK. She hates her job, most of her coworkers and especially her supervisor, Basil. But weird things have been happening in the wee hours when the store is closed. Though the security cameras have captured nothing, employees arrive each morning to broken and damaged merchandise. Basil drafts a few "partners" to stay all night and help him catch the vandals. Amy is one of them, and if she thinks her current job is mind-numbing and repetitive, wait until she gets a load of how she may end up spending eternity... The first half of the book is terrific. The author does a fantastic job of mocking retail culture, motivational slogans and by-the-book managers. Then it takes an abrupt turn, all humor disappears, and the tale becomes a fairly standard horror story. It's almost as if the second half was written by a different author. So, yes, this is definitely a case of style over substance, but oh, oh, OH! what style! The layout of the book, with its featured products - products that get more and more disturbing as the story advances, mission statements, employee reviews and order forms is DEAD ON. The whole book is clever and innovative...almost like a piece of inexpensive, ready-to-assemble furniture or a store designed to force you to visit EVERY department. Just don't forget your magic tool. You'll need it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Justin Tate

    This deliciously quirky novel brings scares to one of the happiest places on Earth—an IKEA-esque furniture superstore. After days of mysterious occurrences like broken light fixtures and smashed wardrobes, the employees of ORSK stay after hours to investigate. Dun dun dun! This novel taught me that any setting can be the groundwork for a spooky good time. It is also textbook perfection on how to blend horror and humor. Hendrix clearly has a blast describing overworked and underpaid employees and This deliciously quirky novel brings scares to one of the happiest places on Earth—an IKEA-esque furniture superstore. After days of mysterious occurrences like broken light fixtures and smashed wardrobes, the employees of ORSK stay after hours to investigate. Dun dun dun! This novel taught me that any setting can be the groundwork for a spooky good time. It is also textbook perfection on how to blend horror and humor. Hendrix clearly has a blast describing overworked and underpaid employees and putting them in zany sources of danger. His infusion of social commentary into the plot is precisely what I hope to achieve in my own writing. It’s hard to walk into an IKEA and not think about his “bright and shining path," or the false doors that, in this book, do open and lead to interdimensional horror. It's hard for me to truly express how masterful this is - so just take my word for it, if you like eerie or funny or funny-eerie, Horrorstor will be your new favorite book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **4.5-stars rounded up** I was so excited when my friend, Shannon, and I made a spur of the moment decision to buddy read Horrorstor!!! I have owned a copy of this since it was first released and have heard such great things. I would often stop, pick it up, flip through the pages and consider reading it, but for some reason never did. The whole package of the book is unique and fun. Made to resemble an IKEA catalogue, each chapter begins with a picture of a specific furniture piece and its descrip **4.5-stars rounded up** I was so excited when my friend, Shannon, and I made a spur of the moment decision to buddy read Horrorstor!!! I have owned a copy of this since it was first released and have heard such great things. I would often stop, pick it up, flip through the pages and consider reading it, but for some reason never did. The whole package of the book is unique and fun. Made to resemble an IKEA catalogue, each chapter begins with a picture of a specific furniture piece and its description. It's a really special book in regards to creativity and for that reason alone, I would recommend people give it a shot to see what it's all about. Moving on from the engaging format, I was so pleased with the actual story! Amy has been working at Orsk for a while, but she seems to be stuck in a rut. The tasks are monotonous and as the days pass, it's honestly sucking the life out of her. Additionally, her manager, Basil, always seems to be on her case. What's his problem anyway? He's such a stiff. She just needs him to let her do her thing, her way. When mysterious things begin happening around the store, including damage to some of the product, the staff has reason to suspect someone is getting in after hours. Basil approaches Amy and another employee, Ruth Ann, and asks them to work a dusk-til-dawn shift with him to hopefully catch the vandal. Important people from corporate are arriving in the morning and he wants to have a handle on the issue prior to their arrival. The two women agree and return to the store at the designated hour. Their plan, to patrol the showroom floor every hour over the course of the night to see if they can solve the mystery. On their first walk through the eerie, fun house scary showroom, with designated areas per room type, Amy and Ruth Ann stumble upon an unexpected surprise in Bedrooms. Two fellow employees, Trinity and Matt, have snuck into the store to shoot footage for their prospective ghost hunting show. They know of the mysterious happenings at Orsk and think supernatural forces may be at work! The rest of the narrative follows these five employees, locked in the deserted super store for the night, as they discover the true root of the problem. And it is a serious problem indeed. I absolutely loved the set-up. The brain-draining corporate retail environment was spectacular. The satire perfectly placed in regards to the store was delightful. I thought all of the characters were so well done. Even though they seem one dimensional to start, over the course of their time together, you learn much more about each of them. I personally began to feel quite attached. The humor was also spot on for me. The satirical nature of the entire story, plus the witty banter between the characters, made this an absolute delight from beginning to end. Added on to all of the great things mentioned above, the horror elements were a ton of fun. There were some yucky moments, cringe-worthy moments and creepy moments. It really offered a lot. I felt like the conclusion was a little rushed, but other than that one small thing, fantastic! This is definitely Horror Comedy though, so if that is not your jam, you may want to steer clear. This was my first Hendrix book and it seems like a solid place to start. I am glad to have buddy read this because it was fun to have someone to discuss it with while actually reading. I think it added to the overall experience. I certainly will be picking up more books by Grady Hendrix in the future!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mohammed Arabey

    Horrorstör ; A Plot like an average-rated, Cliché Horror Movie about Haunted Places.. Creatively mixed into more Realistic issue that face millions around the world; Working in Retail. And uniquely presented in a Novel shaped like the same Retail Catalog.. So..Welcome to Orsk A cheap clone of IKEA..at one of its branches by a highway road, will start a series of a Paranormal Events.. With 5 very different characters, their only common thing is working retail, But their personalities variety.. The 'Not Horrorstör ; A Plot like an average-rated, Cliché Horror Movie about Haunted Places.. Creatively mixed into more Realistic issue that face millions around the world; Working in Retail. And uniquely presented in a Novel shaped like the same Retail Catalog.. So..Welcome to Orsk A cheap clone of IKEA..at one of its branches by a highway road, will start a series of a Paranormal Events.. With 5 very different characters, their only common thing is working retail, But their personalities variety.. The 'Not my business type, The faithfully faithful whose faith is the job , The married to the work, and another regular two' They all will stand for that rough day/Night...at an exceptional night shift to investigate A series of Weird events.. The Story presented in the very same style of Orsk catalog, which is , again , a clone of IKEA's One. If it was a movie, my rate would have been 7/10 in IMDb 8 for the characters , 5 or hardly 6 for the plot , by the ending it can be 6.5 so , it's 7, or here in Goodreads, 3.5 ...I gave it 4 JUST for the creativeness of the novel The Story ---------- A review that really says all what I felt needed to say about Amy and retail work perfectly Amy, the main character, is on verge to lose her retail job, a soulless one..BUT which is her only hope for living....well , who works retail and doesn't ? "The more Amy struggled, the faster she sank. Every month she shuffled around less and less money to cover the same number of bills. The hamster wheel kept spinning and spinning. Sometimes she wanted to let go and find out exactly how far she'd fall if she just stopped fighting.She didn't expect life to be fair, but did it have to be so relentless?" And you'd never know the feelings of her unless you're working retail...dealing with customers, watched as if you're a thief, long hours and holidays shifts...bossy bosses, bossy snitches co workers, tedious customers, boring complains from them for things you can Never have the authority to solve. 33 Funny Posts about Retail Work Mixed with Game of Thrones for me I'm working at multimedia branch of a company that ruled by government -which doesn't mean the excellency since it's Egypt , if you know what I mean.. And so, Amy, this very realistic character, got a very strange last day of Work at Orsk...An exceptional Night Shift by the boss she hates, because he seems to be hating her. The best part of the horror is that coming from the idea of roaming around a huge retail building and its halls and show rooms in night, after everyone's gone, while a might be paranormal activities are going on. when you can't say if it's day or night .. the store is time still with all the light and no windows or skylights. But a certain action from some characters ruined some of the story for me ,(view spoiler)[ The Séance..which can be avoided for more efficient impact of the paranormal activities of the place. I mean it would have been better if the homeless man just turn up right after the twilight lights starts..or any other way that make the place powerful without acting stupid by Trinity and Mat. (hide spoiler)] But after all the story of Amy was really nice. A bit direct moral turn by the end of the story but it's still fun read, awesome style, huge success in cinematic description of the Orsk , the place, the characters, the wheel of tedious jops, and even the products of ORSK which I'd LOVE to buy some of them..only the first half of course not the horrible nazi ones by the last half., Well It's a Retail Catalogue...and it really pushed me to thinking about buying the items.. The metaphor and connection between Retail and Terrible Nazi-like Prison and beehive was more than perfect.. Hard to rate, I wanted to rate it 3, the style 5, The characters 4, The first 1/3 of the story 5, the second 3, the last 4 Extra star for capturing the Hardlifestyle of the Retail... Well... 4 it is and don't say I didn't warn you. Mohammed Arabey At Orsk From 3 June 2015 To 5 June 2015

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wigs

    Absolutely an abysmal reading experience. Incohesive, immature, unfinished. I'm not sure about why he actually did write it but it felt like he came out of IKEA one day and was like Whoaaaaaa dude it's so totally like a prison in there. And then wrote a nanowrimo about it. Barely 250 pages with large font (though thank god it's not any longer, I couldn't bear to suffer through any more of it), it's a shallow whirlwind through random imagery that doesn't even fit together. Shallow characters. Shal Absolutely an abysmal reading experience. Incohesive, immature, unfinished. I'm not sure about why he actually did write it but it felt like he came out of IKEA one day and was like Whoaaaaaa dude it's so totally like a prison in there. And then wrote a nanowrimo about it. Barely 250 pages with large font (though thank god it's not any longer, I couldn't bear to suffer through any more of it), it's a shallow whirlwind through random imagery that doesn't even fit together. Shallow characters. Shallow plot. High school level writing (I can't stress this enough.) Oh haha there's furniture named Balsak and Arsle and Splooge haha you're laughing right isn't that funny? Elements are brought up that don't ever come back again. For example why bore us with all that talk of paranormal investigation gear if it's never even used? And I will still never be over the fact that randomly Matt had five pairs of handcuffs in his bag (WHY? Author, just say no. Just. Say. No. Convenience does not override logic. YOU ARE LAZY. LAZY. LAZY WRITING.) And then the handcuffs are barely used in any sensical way. Chekhov's Gun, man. If you introduce a narrative element, make it have a REASON. What was the point of all that? WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS WHOLE BOOK? There was no ending and I didn't care either because I just wanted it to be over. It's one of those books that ends in the middle of something to add a dot dot dot fill in the blank with what might happen here who knows!??!? I really I don't care. This is a book that is packaged better than the contents inside it. And it worked right, I mean it doesn't matter because they got the money I paid at the bookstore. I liked the graphic design and I thought it might be interesting or witty. But let me express to you plainly right now, save your money. Save yourself from this shitty reading experience. Don't be fooled by its gimmicky little set up. It's not funny, it's not a satire, it's not serious. It's just bad. You can watch better D-list direct-to-video horror movies on Netflix and feel better about it. You have better fanfiction sitting unfinished in Mircosoft Word on your computer right now. So book industry, I'm looking at you. Who let this get published? Whose fault is this? Why are we okay with lazy unfinished writing? You know what though I'm just going to show you how unfinished it is. Are you ready? If you want to read the book (hopefully you don't, run far away) stop reading but here we go: (view spoiler)[The ending is that two of the people are still lost in the store and the main character Amy announces she's going back to find them. (hide spoiler)] The end. Great. Fucking great I don't even care if she finds them or if they're dead I hope everyone is dead because I don't want you to ever even think about writing a sequel. Seriously though what editor was telling him it was okay to end his book there? This is one of the worst books I've read this year tied with The Snow Child and I'm just mad that I let myself, on both occasions, be fooled by the book design. I think it's going to be a long time before I dare touch the horror genre again. Horror is not an excuse to just throw nonsensical garbage in the reader's face.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    Well, this book was just amazing. Orsk, an Ikea rip-off store, is hell. Retail hell - something Hendrix seems to be very familiar with. Here are the opening paragraphs: It was dawn, and the zombies were stumbling through the parking lot, streaming toward the massive beige box at the far end. Later they'd be resurrected by megadoses of Starbucks, but for now they were the barely living dead. Their causes of death differed: hangovers, nightmares, strung out from epic online gaming sessions, circadian Well, this book was just amazing. Orsk, an Ikea rip-off store, is hell. Retail hell - something Hendrix seems to be very familiar with. Here are the opening paragraphs: It was dawn, and the zombies were stumbling through the parking lot, streaming toward the massive beige box at the far end. Later they'd be resurrected by megadoses of Starbucks, but for now they were the barely living dead. Their causes of death differed: hangovers, nightmares, strung out from epic online gaming sessions, circadian rhythms broken by late night TV, children who couldn't stop crying, neighbors partying till 4 a.m., broken hearts, unpaid bills, roads not taken, sick dogs, deployed daughters, ailing parents, midnight ice cream binges. But every morning, five days a week (seven during the holidays), they dragged themselves here, to the one thing in their lives that never changed, the one thing they could count on come rain, or shine, or dead pets, or divorce: work. This book has a normal "horror" movie cast of characters: Amy, the poor girl struggling to escape from her trailer park background; Matt, the cynical hipster with an enormous beard; Trinity, the flirty, fun, rainbow-colored Korean-American rebelling against her conservative Christian parents; Ruth Anne, the kind-hearted, lonely, unmarried, childless, work-is-my-life country-singer look-alike; and Basil, the manager who speaks in retail-jargon and is always lecturing his employees on the joys of working for Orsk. I liked the fact that there was actually character development in this novel. For instance, I started off really despising Basil, but he slowly grows on you as the novel goes on. Ruth Anne also shows different facets of herself that you initially don't believe she has in her. The horror is truly horrifying. DO NOT READ THIS UNLESS YOU ARE A HORROR FAN. It might not seem so at first, but this book ends up in really gruesome and terrifying places. If you are squeamish or don't enjoy horror, this is NOT a fun book. Hendrix does a great job of slowly building up the horror and also introducing you to the cast. This is in his favor. Horror has to be human - if you just throw scary stuff around with no strong character base than you've got nothing. Hendrix obviously knows this and delivers. But when the crap hits the fan and bad, bad things start happening (around page 116) you are instantly on a roller coaster going 100 mph and you cannot get off, slow down, or let go. It's brutal and very fast-paced. This book, although it seems like a gimmick at first glance with it's awesome cover and back cover, maps of the store inside, coupons inside, Orsk-catalog format, and blue printing - is actually a genuinely good and serious horror novel. No joke. I didn't know what to expect and I was completely bowled over by the sheer power and force of Hendrix's writing and imagination. This book is very well-done, even after you strip away all the bells and whistles. I thought it would be funny, and there are bits of humor (only in the first 100 pages before everything goes south) but what I wasn't expecting was a full-on, twisted, horror book bonanza. Hendrix really surprised me, in a good way. As I was reading this, it was very easy to picture it as a horror movie in my mind. This would look great on-screen and would make an excellent film. The ONLY part that wasn't working for me was the 3 or 4 times Hendrix uses rats as his scare/creep factor. I am just not scared of rats. So those parts were just me being all, "Whatever. Chill out, people. They're just rats." But since Hendrix primarily focuses on actually creepy stuff, this didn't end up to be too annoying, and only took me out of the horror of the story once or twice. This book has one of the most amazing, scary, and creepy séances that I have ever read. Very, very well-written 5 pages. Tl;dr - this novel starts out slow, to introduce you to the characters and make you comfortable. Once the horror is introduced you are sucked in and cannot let go. The story leaps off the page and surrounds you. It's wonderful. Avoid if you don't enjoy horror - this is very 'horror' and NOT a joke-type book, despite its appearance. P.S. If I were IKEA, I would sell this in the store, have big displays with this, have it on counters and bookshelves, and basically exploit the heck out of it. It's fun and good advertising. Also, it's October. Someone at IKEA should get on this. P.P.S. Those opening paragraphs that I posted reminded me a lot of one of my favorite films, Sean of the Dead.

  11. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    haunted house tale set in an Ikea-ish hellmouth. perfectly accomplished satiric horror, plus actual horror. and redemption! design of book is highly impressive. book is reminiscent of Bentley Little's various horror novels set in various institutions; Hendrix's story is ultimately more heartfelt and his writing glossier, more accomplished while Little remains superior in the depth of his anger at various institutions and his willingness to dive into Kafka-esque surrealism. overall a minor work b haunted house tale set in an Ikea-ish hellmouth. perfectly accomplished satiric horror, plus actual horror. and redemption! design of book is highly impressive. book is reminiscent of Bentley Little's various horror novels set in various institutions; Hendrix's story is ultimately more heartfelt and his writing glossier, more accomplished while Little remains superior in the depth of his anger at various institutions and his willingness to dive into Kafka-esque surrealism. overall a minor work but thoroughly enjoyable. moral of the tale: work is hell.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Posted at Shelf Inflicted “You don’t want to go out on the floor? Tough titty, said the kitty. I don’t want to go on the floor, either, but having a job is all about doing things you don’t want to do. That’s why they pay you money for it. Life doesn’t care what you want, other people don’t care what you want. All that matters is what you do.” I really enjoyed Paperbacks From Hell, so was eager to read another book by Grady Hendrix. This one appealed to me, because I have a weakness for haunte Posted at Shelf Inflicted “You don’t want to go out on the floor? Tough titty, said the kitty. I don’t want to go on the floor, either, but having a job is all about doing things you don’t want to do. That’s why they pay you money for it. Life doesn’t care what you want, other people don’t care what you want. All that matters is what you do.” I really enjoyed Paperbacks From Hell, so was eager to read another book by Grady Hendrix. This one appealed to me, because I have a weakness for haunted house stories, and I’m not so old that I can’t remember the retail hell I was subject to through my late teens and 20’s – the long hours, the split shifts, the repetitive tasks, the surly customers, the managers who micromanage, yet are never around when you really need them, the ass-kissers, the incompetents, the motivational talks, and the low pay. There were no throwaway characters here. Each one was unique, and very much like people I’ve worked with. Amy needs her job, yet she loathes the monotony of her tasks and her committed boss who beats his employees over the head with corporate doublespeak. She wants out, and her boss promises her a transfer if she agrees to work with him and the bubbly Ruth Anne, who never forgets anyone’s birthday, to determine the cause of the vandalism, mysterious graffiti, and funky smells and stains inside the store. The IKEA-like setting is vivid, and I love the illustrations that introduce each chapter featuring store items, each designed for a specific purpose – most benign, others more ominous. The tension ramps up when Amy and Ruth Anne encounter Matt and Trinity, two fellow employees hiding out in the store on a ghost-hunting mission. Together they discover that Orsk employees are not the only ones who have performed repetitive, torturous tasks. This was a light, fun read with just the right amount of humor that never overwhelms the very real horror faced by five Orsk employees.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    Amy has a cash-flow problem and a desire to transfer to a different Ikea-like furniture store. If she can just stay on the boss' good side for a few more days, she'll be out of here. So she was on her best behavior while her transfer request made its way through the system. She arrived on time each day. She smiled at customers and didn't blink at last-minute schedule changes. ... She fought her natural tendency to talk back. And, most important, she steered clear of Basil, determined to stay off Amy has a cash-flow problem and a desire to transfer to a different Ikea-like furniture store. If she can just stay on the boss' good side for a few more days, she'll be out of here. So she was on her best behavior while her transfer request made its way through the system. She arrived on time each day. She smiled at customers and didn't blink at last-minute schedule changes. ... She fought her natural tendency to talk back. And, most important, she steered clear of Basil, determined to stay off his radar." pg 17, ebook. But the store has been under performing and, each morning, things are misplaced, wrecked or smeared with foul-smelling gunk. Someone has been in the store and Basil, the manager, is going to figure out what's going on. "I've asked you here because I need your help. I have an extra job for tonight. A side project. And I need you to keep quiet about it." pg 27, ebook. He'll make sure Amy's transfer papers go through if she stays overnight with Basil and a few of her co-workers. What could possibly go wrong? Horrorstör is elevated from a typical horror novel because of its setting, which is really quite clever, and the way Grady Hendrix, the author, weaves the store manual into the narrative. The haunting itself is spooky enough to give you chills, but doesn't really cross the line into nightmare territory. At least, it didn't for me. "Churches are built where saints were martyred. A bridge requires a child in its foundations if it is to hold. All great works must begin with a sacrifice." pg 96, ebook. Amy is a strong female protagonist. She fights for what she wants, her coworkers and her sanity in this story. I liked how her character develops from entitled to vengeful. Basil, Ruth Ann and Amy's other coworkers are well-written too. As I read, I could imagine this cast of characters actually working at a store. There's the tightly-strung manager with a heart of gold, the maternal push-over figure who may be tougher than she looks, and more. Recommended for readers who enjoy some thrills and furniture-related chills. If you're into Ikea, you may never look at your home furnishings the same way again.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror

    Let me gush about this book to you for like three or five minutes. Give me five, tops! First of all, let me just explain how much fun this book is. Starting with the cover, have you ever seen a more eye catching, hilarious cover? (Your answer is no) My husband and I have been to IKEA several times, like every time we move. Most notably the last time was when we outfitted our camping trailer. It was a weekend. We wound our way through the entire Showroom and it was, quite literally, a Horrorstor! Al Let me gush about this book to you for like three or five minutes. Give me five, tops! First of all, let me just explain how much fun this book is. Starting with the cover, have you ever seen a more eye catching, hilarious cover? (Your answer is no) My husband and I have been to IKEA several times, like every time we move. Most notably the last time was when we outfitted our camping trailer. It was a weekend. We wound our way through the entire Showroom and it was, quite literally, a Horrorstor! All the references to IKEA, from the cover (and back cover) to all the attention to detail inside the book--the diagrams, order form, the crazy, unpronounceable names of the furniture--was so spot on! So deliciously tongue-in-cheek, I LOVED IT! But if that wasn't enough, we have a pretty tight horror story on the "catalog" pages! There were a few scenes that were so explicitly detailed, I felt like I was involved in the terror and it was uncomfortable. You know that awesome feeling you get when you're reading something scary before bed? The house is too quiet, everyone is sleeping and your eyes won't stop reading even though your brain is thinking, "shouldn't you quit just in case you read something you can't take back?" I LOVE THAT! Probably my favorite part about reading horror is the heart pounding suspense...this one has woven a fast paced, believable tale that draws you in and holds you there. The characters remind me of people we all know. Our protagonist is so normal, so average I felt like the author and I have worked with the same kind of people in retail. Amy is someone we have all worked with. There were some moments I laughed out loud and a few pages of the book that I had to lean over and show my husband. So smart. This book is terribly clever. Like I said, SO MUCH FUN! One of my favorite ghostie/paranormal stories to date. A must read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Have you ever worked retail? I have and it is truly a horror story. Anyone that has ever worked in customer service knows one thing really well: The customer ISN'T always right. So to base a book, a horror book no less, on a haunted version of IKEA or Orsk as it is named in the book is such a brilliant and unique concept. However, that is where my enjoyment ended. This book is neither funny nor scary. The cast of characters were all annoying and acted like 14 year old kids rather than the adults Have you ever worked retail? I have and it is truly a horror story. Anyone that has ever worked in customer service knows one thing really well: The customer ISN'T always right. So to base a book, a horror book no less, on a haunted version of IKEA or Orsk as it is named in the book is such a brilliant and unique concept. However, that is where my enjoyment ended. This book is neither funny nor scary. The cast of characters were all annoying and acted like 14 year old kids rather than the adults they were. This is basically a gory version of a Scooby Doo episode. I grew incredibly tired of this book. Almost like you would a real retail shift. Thank gawd it's over. *punches clock*

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 2.5 Stars Remember back in the olde days of yore when you used to be able to leave your house and go do things that weren’t “essential”???? Yeah, me either. Just kidding. But here’s what I did back in those olden times . . . . Go inside the IKEA for a book pic? Hell to the motherfuggin nah . . . . . Or actually buy something from there? Yeesh . . . . Using only an Allen wrench for 27 hours to assemble something until you Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 2.5 Stars Remember back in the olde days of yore when you used to be able to leave your house and go do things that weren’t “essential”???? Yeah, me either. Just kidding. But here’s what I did back in those olden times . . . . Go inside the IKEA for a book pic? Hell to the motherfuggin nah . . . . . Or actually buy something from there? Yeesh . . . . Using only an Allen wrench for 27 hours to assemble something until your skin peels off all of your fingers only to discover you’re missing three to seven vital parts in order to obtain a finished product should probably be part of the Geneva Conventions regarding torture. But I digress. Despite my own IKEA phobia, the title and cover of this little beauty was EV.ER.Y.THANG. and deserves all the stars. After seeing one of my friends liken the storyline to my favorite gang . . . . . I thought for sure it was going to be a winner. Unfortunately, I didn’t walk away with Scooby Doo vibes (but if you’re looking for that, go snag a copy of Meddling Kids). Instead I felt like this was sort of a layman’s version of House of Leaves. It was okay, but just okay for me. I have WAAAAAAAAAAY higher hopes for The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires which I just received from the library. (THANK YOU LIBRARIES EVERYWHERE FOR GETTING US ALL THROUGH THIS QUARANTINE VIA ELECTRONIC BOOKS!!!!!)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Welcome to Orsk, a thinly veiled IKEA copycat that's built on top of an infamous prison from way, way back in the day. And the warden is back from the grave to cure his prisoners, and this time, those prisoners are the Orsk employees. Can less-than-model-employee Amy save her fellow Orsk coworkers? P.S.--Apparently this summary is a spoiler, though I wasn't really aware that the whack back-story was a plot twist. I just thought it was confusing and not well thought-out. Sitting here on my IKEA b Welcome to Orsk, a thinly veiled IKEA copycat that's built on top of an infamous prison from way, way back in the day. And the warden is back from the grave to cure his prisoners, and this time, those prisoners are the Orsk employees. Can less-than-model-employee Amy save her fellow Orsk coworkers? P.S.--Apparently this summary is a spoiler, though I wasn't really aware that the whack back-story was a plot twist. I just thought it was confusing and not well thought-out. Sitting here on my IKEA bed with my IKEA candles, IKEA wall art and IKEA glassware, it's easy to see where the idea for this book came from. We've all shopped there, and it's easy to get sucked into the great deals and beautiful displays that show you just how much better your life could be. But really, it just feeds our materialistic desire for stuff we don't really need. I would have been more impressed if this book had been more of a commentary on American consumerism, in the vein of Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD. Instead, the book gets a bit lost in its own concept, and the writing style did not hold my attention. The characters also fell flat as they were undeveloped or just too cliche to be interesting. As far as horror goes, it simply doesn't fit the bill. Not scary at all, though there are some interesting visuals. I did finish the book, but it was definitely the idea behind it that pulled me along, rather than the plot and characters.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Here’s the plot summary: haunted Ikea-like store. That’s it. I love the haunted house subgenre of horror, I’m a big fan of Douglas Coupland (the overall design aesthetic of the book reminded me of novels like Microserfs and jPod), so I really thought Grady Hendrix’s Horrorstor was going to be a good read. My expectation was that it was going to be satirical/funny with a little bit of drama to balance things out. Wrong! It’s all written completely straight - Hendrix is actually trying to be scary Here’s the plot summary: haunted Ikea-like store. That’s it. I love the haunted house subgenre of horror, I’m a big fan of Douglas Coupland (the overall design aesthetic of the book reminded me of novels like Microserfs and jPod), so I really thought Grady Hendrix’s Horrorstor was going to be a good read. My expectation was that it was going to be satirical/funny with a little bit of drama to balance things out. Wrong! It’s all written completely straight - Hendrix is actually trying to be scary. And, unfortunately, he does a terrible job! Twenty-something Amy works at a cheap furniture store called Orsk. She gets roped into doing a dusk-til-dawn shift with her middle-aged co-worker Ruth Anne and highly motivated manager Basil (who’s also younger than she is). They’re on the lookout for whoever’s been wiping the display furniture with poo and scrawling graffiti across the walls after-hours. Also, someone is texting “help” to everyone with a store mobile. But they gotta catch whoever’s doing it soon because corporate’s coming down for an inspection, first thing in the morning! Our cast of characters are extremely dull. Amy is your average drifting young woman who’s treading water until she makes a move towards something she actually wants to do. As it is, she’s very apathetic towards her work, and that’s fine, but it’s not interesting to read - why should we care about her again? Why is she the main character? Ruth Anne is a wallflower who shows a little bit more character later on, Basil’s a corporate stooge who isn’t as secure as he seems, and there are some others but they’re not worth mentioning. They’re basically all as flat as the flat-pack furniture their store sells. The story starts slowly as we get to know our unremarkable cast and set up the main story: characters walking around a dark store. I was ready to fall asleep every time a chapter started and they were still stumbling around in the dark. Is this the “scary” part? What am I supposed to be feeling besides boredom? We finally get to the supernatural disturbances and they’re a joke. I mean, they’re played totally real but they’re just a glob of horror story cliches. It’s the Indian burial ground-type setup, tedious monologues about never getting out and being punished forever and ever. Even the villain in this is tedious! There’s more stumbling around in the dark, some characters die, and it’s over. I was very disappointed/sleepy and not at all scared. Horrorstor could’ve lent itself well to satire/comedy - the Ikea store as a modern day nightmare, designed to entrap consumers with their never-ending layouts until they empty their wallets, etc. - but Hendrix crapped out and went the banal and wholly unoriginal route of characters being chased by spookies in the dark. I suppose Hendrix did sort of imply something along those lines by turning Orsk into a ghostly version of the nightmarish prison where people went insane and were tortured. And I did like the Coupland-esque graphics, designed to look like an Ikea catalogue. But generally I felt Hendrix didn’t do enough with the concept and incorporated too many cliches with excessive blood and physical harm, grasping hands from walls, characters separating, and a one-dimensional villain. Horrorstor is a very unmemorable and uninteresting haunted house story that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. For good haunted house novels, check out The Shining by Stephen King, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, and Hell House by Richard Matheson instead.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    Another 5 star read! My definition of a productive week. Look, I will totally admit to being worried about this book being too gimmicky. Sure, it intrigued me. But an author I hadn't read before, writing a book styled like an Ikea catalogue? Fun gimmick, sure, but an actual quality read? What were the odds? Okay, so it's pretty fucking gimmicky. But so were movies with sound when they were first introduced nearly 100 years ago. A gimmick doesn't mean something's bad. Matter of fact, I'll argue tha Another 5 star read! My definition of a productive week. Look, I will totally admit to being worried about this book being too gimmicky. Sure, it intrigued me. But an author I hadn't read before, writing a book styled like an Ikea catalogue? Fun gimmick, sure, but an actual quality read? What were the odds? Okay, so it's pretty fucking gimmicky. But so were movies with sound when they were first introduced nearly 100 years ago. A gimmick doesn't mean something's bad. Matter of fact, I'll argue that a successful one can make a great thing even better. What am I talking about, you ask? Frankly my dear, I don't even know at this point. My brain is basically useless after an 80 hour week. Anyway, it's a moo point. Because gimmick or no, this is a great book. It's hellaciously fun, fast paced, both horrific and funny. It's satirical without it overwhelming the fundamentals of the story. There's wonderful character work going on, but also hilarious (and increasingly torturous) furniture catalogue pages. It all meshes together into something original and fun and immensely readable. Matter of fact, I don't think I've read a horror that managed to be this infectiously fun in ages! I read it cover to cover, sleep be damned, in one sitting. That's hard for me to do folks. Reading this gave me the same feelings I had watching Ready or Not (which I highly recommend!) a month or so ago. They are both just so darn fun! They're horror, they're comedy, they offer social commentary in an utterly natural way. And chiefly? I just enjoyed the fuck out of them, which is ultimately what I'm after when I consume media. I am somewhat aware that there's not a whole lot of deep critical literary discussion, or even a mention of the plot, going on in this review. It's basically me saying how much I liked it over and over. But you know what? That's the best endorsement I can give a novel. If you get me to rant about how much I like you for paragraph on paragraph, you're either a fucking good book or Jeff Goldblum, either of which I will happily have in bed with me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    4.5 stars, rounded up for sheer originality in layout/concept! I won an advance copy of this book through the Goodreads "First-Reads" giveaway. Horrorstor has an incredibly unique layout that immediately drew my attention. It is meant to look like a furniture store catalog, complete with diagrams of the available furniture, and write-ups about the functions, colors available, and positive ways each item could be utilized in your home. What impressed me the most with the use of this concept, is how 4.5 stars, rounded up for sheer originality in layout/concept! I won an advance copy of this book through the Goodreads "First-Reads" giveaway. Horrorstor has an incredibly unique layout that immediately drew my attention. It is meant to look like a furniture store catalog, complete with diagrams of the available furniture, and write-ups about the functions, colors available, and positive ways each item could be utilized in your home. What impressed me the most with the use of this concept, is how the pictures began to subtly "morph" from the furniture in the store, into somewhat "other" devices (each with their own descriptive sales pitch), as the chapters progressed in the novel. These visuals and explanations of the intended uses brought such originality to the overall story, that I really found myself scrutinizing every minute detail on each page. A tactic like this really helps a story to stand out in the readers' mind, and something that I personally enjoyed immensely. Another aspect of this novel that I was particularly impressed by was the growth of the characters. In the beginning, I really didn't care for the stereotypical Amy, and was luke-warm towards the character of the department store manager, Basil. However, Grady Hendrix was able to transform these characters, through their ordeal, into people that I was genuinely drawn to by the end of the novel. In fact, I was actually disappointed when I reached the conclusion, simply because I wasn't ready to part with them. I've always been a huge fan of supernatural-type stories, and Hendrix brought an engaging, thoroughly haunting element into play here that really amped up the atmosphere and gave me genuine chills in several parts. I hope to read more novels from this author in the near future, for this is one that I feel I will remember for quite some time. Highly recommended!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    There were a few things that drew me to this book. A haunted house that's really an Ikea-like store is an interestingly unique idea. The idea alone appeals to me. I also liked the idea that it would take visual cues from Ikea catalogs (each chapter is headed with an item description). I did my time in retail. And it's set in Cuyahoga County, near where I grew up. Hendrix uses his retail setting very well. If you've worked retail, you'll recognize the store, the displays, the corporate doublespea There were a few things that drew me to this book. A haunted house that's really an Ikea-like store is an interestingly unique idea. The idea alone appeals to me. I also liked the idea that it would take visual cues from Ikea catalogs (each chapter is headed with an item description). I did my time in retail. And it's set in Cuyahoga County, near where I grew up. Hendrix uses his retail setting very well. If you've worked retail, you'll recognize the store, the displays, the corporate doublespeak. I was a Linens n Things inmate, Back in the Day. A couple steps down from Ikea and the fictional Orsk, a couple steps up from Walmart. So much felt true to my memories of the place. Especially how weird and creepy those home-like displays look when the store is closed. I feel like this is a book that will appeal most to people who did or are doing the retail thing, for more than just a summer job. But beyond the gimmick, how is it? Actually, it's pretty creepy. It's an extreme, violent haunting, but it doesn't start full throttle. If it did, it would quickly become overwhelming. It's actually the more subtle stuff towards the beginning that I find so much creepier, like the mysteriously appearing graffiti. I also sort of appreciate that we get to see the aftermath in the main character's life. The ending is basically open, but satisfying enough. Yes, the book is built on a gimmick, but it's a good gimmick. The story's pretty standard, but the setting is new enough (and has enough personal resonance) to feel like a step or so above your average ghost story. I'll definitely be looking more suspiciously at fake showroom doors in the future.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Churchill

    I'm rounding this up to 5 stars, because anything it lost in predictability it more than made up for in presentation. I'm talking about the overall catalogue look, the product ads that slowly turn sinister... everything down to the ad at the very end, after the epilogue that leaves you hanging without spelling it all out for you. I was creeped out. Majorly creeped out. I won't be visiting Ikea around closing time, EVER.

  23. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    That was absolutely fantastic, delightfully creepy, and most of all, SO MUCH FUN. Wow, Grady Hendrix is a genius. ♥ RTC!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Latasha

    Oh Grady Hendrix!! 😍😘😉 I loved this book! Who knew a furniture store could be so scary? Well, it is! The characters were real & believable. The story is great and could easily be read in one sitting. The illustrations are fun. I think I have 1 more by this author left to read but I’m right on top of that Rose! I can not wait to see what’s next! Oh Grady Hendrix!! 😍😘😉 I loved this book! Who knew a furniture store could be so scary? Well, it is! The characters were real & believable. The story is great and could easily be read in one sitting. The illustrations are fun. I think I have 1 more by this author left to read but I’m right on top of that Rose! I can not wait to see what’s next!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    Well it’s official, Grady Hendrix has become one of my all time favourite authors and I will buy anything and everything he writes! This isn’t my absolute favourite out of his work but it’s still absolutely brilliant and I loved it! The premise is so bloody great, it’s quite unlike anything I’ve read before and manages to be both hilarious and terrifying at the same time. I really love the layout too, it’s so fun and original and really makes this a treat to read! And I don’t think I’ll ever be Well it’s official, Grady Hendrix has become one of my all time favourite authors and I will buy anything and everything he writes! This isn’t my absolute favourite out of his work but it’s still absolutely brilliant and I loved it! The premise is so bloody great, it’s quite unlike anything I’ve read before and manages to be both hilarious and terrifying at the same time. I really love the layout too, it’s so fun and original and really makes this a treat to read! And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to walk into an IKEA again without feeling a sense of unease and constantly looking over my shoulder!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2014/12/01/4... Horrorstör scratched a really great itch. When it comes to the Horror genre, I’m an unabashed fan of ghost stories and books about hauntings. Thing is, because so many of them follow the same formula and use the same familiar tropes, it’s really hard find something that truly stands out. I was therefore quite excited about this novel, which is a memorable and real quirky take on your classic haunted house story. Protagonist 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2014/12/01/4... Horrorstör scratched a really great itch. When it comes to the Horror genre, I’m an unabashed fan of ghost stories and books about hauntings. Thing is, because so many of them follow the same formula and use the same familiar tropes, it’s really hard find something that truly stands out. I was therefore quite excited about this novel, which is a memorable and real quirky take on your classic haunted house story. Protagonist Amy is a disgruntled employee of furniture superstore Orsk, which is essentially a clever parody of our real world IKEA (the author has nailed it all down, everything from the proprietary magic tool to the delicious meatballs in the cafeteria). There’s something strange about this particular Orsk store though. Every morning store partners arrive at work to find damaged and vandalized goods, not to mention the creepy “HELP” messages that randomly shows up on everyone’s cellphones. To get to the bottom of this mystery once and for all, store manager Basil recruits Amy and fellow employee Ruth Anne for an overnight shift. Expecting to find some innocuous and mundane reason for all the strange things going on, they are totally unprepared for the horrors awaiting them on showroom floor in the dead of night. I really enjoyed this book, and its story is one that will stay with me for a very long time. After all, how often does one come across a haunted house story that takes place in a big box chain store? Old mansions are typically your go-to settings for these kinds of stories, but before I read this book it has never really occurred to me how creepy a place like your local Best Buy or Home Depot can be after store hours when all the customers have gone home and the lights go off. I certainly wouldn’t want to be locked inside all alone. And while I’ve had experience in retail, they were all gigs in small businesses or independently owned establishments. I have never worked in a big box chain store so I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure (or misfortune, depending on your outlook) of experiencing that kind of unique environment or culture. Still, I don’t think you have to have worked in that capacity to recognize some of the “retail-speak” that gets poked fun at a lot in this novel (“It’s not just a job, it’s the rest of your life”, “communicate knowledge to visitors with maximum sales competence”, “contribute to an environment where Orsk culture is a strong and living reality” and other such gems), some of which are just downright hilarious especially through Amy’s jaded eye. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the core selling points of the physical copy of Horrorstör – the fact that it comes published in the shape and size of a glossy mail order catalog, along with product illustrations and descriptions, “coupons”, order forms and other such documents. Sound like a gimmick? Yeah, probably. But hey, it works. I give this packaging decision 10/10 for presentation and creativity. Because of how the book looks, along with its spoofy nature, I admit I went into this thinking it would be more humor than horror. My mistake. This is a horror novel through and through. Yes, the story has its lighthearted bits and funny laugh-out-loud moments, but things quickly turn grim and spooky once the plot gets moving. There were parts that seriously gave me the heebie-jeebies and freaked me the hell out. And I confess, I loved being caught off guard like this. What more can I say, but Horrorstör is a great addition which would add a little fun and eccentricity to any Horror lover’s library. I also think it would make a rather unique gift, especially if the recipient knows nothing about the book beforehand. The whole IKEA catalog look of it will no doubt lead many to believe it’s a joke/humor book, but what a surprise they’ll get when they crack open the cover and give it a read. Definitely a novel that will give you more than you bargained for.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Man, I loved We Sold Our Souls, but Horrorstor was more style over substance for me. Hendrix creates a novel that is basically an IKEA catalogue, complete with advertisements, coupons, and product descriptions. Hell, the “About the Author” section on the back flap is written on a nametag and a short employee bio. The book is put together very creatively with plenty of attention to detail, but it just felt like too much work was put into how the book was designed, and not enough time and attentio Man, I loved We Sold Our Souls, but Horrorstor was more style over substance for me. Hendrix creates a novel that is basically an IKEA catalogue, complete with advertisements, coupons, and product descriptions. Hell, the “About the Author” section on the back flap is written on a nametag and a short employee bio. The book is put together very creatively with plenty of attention to detail, but it just felt like too much work was put into how the book was designed, and not enough time and attention was put into actually writing a good story. As a satire, this is great, and maybe it would have worked better if it just stayed in the same style of the first few chapters. Little pokes at capitalism, a manager whose memorized the company values and rules, al of that was fun. The spooky path the story goes down is fine, and it’s light and not really scary at all, but it just felt like contrived and underdeveloped. All of the extra fluff makes the actual story relatively short though, so it never really overstays its welcome. I’m glad I started my Grady Hendrix journey with We Sold Our Souls rather than starting here. I think he does a swell job (yes, that’s right, I said “swell”) of combining humor and horror, and he’s demonstrated that in each of the books I’ve read from him. He doesn’t ever seem to take himself too seriously, and I can appreciate what he was trying to do with Horrorstor. There’s just not a lasting impression, and I’ll likely forget most of it except for “oh yeah it’s the haunted IKEA book”. That’s how I will pitch it to people. “You like IKEA? No?” “You like Scooby Doo? No?!” “You like satire? Kind of?!” “You like ghosts? They aren’t real???” “Oh my God, maybe this isn’t the book for you after all. Go read Tolstoy or something since you’re so much better than everyone else. I don’t wanna take up any of your precious time with some low brow haunted IKEA book... wait... that sounds interesting to you? Oh, you should read Horrorstor!”

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shaina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Oh wow; parody, sweet parody. I loved this. It had everything. It had humor, it had zombies or were they ghosts .., well they were gross so.. zombie-ghosts, it had smelly things, a weird insane ghost; I’ll stop there. Oh: trigger warning ⚠️ rats, and lots of Blistex. This book was fun, it was horrifying, it was tragedy, and it was awesome. I’d love to see a 2, but this is awesome as is. One of the best parts to me was the continuing pictures, names & descriptions of the furniture. So funny! Reco Oh wow; parody, sweet parody. I loved this. It had everything. It had humor, it had zombies or were they ghosts .., well they were gross so.. zombie-ghosts, it had smelly things, a weird insane ghost; I’ll stop there. Oh: trigger warning ⚠️ rats, and lots of Blistex. This book was fun, it was horrifying, it was tragedy, and it was awesome. I’d love to see a 2, but this is awesome as is. One of the best parts to me was the continuing pictures, names & descriptions of the furniture. So funny! Recommended for those whom like dark humor or hate IKEA or just think it’s funny how those stores are set up, or just think working retail stinks!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    The retail-horror aspect was a lot more interesting than the horror-horror, which was pretty generic.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kala Glass

    Rating: YESSSSSSSSSSSSS Odds of Crying: 0 Odds of Having Nightmares: 1/4 Will I binge read this book?: Yes, it's a fast read Is this a series?: Nope. Is this an IKEA catalog: No, but it sure does look like one This book is for you if you like: to be scared, really cool book design, original ideas/concepts Spoiler Free Summary! Grady Hendrix - where have you been all my life?!?! Hendrix is clearly a genius. This story is set in Orsk, which is basically the American version of IKEA. It starts out very clev Rating: YESSSSSSSSSSSSS Odds of Crying: 0 Odds of Having Nightmares: 1/4 Will I binge read this book?: Yes, it's a fast read Is this a series?: Nope. Is this an IKEA catalog: No, but it sure does look like one This book is for you if you like: to be scared, really cool book design, original ideas/concepts Spoiler Free Summary! Grady Hendrix - where have you been all my life?!?! Hendrix is clearly a genius. This story is set in Orsk, which is basically the American version of IKEA. It starts out very clever and amusing. The characters/employees of Orsk are very relatable. I can picture the layout of Orsk perfectly in my mind. I'm walking through the store and feeling the pull to pick up things that have been intentionally placed in my way so that I will buy them. And that's why when it is closing time and the lights go out, I become terrified. This story is super creepy, has a lot of surprises, is clever and funny, AND left me in deep thought. I don't know what I thought the experience of reading Horrorstör would be like, but man am I completely stoked for everyone I know to read it so we can talk about its amazingness. The design of the book is hands down the coolest thing ever. It looks like a catalog, complete with an order form and item descriptions. IT'S SO FREAKING SMART! And then to take something so familiar, a place where I have spent an obscene amount of time - and turn it into a haunted house of sorts - it seriously became a horror store/story. I was not familiar with Hendrix before reading Horrorstör. But he lured me into the story, then had me trapped and begging for someone to turn the lights back on before I peed my pants in terror. I'm very impressed. I don't want to give anything away, but this book had me thinking very deep thoughts about society and consumerism and my own life and career choices. THIS BOOK HAS EVERYTHING. I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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