Halloween Reads: Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstor, Grady Hendrix, horror, IKEA, Orsk, ghost story, Halloween, spooky reads, book review

How cool is this book? I love the concept of a horror story set in an IKEA-like store! And in case you’re left with any doubts about which furniture store it’s based on, the book itself is designed to look like an IKEA brochure with each chapter featuring IKEA-style pieces of furniture that gradually grow more macabre as the book progresses along.

Amy (who for some reason I imagine to look something like Lizzy Caplan in Mean Girls) hasn’t had much luck in life. Lack of funds has forced her to drop out of college, she just failed a test that would allow her to get a new promotion and she’s way behind on her rent. On top of that, she’s worried she might get fired from her job at Orsk, the furniture store chain which is basically a knock-off of IKEA. Plus, she really doesn’t like her new manager Basil.

So when Basil pulls her into the ‘motivation room’ for a meeting, she expects she’s going to get fired. But instead what Basil wants is for Amy and another workmate, Ruth-Anne, to stay overnight at the store with him. Orsk has been experiencing mysterious vandalisms lately and the security cameras haven’t been able to catch anything. Upper management aren’t happy and Basil wants to catch the culprits before headquarters sends a team to check things out.

As you can guess, things don’t go well on this new overnight shift.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I like the originality of the concept and and how much Orsk mirrors IKEA. Everyone always talk about how cool it would be to spend a night in IKEA but now after reading this book, I find myself thinking, ‘Eek – no!” There’s lots of creepy, suspenseful moments as we progress through the book and find out exactly what’s wrong with Orsk, moments where you’re on the edge of your seat and whimpering, “No, no, don’t go there!” The characters are all also quite likeable and well-developed and I was definitely rooting for them all to get out of Orsk alive. But do they? You’ll have to read this book to find out…

Horrorstör is a great fast-paced read scattered through with some fun sarcasm and (slightly/somewhat mocking) ode to IKEA. I don’t know if IKEA bosses like the idea of a horror story set in a furniture chain based on their stores, but I think it would be awesome if they sold this story in their shops! Also, not sure if the movie rights have been sold yet, but I imagine they would have been because I sure as hell can see this being made into a great horror film.

P.S. if you’ve done reading Horrorstör and decide you can’t get enough of IKEA horror, check out China Mieville’s short story collection, Looking for Jake. My favourite  story in this volume is The Ball Room, which centres around the strange and terrifying going-ons in the bright cheerful play area in a furniture chain store similar to  – guess which store?
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