Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Book Review: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

From Goodreads:
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds. Clearly, someone or something is up to no good.

To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new 21st century economy.

A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it!
Well done, Grady Hendrix!  I was such a fan of this book that I read it in one sitting.  The concept itself deserves tons of praise, but I'm going to focus on that more in my entertainment value portion.  As far as the writing is concerned, I think Hendrix did a great job of creating believable characters.  If you've ever worked in retail, you've probably met someone just like each of the characters in the book.  And they're all sympathetic, if deeply flawed.  It's well paced and engrossing, but entertainment value is where this really shines.

Entertainment Value
So this book is unlike any I've read before in terms of how it's laid out.  It's set up like an Ikea catalog, which is apt because the book is set in an Ikea-like store.  Each chapter is prefaced with a catalog blueprint of a piece of furniture, but the pieces become increasingly creepy as the novel progresses.

The story itself is as unique as the format, a modern take on a haunted house story with elements of B-grade horror movies throughout.  I read it in one sitting because I had to know the ending and it was just that good.  A totally appropriate use of a chilly fall evening.

Yes, yes, yes!  Also, there's a perfect setup for a sequel (although it also reads like a completed story) and I'll be super disappointed if it doesn't happen.  It's absolutely delightful to read, but also creepy enough to give a fun scare or two.  I read it with Dexter next to my bed for protection.  This is really the perfect fall book, especially as Halloween approaches and I highly recommend giving it a try.  I recommend holding out for a print copy though - I don't think it would have had the same effect in e-book format and definitely not in audio.

Thanks to Eric Smith at Quirk Books for sending me a copy to review!  

1 comment:

  1. I've heard good things about this book and your review just makes me want to read it even more... but I'm moving soon and will need a trip to IKEA so I don't want to be too scared when I go! I think I'll buy it and put it away until after I've been homeware shopping.