Thursday, December 4, 2014

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

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.~

It's a traditional haunted house tale in a contemporary setting, perhaps just down the road from your house.  The benign, cookie cutter layout of the store in the daytime feels a little creepy once the customers leave and the main lights are turned off.  Corridors seem longer, displays feel menacing, and noises that are absent during the open hours find their way into every nook and cranny.  As a reader who has visited a similarly styled self-assemble furniture store, it is easy to let the familiar layout and products surround your mind's eye.  Cautiously follow the apathetic Amy, company man Basil and a handful of colourful and typical employees as they patrol the corridors and investigate the increasing strangeness. Delivered in a catalogue style book, Horrorstör includes product pages, order forms, employee files and company mottos.   Highly atmospheric and tense, with dashes of dry retail humour to keep you from attacking the shadows in your own home, Horrorstör delivers.  It also looks great on that coffee table you bought and assembled yourself.  You may want to keep your hex wrench handy.

At Orsk..
We never stop.
We never sleep.
And now we're in your home.

I love the gimmick of this novel. Designed to look like an Ikea catalogue, complete with a store floor plan, staged furniture arrangements, product pages and order sheet. 


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