Horrorstör – Grady Hendrix

Orsk, an Ikea knockoff furniture store in Cleveland, seems to have a vandalism problem. When employees show up every morning for their shift, they find products in shambles as well as what appear to be bodily fluids left behind. Unable to catch the perpetrators on camera, a store manager and a small group of employees plan an overnight stakeout. What they find is certainly not what they expected, to say the least.

Like many of Hendrix’s books, he takes a meta approach by laying out the story in a format similar to what you would see in an Ikea catalog. I read this one on my Kindle, so there’s a bit lost in translation (the shape of the physical book and the full color photos are obviously absent), but the feeling is still there.

Horrorstör carries all the classic tropes of your standard haunted house story you’d find in the 40s or 50s, but puts them in a more familiar setting to the modern day reader. I loved how Hendrix began each chapter with photos of familiar Scandinavian-made furniture and as the story progressed, turned the chairs and beds you’d recognize into torture devices with eerily similar designs and names. It’s all very on the nose, but not in a cringey way.

I will say, as fun and insane as this was at times, I did find myself getting a little bored as I neared the conclusion. I had a harder time connecting with these characters, which isn’t something I’m used to with Hendrix’s work. I have a feeling Horrorstör won’t be front and centre in my mind after I’ve finished like much of the author’s work seems to be.

If I could go back, I think I’d rather had purchased this one or at the very least, borrowed the physical copy from the library. If you’re looking to start Grady’s bibliography, maybe save this one for later.

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