Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstör by Grady HendrixHorrorstör by Grady Hendrix
Illustrator: Michael Rogalski
Published by Quirk on September 23, 2014
Pages: 248
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
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three-stars

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

 

Horrorstör is a haunted house story delivered in an imaginative layout: a retail catalog. Employees at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio have been arriving each morning to find their store has been vandalized…but security tapes show nothing. Five young employees stay in the store overnight to figure out what has been happening.

Anyone who has worked an hourly job, especially in retail, will pick up on the satire and social commentary wrapped up in this book. It’s delivered in an odd but lighthearted way. At first, the story taps into the fun aspects of campfire ghost stories and slumber party seances. Then it starts to get psychologically scary. Kind of Blair Witch meets Ikea knock-off.

Unfortunately, once the initial novelty wore off the book didn’t continue to captivate me as it did at first. I started to feel like I was watching a campy B-movie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just wanted the psychological thrill to continue. Instead, the gimmick wore thin and the satire started to seem a little too deliberately placed.

If you’re looking for a truly scary story, maybe skip this one. But if you’re looking for a fun ghost story, this will certainly deliver, and its unique layout is icing on the cake.

 

three-stars