We all know that sometimes the typical retail experience can seem like a horrible, endless zombie movie come to life. But for the unfortunate team at ORSK, a monolithic furniture/lifestyle warehouse, this is no B-movie. Their big box of horrors was built on the site of a 19th century panopticon, run by a ruthless warden. And just because he and all his inmates mysteriously died a century ago, that doesn't mean his work is done here...
Hilariously presented in a faux catalog format, this is a page turner I read in one sitting. — Chris Linendoll
Take everything that people say about IKEA - stores you can get lost in, hard-to-assemble cheap furniture, making fun of the weird names - and make a full length horror novel from it. Might seem like it's a bit far to stretch the joke but Hendrix is up to the challenge with Horrorstör. While the characters and plot are good (not great), the trappings really make the experience of reading the book. Formatted to look like an IKEA catalog - to the point where a passerby legitimately thought I was reading one - each chapter is preceded by a spot-on product illustration of something in that chapter. It starts innocently enough with Liripip wardrobes and Brooka sofas, but as the story turns these give way to things like the more sinister Jodlöpp "helmet" and Bodavest office chair... complete with full-body restraint system. (It also apes IKEA's hallmark use of the Futura typeface, my personal favorite, because I am the type to have a personal favorite typeface.)
Combine these immersive elements with a story and cast of characters with just enough to say on the nature of soul-crushing retail jobs, and you've got enough for an enjoyable read with just a bit of hesitation left over to maybe put off your next IKEA trip.
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.
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.
About the Author
Grady Hendrix is a novelist and screenwriter based in New York City. He is the author of Horrorstör, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Paperbacks from Hell, and We Sold Our Souls, all of which received critical praise from outlets including NPR, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the A.V. Club, Paste, Buzzfeed, and more. He has contributed to Playboy, The Village Voice, and Variety.
“Horrorstör delivers a crisp terror-tale...[and] Hendrix strikes a nice balance between comedy and horror.”—TheWashington Post
“Disarming.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Hendrix conjures up some wonderfully gruesome imagery.”—Nerdist
“An inventive, hilarious haunted house tale.”—Bustle
“Hendrix’s one-of-a-kind novel is an innovative hybrid of ghost story and satire, at once clever, gruesome, and hilarious.”—Amazon Book Review
“If you’ve ever been frustrated trying to put together furniture from IKEA, you’ll get a laugh out of Hendrix’s spoof mystery.”—New York Post
“Wildly fun and outrageously inventive.”—Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review
“If you see me in the wild and I'm reading a book that was written by Grady Hendrix, interrupt me at your own peril.”—Sarah Gailey, Hugo-Award winning author of Magic for Liars
“Hendrix is an engaging writer.”—Santa Fe New Mexican
“A clever little horror story...[and] a treat for fans of The Evil Deador Zombieland, complete with affordable solutions for better living.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A fun horror novel.”—Library Journal
“A very clever ghost story.”—Booklist
“The book’s packaging as a catalog—complete with illustrations of increasingly sinister-looking furniture with faux Scandinavian names—gives it a charmingly oddball allure.”—Publishers Weekly Praise for My Best Friend’s Exorcism: “National treasure Grady Hendrix follows his classic account of a haunted IKEA-like furniture showroom, Horrorstor (2014), with a nostalgia-soaked ghost story, My Best Friend’s Exorcism.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Take The Exorcist, add some hair spray and wine coolers, and enroll it in high school in 1988—that’ll give you My Best Friend’s Exorcism...Campy. Heartfelt. Horrifying.”—Minnesota Public Radio “Clever, heartfelt, and get-under-your-skin unnerving.”—Fangoria
“A touching story of high school friendship and, well, demonic possession.”—Bloody Disgusting
“Terrific...Sharply written...[My Best Friend’s Exorcism] makes a convincing case for [Hendrix’s] powers as a sharp observer of human behavior, filtered through a fun genre conceit that doesn’t skimp on the spooky—or the bodily fluids.”—The A.V. Club
Praise for Paperbacks from Hell: “Pure, demented delight.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Paperbacks fromHellis as funny as it is engaging.”—The Washington Post
“The book is a true appreciation of the genre.”—Los Angeles Times
“Paperbacks from Hell is as wild as its source material.”—The A.V. Club
“Just thumbing through these pages will bring back your youth— and terrify you all over again.”—Newsday
Praise for We Sold Our Souls: An NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour Pick An io9 2018 Fall Preview Pick
“Kickass, horrifying, and smart as hell. It certainly earns my two horns up.”—Dread Central
“Wild and fun, genuinely terrifying in places, and also somehow heartfelt.”—Tor.com
“A fast-paced ride, firmly rooted in the pulp horror tradition…Hendrix’s darkest novel yet will leave readers begging for an encore.”—Booklist, starred review
“Hendrix's pulpy love letter to heavy metal music is a gloriously over-the-top scare fest that has hidden depths. Readers will root for Kris all the way to the explosive, poignant finale.”—Publishers Weekly
“Horror and humor play off each other in a delicate dance.”—Nightmare Magazine