Adult, book review

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix (Review)

13129925Title: Horrorstör
Author: Grady Hendrix
Type: Fiction
Genre: Adult, Horror, Humour, Mystery
Imprint: Quirk Books
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Date published: September 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 248
Source: Publisher


A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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.)

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I read one of Grady Hendrix’s other novels, My Best Friend’s Exorcism this past summer, and loved it (I loved the tone, the plot, the setting, etc. etc. You can read more about my gushing in my review on the book here). I also read Hendrix’s most recent release, Paperbacks from Hell, a nonfiction book which discusses a collection of horror paperbacks from the 70s and 80s, and it took really had a uniquely Hendrix tone to it as well (and you can read my review here).

Horrorstör 1Before I go on to discuss Horrorstör, I just quickly want to explain what I mean by “uniquely Hendrix tone,” (especially for those of you who have not read any of Hendrix’s books before). Grady Hendrix has a very quirky sense of humour, which I love. He write horror books, but also makes a parody of horror in those same books! So, you can expect to have your skin crawling with goosebumps from creepiness one moment, and burst out laughing, or stare widely at Hendrix’s creativity the next. I am quite a baby when it comes to horror, and have a hard time sleeping after watching some of the super scary ones like The Conjuring. But I read both My Best Friend’s Exorcism and Horrorstör even at night time, and in the dark with nothing but a light from my cellphone, and slept just fine.

Horrorstör 2Ok, now back to just Horrorstör. I firstly want to say that I think setting this book in a haunted Ikea knockoff store is so creative. I have never read a book like this before, and it really just felt very fresh. The exterior of the book is just as creative, as it is shaped and formatted like an IKEA catalogue! In fact, I’ve had multiple people ask me why I was so intently reading from an IKEA catalogue, before they took a closer look at the cover, haha. The interior has some neat illustrations and blurbs as well, which I really enjoyed. This was a perfect read for the days leading up to Halloween, and also Halloween night itself.

Horrorstör 3That night, my boyfriend and I went to the in-laws (as I call them, because it’s easier than saying “my boyfriend’s family’s house” haha), and I remember feeling super cozy sitting with my sister and mother-in-law, watching The Thing on TV, while little kids came trick-or-treating to the door, and I distractedly read from Horrorstör. It was exactly the kind of fiction that I was on the mood for that Halloween night, and exactly the type of horror that I tend to enjoy. I suppose it’s similar for me with horror books, as it is with horror movies; I’ve always preferred bloody slasher movies to movies about possession, or creepy little kids (to list some examples).

I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy humour mixed with horror, who like reading things that are unique and out of the norm, and also those who do not normally enjoy horror due to the scary factor, because Hendrix’s books are not that scary, but just spooky enough to make you shiver just a little.

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Grady Hendrix is the author of “Horrorstör” the only novel about a haunted Scandinavian furniture superstore you’ll ever need. It has been translated into 14 languages and is being made into a TV show by Gail Berman (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Charlie Kaufman (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), and Josh Schwartz (“Gossip Girl”). His next novel, “My Best Friend’s Exorcism,” is about demonic possession, friendship, exorcism, and the Eighties. It’s out from Quirk Books since May, 2016. His stories about UFO cults, killer Chinese parasites, Cthulhu dating your mom, and super-genius human-hating apes have appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Strange Horizons, Pseudopod, and “The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination.” He’s co-author (along with his wife) of the award-winning “Dirt Candy: A Cookbook,” the world’s first graphic novel cookbook.

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14 thoughts on “Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix (Review)

  1. This sounds really good. I love books about hauntings, and I love ones that incorporate humor into it even more! Great review, thanks for sharing!

    1. Yay, so you’ll probably really enjoy this one! Just a heads up though, there are some graphic parts haha. Also, thank you for your kinds words, and thank you for reading!

      1. Thanks for the heads up! This won’t be something I’ll read at night, then. :p I’m okay with reading graphic stuff, but reading it too close to bed unsettles me, for some reason.

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