A terrifically clever premise for a comedy horror, Grady Hendrix’s debut novel imagines an Orsk store (think IKEA knockoff) as literal as well as figurative hell.
Minimum wage is not enough to deal with malevolent ghosts as well as the usual difficult customers.
This is the second Hendrix book I’ve read (The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires being the first), and I had a very similar experience with reading Horrorstör as I did his vampire novel.
What I loved was the premise. I’ve only been to IKEA once, and I didn’t need to encounter any demonic entities to convince me never to return. It’s a setting that begs to be turned into a horror novel, and the author takes full advantage of the Swedish store’s weird naming convention to give Orsk’s furniture a plethora of funny titles.
The novel’s Orsk store is staffed by a mixture of eccentric and lovable characters that would easily populate a favorite B movie horror comedy. In fact, I’m surprised this novel hasn’t already been turned into a movie or tv show. It seems ripe for adaptation.
Hendrix has a fast paced, easy to read writing style that pulls you into the book and holds your interest.
Unfortunately, I found the novel to be style over substance. The characters, while promising, never transitioned from quirky personality to human being I felt emotionally invested in. The main plot had some major flaws, so while the idea of a haunted mega store was genius, the reason behind it left me feeling a bit meh.
I award Horrorstör…