Horrorstor: A Novel by Grady HendrixHorrorstor: A Novel by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstor: A Novel

byGrady Hendrix

Paperback | September 23, 2014

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Praise for the author: “National treasure Grady Hendrix follows his classic account of a haunted IKEA-like furniture showroom, Horrorstör (2014), with a nostalgia-soaked ghost story, My Best Friend’s Exorcism.”—The Wall Street Journal

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. It’s “a treat for fans of The Evil Dead or Zombieland, complete with affordable solutions for better living.”—Kirkus Reviews

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.
Grady Hendrix is a novelist and screenwriter based in New York City. His novels include Horrorstör, named one of the best books of 2014 by National Public Radio, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, for which the Wall Street Journal dubbed him “a national treasure.” The Bram Stoker Award-winning Paperbacks from Hell, his survey of outrageous...
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Title:Horrorstor: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.7 × 7.4 × 0.6 inPublished:September 23, 2014Publisher:Quirk BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1594745269

ISBN - 13:9781594745263

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Good! Something scary, thrilling but not completely unbelievable or over the top. It’s well executed and fantastically written! I can’t wait to read something else from this author. Characters were relatable, well put together and the story flow was compelling. Plus the cover art is by far the best I’ve ever seen!! Loved it!!!
Date published: 2018-05-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An entertaining read! This book was quite the adventure! While marketed as a horror novel I didn't actually find it that scary, BUT I don't get scared very easily so keep that in mind. First of all, I loved the design of the book. The chapter headings are set up like an actual store catalogue and just to make things more fun there were maps and all sorts of goodies added in. It made the book less scary to me but also a ton of fun to read. I found the first little bit to be kind of slow while the characters and settings were being introduced. I would have liked some more of the scary stuff early on because it ended up feeling just a little bit short. I did really enjoy all the references to working in retail and LOVED how the story ended. It's a book I''d easily recommend over and over.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Certainly Silly but Enjoyable Regardless If you've ever been to an Ikea you know it's an elaborate maze full of stuff EVERYWHERE. This is the sort of setting you find yourself in in Horrorstor. You'll meet all your favorite stereotypical co-workers there and have a good fright at the spooks and a good laugh at the campy-ness. Feels very much like a quality b-horror film.
Date published: 2018-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious Who Done It Yourself I got this book as a gift and have read it twice now, so good, so funny, so irreverent. The prose is so easy to read yet doesn't over simplify. I love this book and it's take on modern living, almost a companion piece to Fight Club in a way. Ikea looks good on the skewer. Read this book and laugh your butt off!
Date published: 2018-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A breath of fresh air for the genre Well, this was an absolute joy. The story was a reasonably standard haunted house story, but the presentation? the package? the writing? and the coolness of the horror elements? All top notch. The characters were totally real, whether they were the retail lifers, the manager that had drank the corporate juice and was all-in, or the one that had essentially been a failure and was almost to the point of believing this was all they were meant for. The dialogue and situations and backstories all rang completely true. And then there's the setting, the biggest character in this story, the Corporate American knockoff of Ikea. The way Hendrix uses all of the store's unique qualities raises this story well above most ofthers in the same vein. Absolutely a breath of fresh air.
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just a fun read! The look of this book alone is very cool. Ikea should take some ideas lol! The story itself is just a fun, great read. Grady brings back the fun and gruesome in the horror genre! Haunted mega store at its best....
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gruesome and unique First of all, the design of this book is amazing - it looks just like an Ikea catalogue. Each chapter even starts with an ad for a piece of furniture, although they get progressively more disturbing as the story goes on. Horrorstor is a ghost story; Orsk (an Ikea rip-off) is experiencing vandalism at night, and some of the staff decide to stay over to investigate. Cue gruesome craziness. Overall the story is solid, and it was really easy to picture the action. It would make a great movie, although I did feel like it ended a bit too quickly. A sequel would be awesome too!
Date published: 2017-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of the most unique books I've ever read I don't even like horror, but I picked this up because I worked in retail and could relate to the characters. The author is so creative from the book design (it's like an IKEA catalog!), to the general storyline, to the names of fake products.
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious... and gross Can't wait to read more stuff by this author like My best friend's exorcism.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Witty and Surprising This novel was witty, creative, and such a good social commentary. Also, the ending was quite surprising! Horrorstor tells the tale of woe which every retail worker is familiar with, including much needed commentary on capitalism and coupling this with a well executed ghost story. Highly recommended. Even if you do not typically read horror, you will find something to relate to in this frightening tale set in an Ikea-esque store where the main character is sick of the daily working grind.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun, creepy and suspenseful Loved this book. Read it in one sitting!
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really fun read If you love Horror, comedy, finding your own furniture, building it yourself and not having enough pieces then you'll love this book! Super fun read.
Date published: 2016-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Horrorstor A creepy story with great reread ability . Ever worked in retail? Then this is right up your alley. You will love all the twists and turns.
Date published: 2015-10-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Horror story/store It's a pity this fell victim to your typical run-of-the-mill horror clich?s - hundreds of hands reaching out of iron grates, rats swarming around, creepy crawlies of nightmares that come to haunt, fingernails pulled out in torture. "Horrorst?r" started off with a quirky introduction and took almost half the book laying some groundwork before things turned nasty for the characters (exciting for me). I was genuinely rattled at that point and was hoping it would keep up, but then it just descended into a weak plot using cheap scares ineffectively. That being said, it has a neat package that will surely entice people to pick it up and give it a go. It worked on me. Masquerading the novel as a furniture catalogue is ingenious, and having furniture descriptors and even an order form in it adds an authentic element. It ended on a pretty good note that left me wondering of a sequel. If it can get past any possible litigations, an adapted serialized production of "Horrorst?r" would be something I would watch, and as a book, it is a passable read as something quick and digestible.
Date published: 2014-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Just fun to read! My annual fall visit to a large flat pack furniture company with a Swedish sounding name (c'mon you know who I mean right?) is around the corner. When I saw the cover of Grady Hendrix's new book, Horrorst?r, I knew I absolutely had to read it. Things are happening in the night at the Orsk furniture store in Cleveland Ohio. When the staff arrives in the morning, there's broken glass to clean up, broken display furniture and some unmentionable smells and substances. And the staff are getting weird 'help' text messages on their phones. The security tapes don't show anything, but sales are down and corporate is concerned. So Basil, the new deputy store manager decides to stay in the store overnight to see if he can catch who is doing the damage. He enlists Amy, a partner with a bit of an attitude and cashier Ruth Ann, the nicest person in the store, to stay overnight with him. And what happens that night...... .....is something you're going to have to discover for yourself. I had so much fun reading this book - Hendrix clearly wrote it with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. The format is exactly like that unnamed store's catalogue - the furniture, names, descriptions and pictures preceding every chapter were just as much fun as the story. (I was quite amused by some of the colour choices available - night beech, snow and beaver oak) But what had me laughing was the 'corporate speak'. Having worked in a big box retail store in years gone by, I recognized much of it. Basil's quoting of policies and procedures as things go from bad to worse is just perfect. Hendrix's parodying of that other store is just perfect - the Bright and Shining Path that leads you through the shopping experience, the "Market Floor - also referred to as the 'open-wallet' area - designed to put customers under the maximum retail stress. The goal is to get them to open their wallets and buy something, even a light bulb, because once we crack their wallets, they will spend, on average $97 per visit." (Guilty) Okay so there's all that - but what is causing all the damage at night? Think Scooby Doo - without the dog and a little nastier.... I'll say it again - this was just plain fun to read! Is there a humourous horror genre? Any questions? Just Orsk!
Date published: 2014-10-08

Read from the Book

It was dawn, and the zombies were stumbling through the parking lot, streaming toward the massive beige box at the far end. Later they’d be resurrected by megadoses of Starbucks, but for now they were the barely living dead. Their causes of death differed: hangovers, nightmares, strung out from epic online gaming sessions, circadian rhythms broken by late-night TV, children who couldn’t stop crying, neighbors partying till 4 a.m., broken hearts, unpaid bills, roads not taken, sick dogs, deployed daughters, ailing parents, midnight ice cream binges.     But every morning, five days a week (seven during the holidays), they dragged themselves here, to the one thing in their lives that never changed, the one thing they could count on come rain, or shine, or dead pets, or divorce: work.     Orsk was the all-American furniture superstore in Scandinavian drag, offering well-designed lifestyles at below-Ikea prices, and its forward-thinking slogan promised “a better life for the everyone.” Especially for Orsk shareholders, who trekked to company headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, every year to hear how their chain of Ikea knockoff stores was earning big returns. Orsk promised customers “the everything they needed” in the every phase of their lives, from Balsak cradles to Gutevol rocking chairs. The only thing it didn’t offer was coffins. Yet.     Orsk was an enormous heart pumping 318 partners—228 full-time, 90 part-time—through its ventricles in a ceaseless circular flow. Every morning, floor partners poured in to swipe their IDs, power up their computers, and help customers size the perfect Knäbble cabinets, find the most comfortable Müskk beds, and source exactly the right Lågniå water glasses. Every afternoon, replenishment partners flowed in and restocked the Self-Service Warehouse, pulled the picks, refilled the impulse bins, and hauled pallets onto the Market Floor. It was a perfect system, precision-engineered to offer optimal retail functionality in all 112 Orsk locations across North America and in its thirty-eight locations around the world.     But on the first Thursday of June at 7:30 a.m., at Orsk Location #00108 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, this well-calibrated system came grinding to a halt.     The trouble started when the card reader next to the employee entrance gave up the ghost. Store partners arrived and piled up against the door in a confused chaotic crowd, helplessly waving their IDs over the scanner until Basil, the deputy store manager, appeared and directed them all to go around the side of the building to the customer entrance.     Customers entered Orsk through a towering two-story glass atrium and ascended an escalator to the second floor, where they began a walk of the labyrinthine Showroom floor designed to expose them to the Orsk lifestyle in the optimal manner, as determined by an army of interior designers, architects, and retail consultants. Only here was yet another problem: the escalator was running down instead of up. Floor partners shoved their way into the atrium and came to a baffled halt, unsure what to do next. IT partners jammed up behind them, followed by a swarm of post-sales partners, HR partners, and cart partners. Soon they were all packed in butt to gut and spilling out the double doors.      Amy spotted the human traffic jam from across the parking lot as she power-walked toward the crowd, a soggy cup of coffee leaking in one hand.      “Not now,” she thought. “Not today.”      She’d bought the coffee cup at the Speedway three weeks ago because it promised unlimited free refills and Amy needed to stretch her $1.49 as far as it would go. This was as far as it went. As she stared in dismay at the mass of partners, the bottom of her cup finally gave up and let go, dumping coffee all over her sneakers. Amy didn’t even notice. She knew that a crowd meant a problem, and a problem meant a manager, and this early in the day a manager meant Basil. She could not let Basil see her. Today she had to be Basil Invisible.     Matt lurked on the edge of the semicircle, dressed in his usual black hoodie. He was glumly eating an Egg McMuffin and squinting painfully in the morning sun.     “What happened?” Amy asked.     “They can’t open the prison, so we can’t do our time,” he said, picking crumbs from his enormous hipster beard.     “What about the employee entrance?”     “Busted.”     “So how do we clock in?”     “Don’t be in such a hurry,” Matt said, trying to suck a strand of cheese off the mass of hair surrounding his mouth. “There’s nothing waiting inside but retail slavery, endless exploitation, and personal subjugation to the whims of our corporate overlords.”     If Amy squinted, she could dimly see Basil’s tall, gawky silhouette through the front windows, trying to direct the human traffic jam by waving his spaghetti-noodle arms in the air. Getting even this close to him sent a cold bolt of fear through her stomach, but his back was turned. Maybe she had a chance.     “Good thoughts, Matt,” she said.     Seizing her moment, Amy ninjaed her way through the crowd, ducking behind backs, stepping on toes, and slipping into open spaces. She entered the atrium and was immediately enveloped in the soothing embrace of Orsk—where it was always the perfect temperature, where the rooms were always perfectly lit, where the piped-in music was always the perfect volume, where it was always perfectly calm. But this morning the air had an edge to it, the faint scent of something rancid.     “I didn’t think this escalator could run in reverse,” Basil was saying to an operations partner who was pounding on the emergency stop button to no effect. “Is this even mechanically possible?”     Amy didn’t stick around to find out. Her sole objective for the day—and for the next several days—was to avoid Basil at all costs. As long as he didn’t see her, she reasoned, he couldn’t fire her.

Editorial Reviews

“Horrorstör delivers a crisp terror-tale...[and] Hendrix strikes a nice balance between comedy and horror.”—Washington Post“...disarming...”—Wall Street Journal“...wildly fun and outrageously inventive...”—Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review“...Hendrix conjures up some wonderfully gruesome imagery...”—Nerdist   “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  “...a clever little horror story...the book starts as a Palahniuk-tinged satire about the things we own...turning the psychological manipulations and scripted experiences that are inherent to the retail experience into a sinister fight for survival. A treat for fans of The Evil Dead or Zombieland, complete with affordable solutions for better living.”—Kirkus Reviews“A very clever ghost story....the story is entertaining and the book itself is laid out like an Orsk catalog”—Booklist“A fun horror novel....Enjoyable....There is a fair amount of workplace humor, but the book...will deliver enough scares for horror fans as well.”—Library Journal  “...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“...Hendrix is an engaging writer...”—Santa Fe New Mexican