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Strange things are happening at Orsk, an Ikea knockoff store in Ohio. When the store closes, the cameras automatically shut off so in order to investigate some employees have to work a night shift.
What a strange, strange concept. I was expecting a terrifying read with a possibly super twisted ghost or monster story, but got a very gory, very unsettling read that is more reminiscent of a Supernatural episode than an actual horror novel.
More parody than horror
You can't review this novel without appreciating the formatting. The design is phenomenal. If you put this book next to an Ikea catalog, you'll end up accidentally grabbing the wrong book eventually. It's so convincing, so beautiful, and just perfectly illustrated. As for the story, I'm disappointed. I expected too much, probably went in with the expectation to read a horror novel when it's more of a satirical ghost story. Not even a ghost story to be honest, the focus is heavily on ridiculing retail stores and their philosophies. It's entertaining, but to me the potential got pretty much wasted.
For everyone who reads a lot of horror it's obvious what will happen and there is more gore than actual horror. I'm all for spine-tingling reads that make you want to sleep with the lights on, but "Horrorstör" is definitely not that. Regardless, it's a decent read, simply not what I was looking for.
I didn't really connect to the narrative firstly because the characters aren't that important to the story. It's told from a mix between omniscient and character-centric narration, focusing mainly on Amy, an employee that thinks she's in a dead-end job and just waiting to be transferred into a different store when the hauntings start. Hendrix only draws the side characters very roughly and none of them get an actual ending, making the book end on a very weird note that just left me unsatisfied.
There are a couple of super interesting characters. From the ghost fanatic Amy to Matt who's pretending to be into ghosts just to get into Amy's pants, to the store manager Basil who's convinced to do the right thing always, to Ruth Anne, the sweetheart who's been working at Orsk forever, whom you just have to love. There is just so much wasted potential and because the whole thing doesn't get resolved and the hauntings are just sort of happening, I was bored very quickly. Not a fan of gore either, so this one is just not for me.
Overall: Do I Recommend?
If you're looking for something fun and don't mind graphic descriptions of disgusting things and bodily fluids - go ahead. This isn't a horror novel per se. If you want to have a good chuckle about the peculiarities of working in retail, pick it up! If you're looking for an actual horror read, you might want to skip this one.
Genre: Adult / Horror
"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."(Source: Goodreads)