Review: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

February 15, 2015 3 stars, Book Review 9 ★★★

Review: Horrorstor by Grady HendrixHorrorstor by Grady Hendrix
Published by Quirk on September 23, 2014
Genres: Comedy, Horror
Pages: 254
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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, "Horrorstor "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."


Though Horrorstor is a really unique premise, I wasn’t all that impressed with the ending. I almost wish that they kept the humor throughout the book instead of going straight into horror half-way.

We’ve got Amy and Ruth working at ORSK, which is another name for IKEA (y’know, the one with all the beautiful catalogues of what your house could look like but never will). They’re the main characters who work for Basil, their supervisor, who thinks that someone’s been breaking into the store and messing shit up. He asks them to stay late to find the culprit by bribing them with extra overtime pay. Amy needs the mula and Ruth is too sweet to say no.

The beginning is actually my favorite because I think that anyone who’s worked in retail before can relate to all these characters and how much shit you have to go through with little pay. I couldn’t resist the memes because these are the kind of jokes you’ll find:

And my personal favorite since I worked in Softlines:

Also, this bothered the hell out of me:

Anyway, back to the review. I like the fact that the characters are pretty dynamic and you’ll see them change a lot in the story. You’ll warm up to others and be more tolerant of the annoying ones. I always like seeing change and growth and that’s here. About half-way through the horror comes into play.

You see ORSK is actually built on a prison, so two other employees named Trinity and Matt are paranormal researchers (aka. Ghost hunters) on a mission to find some ghost on footage so they can send it to the Bravo network (NOT A&E, that’s important for some reason). In a seance gone wrong, along with finding a hobo amongst their midst, these crazy characters are in for the devilish ride of their lives known as the “Beehive” (a place within the ORSK–otherwise known as the deep pits of hell). However, I’m a big horror fan and though there were some creepy moments, I didn’t find it all that thrilling. That’s just me though since a lot of people found this to be a pleasurable read.

Honestly, if it had more satire and kept it humorous all the way, I probably would have rated higher. The horror was OTT and kind of ruined a good thing it had going in the beginning with the subtlety of creepiness and mystery.

9 Responses to “Review: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix”

  1. Kel @ Booked til Tuesday

    Ah, the glamorous world of retail! It’s a shame the book didn’t keep it humorous til the end. That’s the only way anyone survives retail.

    (And I totally get the song repeats. For a while, the place I was at only had a 5-CD machine. To this day, I can’t listen to certain Michael Buble songs.)

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I was also a bit surprised at the turn for pure horror. When I picked this book up I really thought it was more of a humor/satire and that was still my belief for the first half of the book. Instead of enjoying it less though, I think the OTT horror actually made me like it more. I’m a big fan of “haunted house” stories and a haunted retail big box store was a nice twist on the idea.
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Graphic Novel Review BitesMy Profile

  3. Danya @ Fine Print

    I did a brief stint in retail, and the number one thing I learned while doing it was how awful it is working in retail…and how tough you have to be to do it long-term. I was not that tough. Library employee for life!

    It sucks that this wasn’t a home run for you. The blend of horror and satire sounds appealing, but I can see how it would be difficult to strike the right balance between the two styles. I’m definitely more of a humour fan than a horror lover, so maybe I should skip this one. Hopefully your next read is better!
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet MarillierMy Profile