by Grady Hendrix

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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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594747274
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Publication date: 09/23/2014
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 108,339
File size: 18 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

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 horror novels of the 1970s and 80s, was called “pure, demented delight” by the New York Times Book Review. He’s contributed to PlayboyThe Village Voice, and Variety.

Read an Excerpt

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?”
     “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.

Customer Reviews

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Horrorstor 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would definitely recommend this book. It started off so innocently, with a slightly creepy tone. Then BAM! Everything escalated so quickly I couldn't put the book down. I loved everything about it, from the vivid imagery to the creative format of the book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic haunted house story set in an Ikea rip off store. Awesome. Not so patiently awaiting the sequel.
sensu28 More than 1 year ago
This book begins as a benign send-up of Ikea-like products and mission statement. It then moves on to be a very focused satire both on Ikea and paranormal reality shows. While the book’s illustrations become more threatening as the book progresses, they do not exceed PG-13 level. However, be warned there is very descriptive violence, While any reader can enjoy this book, for full enjoyment I recommend a field trip to any Ikea or Bed and Bath-type warehouse store before reading. The field trip will enhance enjoyment of this book.
AudiobookReviewer More than 1 year ago
This starts out inconspicuously. Strange things are happening in the store, but it seems like vandalism. Not a huge deal until Amy is asked to babysit the store overnight. The store that she really does not even like working for and she will not have any rest before this venture so this may be babysitting on no sleep. She gets talked into it although she really would prefer to be selfish. Her boss explains that they do not have anyone else and he really doesn't want to call in the calvary and make things worse for the store. It takes a bit to get into but the story is somehow so interesting that I did not want to stop listening. It's intriguing and made me wonder, especially with the title, when the horror was really going to start. Right at the beginning there are some weird things going on but nothing horrific. Just stuff that leaves Amy curious, and me too! The real horror never truly shows up but there is a comedy to the horror that reminded me of the old '80's movie House. It's like House and Ikea had a baby! It was fun in the idea that there is this massively creepy thing going on in this store that is a knockoff of Ikea but no one knows just where the creepiness is coming from. Grady Hendrix is able to offer the creep in bits and pieces, reeling the reader in. It was almost as if the words were the score and as the tempo increased so did the feeling of unease. And still I had no idea why I was uneasy! There is a little bit of horror and some gore but as I said above, it's more the House hilarious creepy than full on horror. Still, it is entertaining and somehow really interesting. The plot and characters kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The narration was very well done. Tai Sammons, Bronson Pinchot both did a great job. I am glad with so many characters, that there is more than one narrator. The voices can get lost in the mix but in this case I was able to tell the difference between the different characters. The production was also very well done and easy to hear and understand. Even at the end when there is a lot more going on. The only downside was with the main character Amy, the narration can get a little bland. This does go right with Amy's characteristics though, so I'm sure this was probably done on purpose. The best part was that I did not even come close to pegging this story. I had some things in mind that I just knew were going to be correct in the end, and I was completely off! Even though I was thrown a little I really enjoyed how this ended. It left it open for another which I would not hesitate to read! Audiobook purchased for review by the Publisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the first part of the book dealing with the Ikea mentality more than the actual horror part that filled the second half of the book. It just didn't grab me. It wasn't scary at all. Not what I expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very quick read that nonetheless manages to be very chilling! Especially delightful if you are (or have ever been) a corporate retail slave.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uniquely scary. Very good read. I highly recommend.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
Horrorstor, is a great concept, but it fails to deliver the big scare. The writing is great and really makes you feel like you're part of the story, and the characters are interesting, but it takes an awful long time to get going. Once it does it’s a blast but that part is really only the last 40% or so. If you’re looking for a lighter book to get you in the Halloween frame of mind, or just want to talk your significant other out of going to Ikea then give this a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truely a great read. Very engaging and quick moving. I wish it was formatted for ereaders though. On my nook you couldnt see any of the maps, diagrams or extras.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you've ever been in an Ikea store then you'll have no trouble envisioning the setting and will definitely find yourself immersed and looking over your shoulder
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very Enjoyable. Great fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scary, funny and moving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying i read this in less than a day; its a fun, creepy easy read thatll forever change your perception of an ikea store!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this Very different kind of story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun read with real moments of suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an easy read. Not terribly graphic. PG13 1 day read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The concept and satire of this book drew me in. In that department it excels but other than that I didn't really feel this book delivered. The characters felt like your typical archetypes and came across rather flat. There wasn't enough build up to the "jumping off point" and read very rushed to get to the action. Some of the descriptive text was heavy handed and the internal monologue was over done as well. All in all it felt like it missed the mark and would be a direct to DVD movie you would watch on Netflix because it looked "dark and disturbing" and when you were done you say "eh."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quick nasty little parable about corporate drudgery with a side of The Evil Dead.
BookLover37CR More than 1 year ago
The sample intro seemed interesting, but once I bought the book and got into the guts of it it got a bit too silly for me - a handcuffed séance?? The pictures/intro to each chapter were creative, but overall the story was a little too out there for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago