Do you remember Eric? My Internet boyfriend in publishing? The one who sends me books that I read and then send you all flocking to Amazon to purchase? Well, he struck again.
This time he sent me one that has prevented a decent night's sleep since I finished it. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix is a strange mix of Ikea knock-off catalog, workplace satire, and haunted house ghost story.
According to the Quirk Books website, "Something strange is happening at the Cuyahoga location of Orsk, the all-American furniture superstore in Scandinavian drag whose forward-thinking slogan promises 'a better life for everyone.' Each morning, employes arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans glassware, and vandalized Liripip wardrobes- clearly, someone or something is up to no good. To unravel the mystery, five employees are to spend a long dusk-till-dawn shift at the store, unaware of the darkness that awaits them."
The day it came in the mail I had to have my eyes dilated so I only got through about 1 chapter before having to give up what with all the light and movement and me looking like something out of a Japanese horror movie. Now I think it may have been a premonition.
This is one of those books that I really wanted to quit reading but couldn't. From the first, the layout of the catalog/novel intrigued me. Shopping while reading? Yes, please. But flipping through the illustrations quickly left me feeling a bit uneasy. Something just wasn't right, so I dove in and couldn't put it down. Heebie-jeebies abounded. And to be entirely honest there were about 2 pages I had to skim to keep from gagging (just remembering those pages makes my gorge rise).
The setting was meticulously mapped out (including an actual map which was a godsend for people visually inclined like yours truly). The characters were all relatable if often irritating- much like the people we all work with. The story was intriguing and unsettling. The illustrations, doubly so. The end result? I have never and now will never set foot in an Ikea (or Orsk, should they ever come into actual existence).
While Horrostor is available from Amazon for your e-reader, I highly suggest picking this one up in the physical form. The book hits shelves on September 23rd but is available for pre-order now.