I don’t believe I have ever read anything quite like Horrorstör in my life. A comedy horror story set in a Cleveland, Ohio, outlet of Ikea knockoff Orsk, the book is your classic haunted house story, but set in a big box retail store.
The book itself is a thing of beautiful genius. Designed to look like the glossy catalogue of the Swedish flatpack giants both inside and out, each chapter is introduced with a new piece of Orsk furniture, starting with products you might actually find yourself tempted to buy, and scaling up to twisted horror versions of familiar home and office furniture as the story becomes more dark. It’s both masterful and hilarious, and really keeps the feel of the book going.
The story is also really great. It’s pacy, fun and fantastically written, meaning you’ll probably find yourself reading it in a single sitting, and then keeping the book forever because it’s so awesome to look at. The characters are well developed without being needlessly deep, and feel utterly and completely like the people you’ll find at your local Orsk equivalent.
There are the familiar horror tropes, and creepy haunted house elements, but presented against such a new background that they feel incredibly fresh.
Horrorstör also has the vibe of deep knowledge about flat pack furniture retailers. Either author Grady Hendrix used to work for Ikea or has spent a shocking amount of time there talking to staff, because he captures the vibe of the place perfectly. From the befuddling layout to the company ethos, this is a place that will be utterly familiar to anyone who has set foot in an Ikea.
If you are a horror fan – particularly if Evil Dead is more your thing than Saw – you’ll love this book. It’s unique, hilarious and wonderfully presented. It also would be a brilliant choice if you’ve started your Christmas shopping: for a fun, compelling and unexpected gift, we cannot recommend it enough.