That feeling you get from exploring a good story. A bookish podcast discussing and reviewing books and films as I journey through my ever growing TBR backlog and watchlist.

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

A simple overnight shift in a big box store to catch whoever is vandalizing Orsk should be an easy gig. Especially when the boss is offering to pay her in cash and she’s in dire need of money. So Amy takes her boss, Basil, up on the bonus shift and plans on an easy night. But when mysterious things start to happen, Amy finds herself at the precipice of a living nightmare. A nightmare leaving her unsure if any of them will leave Orsk alive in the morning. It’s a great premise, but is it an enjoyable story?

Title: Horrorstör
Published: 09/23/2014
Categories: ,
When Amy and Ruth Anne are asked to work an "off the books" overnight with some hefty cash overtime pay by their boss Basil, they decide this annoying task is worth the cash. Looking for vandals presumed to be hiding out in the store, things quickly go sideways as it's revealed that their store, Orsk, unknowingly harbors a dark secret.

I’ve seen this book on the shelves of the bookstores more than a few times and much like with My Best Friend’s Exorcism, have often thought about grabbing it. While I listened to this in audiobook version via Audible, I still wish that I had maybe picked up a physical copy of this one due to it’s brilliant parody of an Ikea catalog.

Alas, it was audiobook only for me… and it was STILL a lot of fun.

With a fairly standard, though slightly different, take on the cursed ground/ancient burial ground trope, Hendrix delivers a punchy romp through the scary as he transforms Orsk(his Ikea knock-off) into a haunted playground.

In many ways this is a sort of coming of age/becoming an adult story wrapped in the envelope of a more traditional haunted location trope, as we see Amy come to terms with the fact she’s stuck working shitty retail jobs she hates that aren’t leading her anywhere. Not to mention that SHE doesn’t even know WHERE she wants to go.

With plenty of fun horror scare moments, from secret doors opening where there should be none, to mysterious vandalism seemingly appearing out of thin air, to even areas of the store that were shiny and new just an hour previous now appearing to be long forgotten and falling into disrepair.

Oh and someone or something keeps shitting on the fancy couches and the cleaning crews aren’t happy to have to clean up THAT mess every morning before the store opens.

This is just my second foray into the worlds of Grady Hendrix and I’m quickly becoming a big fan. He has an approach to telling a horror tale that is at once refreshing and familiar. Much like your favorite slasher/horror films from the late 80’s and early 90’s, they bring a perfect blend of horror and “jump scares”(whatever the book/written word equivalent of that would be) as well as just the right amount of easy humor that serves to keep the story feeling light-hearted… if you can call a horror story light-hearted.

Focusing on a core group of five characters trapped within this store we get a fast paced tale that doesn’t take itself too seriously and knows what it’s meant to be and doesn’t try to be anything it isn’t.

What is it?

Good old fashioned popcorn slasher movie fun.

The perfect type of book to sneak in between longer books you may be working through that seems tailor made to leave you smiling by the end, even in the face of the actual horrors taking place in the story.

While it’s not going to blow anyone away as a literary masterpiece, it also doesn’t try or need to. If you grew up loving classic horror/slasher films from the 90’s such as Scream or Final Destination, then you’re going to have fun with this one. It makes me want to explore more of Grady Hendrix’s work going forward as he’s quickly edging closer to being an “auto-buy” author for me.

It’s comfort food for the horror lovers soul, a refreshing and light-hearted blast of terror that will leave you smiling long after the last pages.

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix gets 4/5 stars

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