A REVIEW FROM MY COMMUTE: Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

My commute to work is 10 minutes long. Not a long time, but it’s empty time. Time I could be spent doing something. And that new thing is listening to audio books.

The first one I checked out of my local library isn’t something I would have likely picked up but a cute guy, (in truth, the boyfriend), picked it up and shoved it under my nose. I think he may have been trying to joke with me, but after reading the premise my interest was certainly piqued…

horrorstor_final_300dpiSomething 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.

It’s true…

Horror Happens in Every FlatPack

If you’ve ever had to put together flatpack furniture from IKEA or JYSK, you know the feeling. The simplicity of the design is overwhelmed by the difficulty of the actual assembly. You inevitably end up asking yourself if they could have made the instructions any more ambiguous and the special tool always gets lost about halfway through resulting in the frantic search of the floor now strewn with oddly shaped pieces of wood, screws, wooden pegs, strange metal pieces that you have to seat in the pre-carved circular indentations, and an inquisitive cat looking to test if it really has 9 lives… The 30 minute project turns into a daunting all day gauntlet of a task sure to test the strength of any relationship as well as the boundaries of sanity.

This is where Horrorstör and ORSK come in. The seemingly innocuous shopping experience replete with a bright and shiny path and box upon box of flatpack furniture, ORSK is something altogether different. When strange occurrences start happening overnight, manager Basil is certain someone is breaking in, and in an effort to stem the damage to store property, he’s been tasked with staying the night to discover who it is. Along for the ride are Amy, a sarcastic store partner looking for a cushy desk job and RuthAnn, a 14 year veteran of ORSK loved by everyone. But what does ORSK have waiting for them once all the customers and store partners have left?

The answer is nothing good…

The audio book was well done – heck, it kept me listening to the point that I’d leave a few minutes early just to get some extra time to find out what happened. Tai Sammons did an excellent job telling the story and Bronson Pinchot was eerily fantastic as the voice of ORSK. Each chapter started off with what could only be described as an advertisement for the products of ORSK and as the plot got deeper, each one got more sinister.

The plot flowed easily and quickly, with just enough set up to give you what you needed to understand the characters—the biggest character being the store itself. As with all horror stories, there is a level of disbelief that must be suspended but I honestly don’t feel that detracts from a well crafted tale. And this certainly is one.

If you’re looking for something dark and a little reminiscent of your last trip to IKEA, minus the penitents of course, take a chance on Horrorstör. Just make sure you have your magic tool ready to help you out of any problems you may run into.

My rating: 4.5 tanks of gasoline out of 5

(because I drive to work)

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