HORRORSTOR | GRADY HENDRIX

 

Hello everyone!

Do you ever get dragged to certain stores and think that this place is hell! Well, so does Grady Hendrix! In fact, he wrote a whole book about it, and let me tell you, that famous store will never look the same again! 

ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör is designed to retain its luster and natural appearance for a lifetime of use. Pleasingly proportioned with generous French flaps and a softcover binding, Horrorstör delivers the psychological terror you need in the elegant package you deserve.

Designed by Andie Reid, cover photography by Christine Ferrara.

 

Grady Hendrix is one of those names for me that I have been meaning to get to for a while, so I started with this one.

Horrostor is Grady Hendrix’s first novel and is set in the retail world of Orsk, a store that is reminiscent of certain Scandinavian furniture/lifestyle outlets that incidentally sell meatballs.

The story is set in a particular outlet in Cleveland where there has been a series of uncanny experiences. Products vandalised, peculiarly foul-smelling substances daubed on sofas, and strange graffiti in the toilet.

Amy, a disillusioned slacker who hates her job, and employee superstar Rita Mae are sequestered by their obsequious supervisor, Basil to work a night shift to get to the bottom of these incidents before the top brass come to investigate.

Initially Amy does not want to participate in the venture, but the offer of a transfer and cash in hand that could definitely help with her debts, she reluctantly agrees.

In the dead of night, they patrol the shop floor, coming across nothing so sinister as Matt and Tiffany, who wanting to be the next reality show ghost hunters, have broken into the store after reading that there was some kind of hellish penitentiary originally on the land that disappeared, and a homeless guy called Karl, who has been sleeping in the store.

Believing that they have found the culprits, they are not prepared for the nightmare they are about to endure.

Mixing a haunted house story that is quite reminiscent of Poltergeist and biting satire of the psychology of the retail world, Grady Hendrix delivers a story that is both funny and in parts quite horrific, and successfully manages to combine the two.

In ways the book reminded me of Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop, with its acid dripped adverts that illuminate the inanities of the world, and as the story progresses, these adverts become progressively more sinister.

I enjoyed the twist on the haunted house trope and Gardy Hendrix masterfully instils that creeping horror that finally turns into an over-the-top terror fest with ghostly prisoners and insane spectral wardens reaching from beyond the grave to meter out punishments to the penitents.

I really enjoyed this introduction to Grady Hendrix’s madcap brand of horror, but I do have one complaint that really got under my skin. This revolved around the dialogue, well in particular the use of dialogue tags. I found them extremely repetitive and totally unimaginative to the point where it got me rolling my eyes each time I came across it. The tags always revolved around ‘he said, she said, Matt said, Rita Mae said’ and never really moved on from that vein. Hendirx uses some quite clipped, staccato style dialogue during the character’s interactions, especially during action sequences and this stuck out like a sore thumb.

However, apart from that, this is a good solid, fun piece of horror. 

 



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