- Copertina flessibile: 243 pagine
- Editore: Quirk Books; 01 edizione (15 ottobre 2011)
- Collana: Quirk Books
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 1594745269
- ISBN-13: 978-1594745263
- Peso di spedizione: 454 g
- Media recensioni: 4.0 su 5 stelle Visualizza tutte le recensioni (1 recensione cliente)
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 83.277 in Libri in altre lingue (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Libri in altre lingue)
Horrorstor (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 15 ott 2011
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"A fun horror novel....Enjoyable....There is a fair amount of workplace humor, but the book...will deliver enough scares for horror fans as well."--"Library Journal" "A very clever ghost story....the story is entertaining and the book itself is laid out like an Orsk catalog"--"Booklist" ."..a clever little horror story...the book starts as a Palahniuk-tinged satire about the things we own...turning the psychological manipulations and scripted experiences that are inherent to the retail experience into a sinister fight for survival. A treat for fans of The Evil Dead or Zombieland, complete with affordable solutions for better living." --"Kirkus Reviews"
Grady Hendrix is a writer, journalist, and one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival. A former film critic for the New York Sun, Grady has written for Slate, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Playboy Magazine and Variety.Visualizza tutta la Descrizione prodotto
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But there’s also a place in my heart for a modern, clean, brightly-lit building that’s nevertheless crawling with the unquiet spirits of the dead. The suburban home built over an Indian graveyard, the supermarket with bloody handprints appearing mysteriously on the freezer cases, the trendy nightclub plagued by unusual deaths and fashionable vampires. Horror writers love this stuff, too — you can find horror wrapped around modern suburban and retail settings in films like “Poltergeist” and “Dawn of the Dead” (and many other early-outbreak zombie movies) and in books and stories like Stephen King’s “The Mist,” Anne Rivers Siddons’ “The House Next Door,” and Mark Z. Danielewski’s “House of Leaves.”
And there’s also this book, “Horrorstör,” a short horror novel (with strong humor elements) written by Grady Hendrix. Its focus is on a haunting at an IKEA-style big box retail store.
The lead character in the story is Amy, a slacker in a thoroughly dead-end job working retail at ORSK, a furniture and housewares store designed from the ground up to look and feel like an IKEA store. It has the same winding pathway through the store, the same “Magic Tool” required to put every piece of furniture together, the same style of faux-Scandinavian names for all the products. Amy wants to transfer back to the ORSK store she used to work at, mainly because she thinks she’s about to get fired by Basil, an assistant manager and gung-ho ORSK fanboy. But as it turns out, Basil actually wants to ask Amy and another co-worker, Ruth Anne, an older long-term employee who lives for her job, loves stuffed animals, and is adored by everyone on the staff, to take on a special duty — patrolling the store at night.
You see, the store has been suffering unusual vandalism. Some of the glassware has been broken, furniture has been soiled, and there are odd smells in the building. Basil wants Amy and Ruth Anne to join him on a secret late-night patrol, after everyone has gone home, to see if anyone is breaking into the building. They soon find some interesting problems. There are rats in the kitchen showcases, even though there’s no food there and no water hookups. Everyone keeps getting lost, which might make sense if they were just customers and not employees trained to find their way around the store quickly. And the mysterious grafitti messages in the restrooms referring ominously to “the Beehive” are multiplying rapidly.
And they do find some unexpected interlopers. Matt and Trinity are a couple of fellow co-workers at ORSK who have sneaked into the store because they thinks there are ghosts in the building and want to make a reality-TV ghost hunter show. And there’s also a homeless man, Carl, who has been secretly living in the store for a few weeks.
Trinity has an idea. She still thinks there are ghosts in the building, and what’s the best way to contact ghosts? Let’s everyone hold a seance!
And then everything goes straight to hell.
Can Amy and her coworkers survive the night shift at ORSK? Can they escape the store? Or are they doomed to toil forever in the stone walls and iron restraints of the Beehive?
I really enjoyed this book. I burned my way through it as quickly as I could, and a couple nights, where I made the mistake of reading it too close to bedtime, it actually kept me up late. I did think that the very best parts of the novel were fairly early on, when the scares were subtle and more creepy than heart-stopping. The seasoned employees getting lost in their own store? That was weirdly realistic — you could imagine it happening, but you could also see why it would be really unnerving. The odd sounds after the store closes, combined with the sudden unfamiliarity of the environment of the store was also spooky — and definitely familiar for anyone who’s ever had to work late in their office, where darkness and emptiness make the comfortable surroundings feel strange and dangerous.
Even better than that was the graffiti in the restroom. The dozens of scrawled names and scratched-out years, all referencing the mysterious Beehive, feel intensely eerie, a perfect element to place in a modern retail ghost story. There are also some very effective moments when the employees discover that the purely decorative doors in the showcases now open into dank, cavernous hallways leading deep into the earth.
And the seance may have been a monumentally stupid move on the part of the characters, but the way they did it was an original and wonderful thing to have in a horror novel. It’s simultaneously terrifying — because you know what’s going to happen — and hilarious — because you know what’s going to happen.
Once the Big Bad makes his appearance, and especially when he captures Amy for the first time, the story starts moving away from being a ghost story and edging more into torture porn. The story shows some serious cracks in this section, in part because it’s too long — I just don’t enjoy reading multiple pages about someone being strapped into a torture chair that tightens to the point where she loses sensation in her limbs and can barely draw a breath. (This may also indicate that I have never enjoyed torture porn.) But it’s also a bit too short — we’re told that Amy’s mind breaks almost entirely not long after she’s strapped in, to the point where Stockholm Syndrome sets in and she starts worshiping her captor. And then, when she’s released from confinement, it’s not too many more pages before her mind has completely recovered to its previously healthy state — and even improved, as she’s much braver and more resourceful for the rest of the novel.
One of the real selling points of this novel is the fantastic graphic design by Andie Reid and illustrations by Michael Rogalski. The book cover looks like one of the big, glossy IKEA design catalogs — with a few subtle and not-so-subtle differences to give some visual cues to the horrors within — and each chapter opens with a page from the fictional ORSK catalog spotlighting one of their products, complete with IKEA-style art, a faux-Scandinavian name, and upbeat flavor text. But after the supernatural terrors start climbing out of the woodwork after the seance, all the featured furniture gets replaced with medieval torture devices. It makes the story a lot more fun and a lot funnier, while still giving a nice dose of the chills to readers.
I have never worked in retail per se, but I have worked for a large healthcare corporation for several years in a service capacity for the public. Mr. Hendrix has the corporate speak mindset down pat. One of the things I liked best about the story were the descriptions of the employees, er excuse me, floor partners. They are totally relatable. I have been Amy and am currently Ruth Anne. I've had bosses like Basil. I've worked with Trinitys and Matthews.
I love that part of the horror of this workplace based book is work. (view spoiler)
My only minor quibble is that everyone was afraid to go on the bright and shiny path without a flashlight or cell phone. Note to characters: I know the dark is scary, but you don't want to draw attention to yourselves by using the light. I had a few unanswered questions about Carl, but it wasn't enough to bring down the rating.
The ending leaves an opening. I would love to read a sequel with Planet Baby.
Everyone has been in the large department stores. Even if it wasn't an IKEA, you've gone to a JCPenney, Macy's or something like that. I remember going to those stores as a kid, and being overwhelmed by the sheer size of the place. That, along with this feeling that you could get lost and turned around, always made me a little uneasy. That's the setting for "Horrorstor", and that atmosphere sets the tone for the whole book.
As the events of the novel unfold, the store itself becomes more of a character in the book. At least, as much of a character as the people working within. I think that setting makes things so believable. A store large enough to get lost in, is a store where something malevolent can hide. And this store is filled with malevolence.
This story isn't for the squeamish. There are several scenes of torture, and one in particular which still makes my skin crawl as I think about it. People's fears are used against them, and Grady Hendrix does nothing to spare the details. It isn't needlessly graphic, however, which is a huge pet peeve of mine in the horror genre. If something awful happens to someone, it is described in perfectly evocative language. But, that is not done in a gratuitous manner. Just an effectve one, and there is a huge difference between those two styles, in my mind.
In the end, I would definitely recommend this book to any fan of the horror genre. Even if you, like me, don't go in for the "ghost stories" type, this is just inventive enough, that it feels different somehow. You will enjoy this book. I know I did.