Book Report: Horrorstör

As we creep toward Halloween I thought it’d be fun this month to focus my Book Report posts in on some particularly spooky reads….first off, before I get into the proper review, I have to share this amazing photo with you guys. The day my review copy of Horrorstör appeared was also the day the new IKEA catalogue showed up in my mailbox. Creepy much?


But let’s get down to business, shall we?

Horrostor Book CoverWhat’s the buzz?: Well as you’ve probably deduced by the image I shared above, Horrorstör is earning plenty o’ buzz for its send-up of cheap chic furniture chain IKEA. In fact, the book itself namechecks the Swedish home furnishings giant, as it centers around a retailer named Orsk, the ironic cheap knockoff of IKEA. Everything about the book channels IKEA’s aesthetic – from its square, catalogue-esque shape, to the introductory chapter pages that pair increasingly sinister products with awkward write-ups about their benefits. But wait, there’s a twist! This isn’t a mere mockery of IKEA, it’s a great big crazy what if. Namely, what if a seemingly perfect home furnishings store was the setting for a blood-curdling horror novel?

What’s the plot?: Something fishy has been happening at the Orsk store in Cuyahoga. For weeks, employees have been coming in and finding damaged products or messed up displays. The store’s deputy manager and resident brown noser Basil, recruits underachieving Amy and a ragtag band of her colleagues to stay overnight and track down the culprit once and for all. However, not long after the store closes, strange things begin to happen – from mysterious scribblings on the bathroom walls to a disorienting sweep of the store to a spooky seance gone wrong, soon this picture perfect big box store becomes a terror-filled prison, one Amy and her coworkers will be lucky to survive the night in.

I’m having a hard time believing a proxy IKEA can be scary. Explain?: How scared am I of Horrorstör you guys? So scared that when I picked it up the other day to put it in my husband’s ‘to read’ pile, I couldn’t look at the cover. If you look closely at the picture above, you’ll get a hint of what I’m talking about (the back cover is even worse). But really, here’s the thing I loved the most about this one: the crazy juxtaposition of a major scare-inducing plot set against the backdrop of an ultra bland retail store. The book is infused with plenty of dark humour about working at a culture-driven place like Orsk, and takes full advantage of the less obvious creepiness of a big box retailer like IKEA. While the horror elements may not be entirely new, it’s pairing them with this unique, contemporary setting that makes the book feel freshly terrifying. I’d like to point out I also haven’t been back to my local IKEA since reading this, and I’m afraid for the day that I do.

But is it funny?: Yes! But clever funny. Pitch black funny. Trying to offset the crazy creepiness funny. Horrorstör is so strange and interesting because it uses all of these classic, uber creepy horror tropes, but mashes them up with the things we maybe all recognize are a little quirky in the IKEA model. So while on the one hand I found myself squeamish and literally scared (and I don’t get scared reading fiction that often), author Grady Hendrix still manages to find plenty of ways to make you smile or laugh or nod in appreciation. I’m not saying you’re going to be chuckling the whole way through or that you won’t be sincerely creeped out as I was – just be prepared to experience both.

Thrills & Chills Factor?: Oh totally a five. Don’t get me wrong – there’s a comedic aspect to this whole thing, but again, even just looking at the cover of this damn book creeps me the hell out.

Who should read this book?: Horror novel fans looking for a fresh fix will probably get a kick out of Horrorstör . Also, any IKEA diehards out there, this is an amusing way to offset their addiction. Honestly, this one fell outside of my typical realm of reading but it was so creative and so creepy, I can think of a lot of people who should give it a read. Oh and of course, it makes a super fun Halloween hostess gift.

Horrorstör is on the shelves now for just $14.95. And as we get closer and closer to Halloween, I’m sending a thrill and a chill one lucky reader’s way, in the form of a free giveaway copy of this book. Want to read it? Read on to find out how to enter:

1) Tell me in the comments below by November 3, 2014 – why are you interested in reading Horrorstör?

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around November 4, 2014 to select the winner(s), who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: Follow Random House of Canada on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about why you want to read this spine-tingling book! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.

5) Bonus Entry #2: Add this book to your to-read list on GoodReads, and leave a link back to the page it’s on below in a separate comment to earn yourself another bonus entry.


40 Responses to “Book Report: Horrorstör”
  1. SueSueper says:

    I am interesting in reading this because it sounds intriguing. As a fan of Ikea, and interesting that is laid out in catalog style. Something different for me.

  2. Sherry K says:

    I wouldn’t read Horrorstor myself – am an a scary cat, but my husband would love it. He always gives me updates on the book he is ready so I would hear enough without getting too frightened.

  3. Sherry K says:

  4. Taps says:

    The cover as a catalog has piqued my interest! want to see whats inside.

  5. Holly says:

    I love your book recommendations and I love IKEA so this can only be good!

  6. cookie3 says:

    After reading your book report I am totally intrigued. Not my usual style of book but I need to branch out anyhow so as not to get stuck in a rut. This sounds like a fun read to me..

  7. Cairine says:

    I want to read it because Halloween is coming and I need something scarey to thrill me.

  8. I think that this book would be a great read and I also love Ikea – Thanks

  9. Audrey Skinner says:

    I am a hard core IKEA fan.

  10. GARRY S says:


  11. Elaan says:

    I’m interested in reading it because I like creepy and quirky stories!

  12. KellyPC says:

    I’d love to read it cause I’m a huge ikea and horror fan! lol

  13. Jeannie says:

    I love black humor and this book looks like it is right up my alley! I don’t mind being scared a bit if there is humor involved. I can’t wait to read this book, it sounds really good. I would really love to win it!

  14. Lindsey says:

    Looks scary and funny! Perfect,

  15. Grace says:

    I enjoy dark humor and I think this book sounds really scary but in an interesting way!!

  16. Joan G. says:

    I enjoy reading books in the horror genre – this one sounds like an interesting read.

  17. aarone mawdsley says:

    I think it looks really funny and scary! Thanks!

  18. Susan says:

    I’m interested in reading it because you have certainly piqued my interest!

  19. Jocelyn H says:

    I heard about Horrorstor a few months ago and I’ve been so intrigued! Such a creative idea for a book. Great packaging! I don’t normally read scary books, so it makes me kind of nervous, but I really want to read this one!

  20. Victoria Ess says:

    It sounds like a funny premise and an intriguing read!

  21. truckerofbc says:

    I love reading Horror Books and this looks like an interesting book.

  22. Sherry M says:

    I have never read a book that has a setting of a store. I used to work in retail, this would be interesting to read. Plus I love the genre of horror.

  23. 0o0o0 I could use a scare so would like to read!

  24. lucy kabatoff says:

    love Horror stories

  25. lisagedak says:

    I think this is a great tongue in cheek rip on pop culture, I love horror and am also horrified by the globalization and production of useless furniture! Thanks for the opportunity!

  26. Chelsea V. says:

    I want to read this book because a) I am a horror story fanatic b) I am an ikea fanatic c) all of the above!

  27. Angela Mitchell says:

    This looks pretty crazy and unique. I’d love to read it as I’m a pretty big horror fan.

  28. Linda Fast says:

    Love Ikea, Love Horror Books, what more can I say. I want to win this interesting and scary read

  29. I love Ikea, would love to read.

  30. AgnesM says:

    I’d love to read this book because I love the genre and this book sounds intriguingly different! A bit of a spoof and a chiller together-can’t miss!!

  31. Lori P says:

    I bought some spoof magazines for a certain Homemaking tour de force a dozen or so years ago that are spot-on hilarious. Sounds like this this Ikea horror-treatment would be equally brilliant and a lot of fun to read!

  32. julia g says:

    I would like to read this because I already find shopping at IKEA terrifying, and I like a good pop culture satire.

  33. leah says:

    I definitely am going to read this, you have me intrigued! I’ve been reading a bunch of creepy Agatha Christie books lately so I’m looking for another good scare. I love reading horror stories!!

  34. diane says:

    I’d like to read it, sounds fascinating and I love Ikea.

Tell me what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: