[438]: Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Quirk Books | Paperback, 240 pages
Publication Date: September 23rd, 2014
Adult Fiction | Horror
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Down in the unseen subbasement of Orsk Furniture Store, lies the remains of a 19th century prison. Destroyed after it was found to be the site of  its inmates’ unimaginable horrors, no one could’ve foreseen what happens when the lights go out, and all the doors are shut inside its new tenant. To say that it’s transformed is an understatement. Possessed, is more like it. The on-going joke that the store’s layout is purposely designed to lead its customers astray takes on a different meaning. In the light of day, there is at least hope that you will be able to find your way out. But at night, it is a different story. You’ll find yourself starring in a remake of The Blair Witch Project.

The hair-raising terrors do not stop there.

The walls and ceilings take on a different appearance; as if they’ve gone through years of neglect. Fake doors that used to lead to another wall open up to dark and dank hallways that reek of the dead and the decay.

The Warden, along with the ghosts of the Cuyahoga Panopticon will stop at nothing until they can save the souls of those that are lost by means of despicable, grisly torture.

I’m always on the lookout for unusual books. Last week, Horrorstör jumped out at me when I noticed the eerie framed pictures on its cover. Ingeniously packaged like an IKEA catalogue, the insides feature the kind of Swedish furniture sold at the same store where the setting is loosely based on. But as you go deeper into the story, the diagram changes into the kind of torture device each character would be put through.

Grady Hendrix must’ve spent a lot of time prowling every nook and cranny of IKEA. Because if you’ve been there, the experience of reading this book would be infinitely better. You would be able to imagine exactly where the characters were at any given point of the story. I am a regular visitor of IKEA, so I’m familiar with the layout of the land. After reading this book, I will not be able to set foot there again without feeling the kind of heebie geebies reserved only when a dèjávu comes on.

Among other things, this is a less than transparent commentary on American consumerism that well, everyone can relate. We are easily swayed by gentle persuasion. We hoard things we don’t need simply because we are attracted by what we think is an affordable (ok, cheap) price. And in the end, we are all slaves to a machinery powered by a mad man [insert evil laugh here].