My annual fall visit to a large flat pack furniture company with a Swedish sounding name (c'mon you know who I mean right?) is around the corner. When I saw the cover of Grady Hendrix's new book, Horrorstör, I knew I absolutely had to read it.
Things are happening in the night at the Orsk furniture store in Cleveland Ohio. When the staff arrives in the morning, there's broken glass to clean up, broken display furniture and some unmentionable smells and substances. And the staff are getting weird 'help' text messages on their phones. The security tapes don't show anything, but sales are down and corporate is concerned. So Basil, the new deputy store manager decides to stay in the store overnight to see if he can catch who is doing the damage. He enlists Amy, a partner with a bit of an attitude and cashier Ruth Ann, the nicest person in the store, to stay overnight with him. And what happens that night......
.....is something you're going to have to discover for yourself.
I had so much fun reading this book - Hendrix clearly wrote it with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. The format is exactly like that unnamed store's catalogue - the furniture, names, descriptions and pictures preceding every chapter were just as much fun as the story. (I was quite amused by some of the colour choices available - night beech, snow and beaver oak)
But what had me laughing was the 'corporate speak'. Having worked in a big box retail store in years gone by, I recognized much of it. Basil's quoting of policies and procedures as things go from bad to worse is just perfect. Hendrix's parodying of that other store is just perfect - the Bright and Shining Path that leads you through the shopping experience, the "Market Floor - also referred to as the 'open-wallet' area - designed to put customers under the maximum retail stress. The goal is to get them to open their wallets and buy something, even a light bulb, because once we crack their wallets, they will spend, on average $97 per visit." (Guilty)
Okay so there's all that - but what is causing all the damage at night? Think Scooby Doo - without the dog and a little nastier....Read an excerpt of Horrorstör.
I'll say it again - this was just plain fun to read! Is there a humourous horror genre? You can keep up with Grady Hendrix on Twitter and on Facebook. Any questions? Just Orsk!