Horrorstör was published by Knaur HC in 2015 and has been a fan of horror stories, the grotesque and Ikea lovers alike. It was written by the author and journalist Grady Hendrix. Whose work history is itself like a parody. He not only worked for the conservative tabloid The New York Post, but also wrote for Playboy and Variety. Meanwhile, he probably spent his bizarre time on the telephone hotline of a parapsychological research organization. Horrorstör is his debut novel.

Between parody and horror

If you mix a literary parody with a horror thriller, you expect less thrilling tension than you are used to from the latter genre. If there is also an Ikeaesk-style design, the shallow expectation of a comedy seems to be confirmed. But with horror disturbance it is different than expected. After just a few pages of reading it becomes apparent that Grady Hendrix knows how to captivate the reader.

Horror disorder by Grady Hendrix. Photo: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann
Horror disorder by Grady Hendrix. Photo: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann

Anyone who knows him knows that the Swedish furniture giant is not just about praise. Between Billy and Hemnes there are stories about sect-like structures, scandals about forced labor, fascism and highly motivated informers who are supposed to guarantee compliance with the basic furniture market values. This is also the case with Orsk.

"ORSK helps you to be yourself - the Orsk way."

Horror disorder, book quote

Here employees are forced to be trained, suppressed, a uniformed Orsk family is created and furniture can only be set up with the Orsk Magic tool. A rogue who thinks bad.

Nightmare in the Swedish house

A dream often dreamed of by children is that of visiting an abandoned shop after the store closes. The walk through the deserted corridors seems adventurous and eerie at the same time. Some are tempted by the filled candy shelves, the other by the soft feather beds and there are countless opportunities for everyone to play shit. But all of this is surrounded by a tingling shudder, which at first gently throbbing indicates that it might not have been a good idea after all to haunt around alone in a deserted building, only to get louder and louder until the dreaming wakes up fearfully because he actually does would rather explore the aisles during the day. Just think what would happen if something inexplicable or even evil was waiting for him in the next corridor. Hendrix skilfully takes up the latter in his horror story.

"It's a family from Orsk that does the hard work, and they all do it voluntarily." But the water running down the wall had washed away most of the letters. Now it just said: "Work sets you free."

Horror disorder, quote

Not only is it getting worse and worse financially, it seems like paranormal phenomena are happening in the American Orsk branch. At night, the interior becomes inexplicably filthy and inexplicable water damage spreads visibly. This happens along with many other gruesome inconsistencies. During the day there is also the fact that electronically supplied items in the furniture market seem to have a life of their own. After the management tried in vain to find a reason for the events, two employees are ordered to take on a night patrol shift together with the always motivated branch manager Basil. By means of which the eerie Orsk secret is to be investigated.

Horror disorder by Grady Hendrix. Photo: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann
A layout that leaves you with goosebumps. Photo: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann

The chosen ones are the protagonist Amy, who, as a failed student, has to rely on the job at Orsk, and her obedient colleague Ruth Anne, who is always ant-like, adapted and hard-working, according to regulations. The night in horror harbors hurdles and dangers for the participants. They all threaten to lose their minds. Even if this would still be the safe outcome. Agony and even death are heralded at a rapid pace. In addition, the reader learns gruesome details: The floor on which the Orsk branch was built hides an oppressive secret.

Novel in the Swedish catalog

The presentation of the book follows a clear line. If the cover of the fictional horror disturbance resembles the real existing Ikea catalog in a convincing way, Grady Hendrix takes the reader on a journey through the furniture store ORSK while reading it.

Orsk furniture in horror sturgeon. Photo: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann

Meanwhile, Ikeaesk has vouchers, an order form, a map of the Orsk branch and a few other gimmicks waiting for the reader. As if that weren't enough allusion, each chapter of the book begins with a page that is exclusively dedicated to an Orsk piece of furniture with a melodious name like "Kjërring", "Hügga" or "Brooka".

Images of horror disorder


Paperback: 276 pages
Published by Knaur HC
Language: German
ISBN-10: 9783426517222
Author: Grady Hendrix
Year of publication: 2015
Language: German
Cost: 16,99 Euro


Hendrix has succeeded in balancing the tightrope between tension and humor. The story of the Orsk giant reads fluently and has been translated from English without annoying errors. The design and layout invite you to linger and discover what looks like something special in this form on the book market. Fantasy, horror and Ikea fans alike get exciting entertainment in book format through Horrorstör, but die-hard horror lovers could be put off by the rather ornate narrative style of seemingly unimportant details.

The horror scenes have a great potential for suspense for the lover of horror stories, but it is highly unlikely that they will convince the horror fan. Those readers who expect a humorous and socially critical horror novel will be entertained by horror sturgeon in a captivating and at the same time easy way.