Wordy Review: HorrorstÖr by Grady Hendrix

I’m going to make this one short because I feel I said my peace during the audio in which I was the sole commenter on this book, it being my intended Secret Santa which never left my hands due to missing yet another club meeting due to my work being, well, not Nazis but at least the sturmabteilung. As for the other books I’ve missed, you can put Metal Fatigue, The Demolished Man and The Satanic Verses on my ‘To Do’ list under ‘learn proper use of the comma’ and ‘yo momma’ although plenty of things have been under her, amiright? Zing, I’ll just add those bonus points for a perfectly executed yo momma joke myself.

Anyway HorrorstÖr, a good concept drowned in its own clichés. Well, that was easy and surprisingly concise, maybe I could cut this entire page down to a Twitter account or at least some kind of haiku review process.

For those not into brevity the story takes place in an ORSK store, a pseudo IKEA, which is what drew me to the book initially. An IKEA showroom seemed like it would be the antithesis of the typical horror setting of old, abandoned and run down locations. Horror set in what’s new and clean is usually reserved for taking Jason Voorhees into space so it’s a shame that unique setting quickly falls into old patterns without a single hint of freshness, like the underwear of somebody’s momma, specifically yours. We’re pretty quickly introduced to the same old same old of omens, séances, the harbinger who bears grave warning, helpless characters fumbling through the dark, and ghosts of the restless dead. A few brief moments of originality shine through but are quickly lost and forgotten, like a toddler at an actual IKEA. For all the reasons for a storage solutions warehouse to be haunted, having it being built on an old prison is pretty damn weak. How about OSRK furniture is manufactured from the trees of a forest inhabited by Swedish demon pixies who travelled in the mulched wood and now seek revenge for their homes being turned into convenient storage units? Is that a great plot, no, but you haven’t seen it before, have you?

Still, I’m sure I’ve said before that predictability is not synonymous with being bad and there’s some entertainment to be had here if you have an afternoon for a light, easy read, it’s just that beyond that there’s no saving grace, no great characters or gripping dialogue, no real humour or horror of either the visceral or unnerving kind. It’s a book about a place that’s haunted, which is easy if unremarkable, just like yo momma. Mic drop, credits.

Written by B.T. CallÖway, who would like to apologise to momma’s everywhere.

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