The prospect of spending a Saturday at Ikea is so innately disquieting, it’s amazing it hasn’t become the setting for a horror story before now. Horrorstör is a new horror novel by Grady Helix that doesn’t just use the big box Swedish furniture superstores as inspiration for a haunted house story, but visually resembles Ikea catalog as well.
Published by Quirk Books and available this month, Horrorstör takes place an Ikea-like store called Orsk that boasts hilarious, Ikea-style taglines like, “Got a question? Orsk me anything.” At an Orsk store in Cleveland, Ohio, five employees team up to spend a dusk-to-dawn shift inside the store to find out why furniture keeps on being destroyed overnight. Instead of a vandal, what they discover instead is a haunting, and “horror that defy imagination.”
The cover of Horrorstör was designed by Christine Ferrara, who sized and packaged it to look identically to an Ikea furniture catalog, who teamed up with various Etsy artists to create dollhouse furniture pastiches of various Ikea items for use on the cover.
Inside, illustrator Mike Rogalski fills Horrorstör with simple line drawings of mock-Ikea items, each of which comes with a horrifyingly morbid description, such as this one for the imaginary Bodavest chair:
Boasting several advantages over traditional forms of restraint, BODAVEST confines the penitent and opposed the agitated movement of blood toward the brain, forcing the subject into a state of total immobility, conducive to self-reflection and free of stressful outside stimuli. Available in light oak and medium birch.
“Coming up with the furniture in Horrorstör was like eating candy,” author Grady Hendrix told Boing Boing. “Some of the pieces were things I want to own, like the Frånjk, which is basically my ideal dining room table. Others, like the Tossur treadmill desk, were things I wanted to make fun of. And all the “augmented” furniture that serves a correctional purpose—the Jodlöpp, the Ingalutt, the Kraanjk—are based on real devices used in 19th-century prisons.”
Asked about his inspiration for the setting of Horrorstör, author Hendrix said that it was the result of a conversation with his editor about the horribleness of Ikea-like stores–a conversation that eventually took on its own life.
“The fact that stores like Orsk are full of endless aisles of bathroom displays, fully equipped kitchens, and fake bedrooms makes them feel like the mutant offspring of a house and a labyrinth,” he explained. “Add to that the idea that these stores don’t want shoppers to think of them as stores but as “third spaces” (not work, not home, but someplace else), where you can spend hours relaxing, sitting on the furniture, eating in the cafe, and just generally hanging out. Roll that all together and you’ve got the perfect setting for a haunted house.”
It’s such an obvious yet brilliant idea, I can’t help but think we’re about to see a slew of Horrorstör copycats. “…After losing her husband in the labyrinthine showroom of her local [INSERT IKEA CLONE HERE], young Susie Banyan discovers what’s really in the Swedish meatballs…” They just write themselves!
Horrorstör is available for preorder on Amazon for just $9.99, and will be released on September 23, 2014.
[H/T Boing Boing]