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This was my first Grady Hendrix, and to this day remains the only book by Hendrix that I enjoy.

Something is happening at Orsk. Amy works in retail, and if that’s not the worst, then her supposedly haunted retail store just takes the cake. But when her manager, Basil, offers her the money she desperately needs to make ends meet, she might just stay to humor him. In the world of retail, though, the store always gets the last laugh.

HOLY SHIT I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I borrowed it from my aunt to read it for the first time in 2018, and when I bought it for myself, I had to read it during spooky month.

The whole cast of characters is just so funny. After rereading this, and after spending a year and a half in retail, I could relate to Amy so hard. The time and energy I gave to retail FELT like I was being punished by ghost sadists, but such is capitalism I guess.

The setup of the book is also just a joy. It looks and feels like a catalogue for IKEA and the like, and the increasingly disturbing furniture chapter starters are so funny. This book straddles the line between horror and humor, and it does it so well. It’s why, even after a reread, and after reading (and hating) The Southern Bookclub’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, I was worried it wouldn’t stand up, but it did. This is absolutely a book I can see myself returning to this time of year in the future.

Trigger warnings: blood, body horror, confinement, death, excrement, gore, murder, suicide, violence, bullying, cursing, torture, misogyny, mental illness, grief, gaslighting, forced institutionalization


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