Saturday, August 12, 2023

Seven books with a dark playfulness

Arianna Reiche is a Bay Area-born writer living in east London. Her award-winning fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, Ambit magazine, Joyland, and Popshot, and her features have been published by New Scientist, USA Today, VICE, The Wall Street Journal, and Vogue. She researches metafiction and lectures in interactive media at City, University of London.

Reiche's new novel is At the End of Every Day.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven "books with a dark playfulness, with settings of strange innocence or nostalgia," including:
Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstör takes readers on a chilling and playful journey through the manicured halls of Orsk, a fictional Scandinavian furniture store with deftly painted parallels to you-know-where. At first glance, Orsk appears to be like any other retail space, but as night falls, the store transforms into a chamber of ghostly horrors, and a group of employees, led by weary but pragmatic heroine Amy, must confront demons both metaphorical and very real. It makes sense that BookTok has recently rediscovered Horrorstör, which was originally published in 2014. The book itself takes the form of an IKEA catalogue, it’s playful and captivating, even when riffing on the absurdity of our modern retail compulsions. Only Hendrix could bring such metafictional mischief to a work of social commentary.
Read about another entry on the list.

Horrorstör is among Tiffany Gibert's eight scary stories for the Halloween season.

--Marshal Zeringue