What’s in a Genre?

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Science Fiction. Romance. Crime and Mystery. Historical. When you read, is your first instinct to pick a genre? Probably, otherwise you may not like the book for that very reason. I recently ran into this genre problem. Horror is off my list. I’m not a fan of being scared and especially don’t want to read anything creepy. I avoid it at all costs. I like to stay in my comfort zone.

A few weeks ago, my son, who works at Barnes and Noble, bought a book—HORRORSTOR. He sees the latest and newest books coming into the store and found it to his liking. The cover caught my eye, but I knew better. It fell under the Horror Genre. Still I couldn’t resist flipping through its pages. The book is set up like an IKEA style catalog and the store in the book, ORSK, is a carbon copy.

Still intrigued, I told myself I could stop reading if I didn’t like it. I liked the fact the book was set in Cleveland. I could picture the store off I-77 and recognized the TV station mentioned in the book.

We only have one IKEA in Ohio–Cincinnati. The closest one to me is in Pittsburgh. Funny thing, I was going to make my first trip there, only having visited one store in Chicago.

So I thought it was the perfect time to read HORRORSTOR. Amy, the main character, works at ORSK while attending college. She’s the typical disinterested employee who rolls her eyes at the company’s rhetoric. Basil, her gun-ho younger boss, follows all the rules and recites policy to all that will listen. Strange happenings occur overnight. When the crew shows up for work each morning, the employees find broken or stained items. Basil decides to stay overnight to find the culprit and asks Amy to work a night shift along with another employee, Ruth Anne. They find two of their co-workers already there, ghost hunting.

Not writing a review here, just filling you in. It turns out the store has been built where an old prison once stood. You can take it from there. The ORSK store is haunted.

And guess what? I finished the book. I did skim a few paragraphs here and there when descriptions got graphic, but I made it till the end. I did dream I was in an IKEA type store and strange things happened, but it wasn’t too bad. I sent a text to my son while we were in the real IKEA store – HORRORSTOR Are you lost? But I’m okay.

HORRORSTOR is part satirical and part horror. I think the author equated the prison to working in retail. It would be rated on the lighter scale of the horror spectrum.

I enjoyed the book. There I said it. I’d recommend it for an interesting read. Book in hand would be better than digital. It’s fun to look at the pictures and read the made-up names for the furniture. So I guess I’m tearing apart my genre theory. Try going out of your comfort zone. If you don’t like the book you choose, you can stop reading. But you may keep reading, and find the book stays with you. Not because it scared the crap out of you, but because you can’t stop thinking about what a clever story it was. Isn’t that what all good books do?

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