This book is set in an ORSK, an IKEA-like furniture store, and its main characters are employees. That part is a hoot. At the beginning of each chapter there is a black and white drawing of a piece of furniture for sale in the store, with an appropriate Scandinavian-sounding name (well, in the later chapters, while some of the items listed are in the store, they probably are not on sale, and certainly not to ordinary customers). There are also various inspirational company blurbs and the odd internal memo.
“Let you become We—at Orsk.” That would make any potential employee feel warm and fuzzy, and it’s not just the employees. Customers are funneled through the showroom by following the Bright and Shining Path. Advertising includes the advice to “pause by your Arsle to turn breakfast into a celebration of a brand new day.” As the book develops, a careful observer can begin to find some sinister hints—potential employees are told that “It’s not just a job. It’s the rest of your life”—and all the product numbers used at the beginning of each chapter contain the sequence “666” somewhere.
When the horror element stepped center stage, I thought at first it was going be weak, but it turned out to be anything but; it also has a definite and creepy relationship to the “this store [work] is your life” element ORSK tries to create in its employees. This was both a fun and a scary read.