The Fog by James Herbert
Why I bought this book
I was brought up on a healthy diet of Stephen King horror novels. So from a pretty young age I had a high expectation of a horror novel. After all a book that has the ability to draw you in and make you create the absolute horror of your imagination is a rare find.
When my friend recommended I look at James Herbert novels I was cynical to put it lightly. But I thought I would give it a go and see whether I would be amazed or just slightly amused. So this was the first book of his that I bought and read. I have since bought many more.
What I liked
Apparently this was James Herbert’s second novel. Why it was never made into a movie is still completely beyond me. Maybe it was far ahead of its time in the 1970s, or maybe the horror is too muted for a bloodthirsty audience today. Whatever it is, this is one of those books that I would recommend to anyone who likes a good storyline with engaging characters.
I particularly love the style of writing the author employed here. It’s very well described and pulls you in almost immediately. From the first chapter about a quiet sleepy village that is suddenly torn apart – quite literally – by what first appears to be an earthquake. Only for the deeper, more sinister truth to emerge in the form of a fog from the earth. This fog drives any being it touches absolutely insane.
The underlying conspiracy theory about the government’s possible involvement is what makes it especially spicy. But it’s not just that. I love a good blame the government for fabricating dangerous weapons in secret conspiracy any day. But it’s the very vivid descriptions of the acts of mass suicide, livestock going mental, people becoming homicidal, and other vivid acts of madness make this book particularly special.
You feel a great connection to the central character as he becomes one of the fog’s first victims and is cured. He then goes on to try and make sense of what happened and hold the responsible parties to account.
What I didn’t like
Nothing. I absolutely love this novel.