THE FOG is a 1970's horror classic by the late James Herbert...my first...but not last...that has a variety of character types with mist-linked stories, some with descriptive sex, others with shocking acts of brutality and murder (one super surprising), and a few like the menacing cows, kicking-butts banker and holy pee pee that cracked me up.
(view spoiler)There is this scene in the first part of the book that goes beyond disturbing.
I try to avoid blurbs and reviews of boks so I can experience the story with little or no expectations. There are some scenes in The Fog that managed to make this somewhat jaded horror fan squirm, and that's no easy feat. I always have loved British humor, having grown up with the likes of Monty Python and Benny Hill, and have only recently discovered that their horror is wonderful as well. James Herbert was perhaps the best known modern British horror authors, and I can see why! This was my second James Herbert book, the first having been Moon, which was probably not the greatest place to start with this author.
In the hands of a lesser author this could be considered being gruesome for shock factor but this is not the case in this novel, the scenes are shocking but readers can empathise with many of the characters, many of them minor as we are provided scene after horrendous scene of how the fogs affects certain individuals.
At times, the book is like a zombie novel because whenever the fog envelopes urban areas, large numbers of people can be affected with some very twisted results. Today, most people would probably not assume that homosexuals were automatically also paedophiles and so Anton's concerns about this discredited cliché are reasonable. (I thank David for pointing out below that it was 16 to 17-year-olds who were permitted to have gay sex from 2001.) So when summers is described as having been attracted to 'boys' who had been called up to serve in the British army during the 1940s, the term would've been correct at the time in that the 18 to 20-year-old recruits were legally children. Thus, Summers' attraction to them would've been seen as paedophiliac not only at the time but also for nearly twenty years after The Fog was first published, since it would have remained the case that anyone aged 21 or older engaging in gay sex with someone under 21 would be regarded as a criminal - and also in many people's minds, a paedophile. (I have benefited here from using the British section of Wikipedia's article on the ages of consent in Europe.) So some people today might find some of Herbert's attitudes, or at least those of his main character, to be objectionable if read from a modern perspective. However, if the book is read as a product of its time, then one could ignore these chauvinistic attitudes and just follow the narrative, not unlike setting aside the racism and snobbery in a work by H. From the narrative perspective, it was interesting to read these vignettes on the individual lives of people who were affected by the fog, although after a while I began to notice that much of the text was concerned with these disconnected or isolated stories.
He is up there with Stephen king for me and is truly Talented I Picked up this book when I was a teen, on holiday, It was a book left in my aunty and uncles holiday Villa, I got into a few pages and it truly disturbed me to the core, to the point where I even felt I was far too young at the time to be reading such a scary book. So I felt it was time to Buy this book for good. You feel like you are a 3rd eye to all that is happening in the story and I honestly have to say This is one of the most intense horror books I have read James really doesn't hold back after a few pages in, And I went and got all of his books I had to so there will be more reviews of his books to come!
So the best thing you can say about this book is it makes Stephen King look like a master writer. The plot - crazy fog makes people into crazy murderers - sounds like it might be lurid fun, right? Nothing about this book is any fun. It's a really bad book, guys.
If ever you want to read the spectrum of what horror can be James Herbert and his illustrious career can be no worse place to start (even if there are a few wobbles along the way)
James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.