Horror Harvest: James Herbert The Fog

I’ve now decided to theme my horror reading book blog posts under the ‘Horror Harvest’ title, so it will be like a series of sorts with a nice artwork.

Before I begin with The Fog, I’d like to thank IRO (Imperial Rebel Ork) and The Fly on the Wall podcast, for taking my suggestions for their podcast topics. They did a brilliant podcast on the Subject of James Herbert, and what book they enjoyed the most.

The podcast is like an all sorts show ranging from different topics from funny and serious subjects. Its great for long bus trips (they can take ages so a good hour of podcasting always helps!), painting miniatures, walking and anything else really.

It’s also good motivational therapy fuel for getting through paper work after paper work after paper work after paper work. Oh did I mention it’s great for getting through paper work?

If you would like to know more about the podcast and who bears the one Mocha of all Mochas, I have two links to IRO’s blog where he has the official links for where you can download the podcast.

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/fly-on-the-wall-podcast-plus-some-hobby-updates/

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/army-of-hate-second-miniature-plus-fly-on-the-wall-podcast-episode-2/

And for those of you who want to hear the James Herbert episode, links below to IRO’s post.

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/fly-on-the-wall-podcast-and-the-new-post-apocalyptic-saga/

Best of luck to The Fly on the Wall podcast!

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Continuing on my journey reading James Herbert’s books after a colossal read of The Rats Trilogy (and the Graphic Novel), today I want to share my thoughts on The Fog. A horror story about an ominous yellow fog that appeared after a huge fissure opened up in a small village, floating away after our main protagonist saves a child whilst being trapped below the fissure gap. However, unbeknownst to the people who witnessed this strange event, the fog would go on through the land to cause madness to anyone who inhales the it.

This book unlike The Rats trilogy, is more of a horror mystery story mixed with human physiological horror. The fog itself whilst known in origin of how it came to be (no spoilers here!) It’s still a mystery as if it may or may not be sentient. Anyone who comes across the fog and inhales it becomes a single minded force of madness.

Wether by hatred, depression, love or any other emotion, the fog is just the means to create the horror as it turns both good, bad and everyday citizens.

At the core of the fog there is an unatural light which seems to draw people closer, as if it wants them. It also seems to rest at places of convince for safety, say inside a church, a rail tunnel or an underground motorway. Overtime this fog grows in size as it feeds off carbon dioxide, becoming as big as a town.

The story focuses more on human psychology, when the mind slowly deteriorates making the person more savage with madness. Usually the person affected will either eventually die from their minds deteriorating, or commit suicide.

Our main protagonist, Holman, is the first to be affected by the fog after he escapes from the fissure. For weeks he was classed as clinically insane as he became a mad man, until weeks later his sanity came back whilst being placed in a mental health facility.

At first it was assumed that he was diagnosed with PTSD from the fissure incident, but later on through the story it’s revealed that the fog had cause this sudden personality change. This would be proven true as several incidents of strange murders are all linked to the yellow ghastly fog.

My thoughts on the book?

As usual James Herbert writes The Fog in great detail and engaging narrative, using his human victim characters to tell their story and how the horror aspect plays into their actions. Each character has an interesting story to tell, from our main protagonist, Holman, as a survivor of the fissure. Side characters including a drunk who cares more about his pigeons than his wife, a woman who’s same sex relationship broke apart by her partners choice to be in another relationship with a man, a school teacher who’s past during the Second World War is a dark and disturbing story and a man child who decides to give his boss a message he’ll never forget.

Similar to how The Rats Trilogy was written, these short story’s in one book adds to the weight of the affects that the threat can cause as a consequence. You feel for those who don’t deserve it, but can’t stop reading the book as you find out the fate of these unfortunate victims.

By this point I’ve become pretty used to how James Herbert writes his books, nearly leaning towards predictable at times when it came to certain sub story lines and plot twist. However, this isn’t to say it’s all predictable as the finale throws a very good question during the end, and reflection on just what the Fog could be.

This was James Herbert’s second book that he published in his writing career, still in the early days when James would use excessive blood, violence, mature themes and subjects that you tend not to see in today’s literature. It’s only later on that these things would dull down as supernatural and paranormal horror stories were written.

Overall, another great book to read as a twisted but enjoyable horror story. If you’ve read James’s books before, you may find some parts of this book to be the same old stuff you’ve read before. However, it’s still worth reading if your interested in the human psychological horror genre.

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Well that’s all I have for my post on The Fog. Now that I’ve read all of my current James Herbert books, and read some other books (like Eric, by the late Sir Terry Pratchett) too to broaden my ongoing reading past time. I’ve now started another book by James Herbert, this time a supernatural horror story, The Ghosts of Sleath.

until next time, mind the yellow fog,

-Bjorn

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