The Fog [IMPORT] Horror Book Review
Featured Book Review: Darkbound
Darkbound is an amazing book. Michaelbrent Collings outdid himself with this book. It is not at all what I thought it would be. I took three nights to finish this book because I stayed up way past my bedtime. Darkbound was so suspenseful that I just kept on reading to…
Horror books Review
Today I’m going to review one of my most favorite books of all time: THE FOG, but first I need to tell you a little something about disaster. You know what the word means; a damaging or destructive event, an event so devastating it’s like a foreboding prologue for the end of the world, as we know it and many of you have seen it in popular movies such as DAY AFTER TOMORROW or 2012. Disaster is a word so often synonymous with terrible destruction and death, that it has become a cautionary concept for humankind. I mean, just look around us, the number of natural disasters that have hit the Earth in the last three decades is staggering and many scholars regard these disasters as `birth pains’ for the apocalypse. Maybe that explains the large volume of fiction, movies and television shows depicting the end of the world. You can call them disaster stories or horror stories or a sub-genre within horror, but what matters is that they all serve as a warning to disaster, an inoculation, so to speak. That is, I believe, the same purpose James Herbert set out to achieve with his second novel, THE FOG.
Although the `disaster’ in the case of THE FOG is very much manufactured by, supposedly, the British government or rather, their armed forces, the definition still remains true: there’s a lot of destruction and death within these pages. These themes play well into James Herbert’s style, being the premier writer of chiller fiction since the beginning of his career, with his first novel THE RATS. In what could be the most direct of starting chapters, an earthquake that runs parallel to the main road ravages a village of Wiltshire, causing a deadly green-colored gas to emit from beneath. The origins of the gas remain unknown until later but the effects are soon known, as Herbert brings us through chapters of the carnage ensuing. Reading through tautly written accounts of lewd, violent actions of otherwise normal people, we soon realize that the gas is a kind of neuro gas, a gas that brings out the worst in people, the Dionysian, the `bad’ side of people, simply put. We are not quite sure what the exact effect is, but Herbert gives many suggestions.
One could see what Herbert is going for here: to promote a sort of consideration for the themes he touches on in THE FOG. His style may appear to many as campy, or predictable, or reminiscent of the horror genre of the 70s, which, at times, goes for the proverbial `jugular’ rather than a more refined cajoling of our fear centers best done by authors like Clive Barker or Peter Straub. James Herbert is from the sensationalistic school of horror fiction and one can tell that right from the first chapter.
Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. It really boils down to your expectations. If you are expecting horror with a literary polish, you will be disappointed. THE FOG is instead quintessential horror with a thriller feel, a quick and ruthless story that never lets up, never comes away from the crunch. In that way, it is indeed exciting, very fun to read, and, along the way, it even tackles a lot of other peripheral issues the society of today suffers from. That is the icing on the cake.
But, yes, some parts of the book are campy and some may turn many people off (read through the school gym part and you’ll know), but you’ll find yourself wanting to find out what comes next. This is where I think the book succeeds. It is a thriller in its purest form. If you come into this book with that in mind, you will come off fulfilled. THE FOG is pure, violent horror distilled into 300 over pages of entertainment, its literary faults but a whisper in the wind. And if you read very closely you might learn something about disaster and the worst it brings out of the dark depths of humanity as well.