One of the things I love most about reading Horror Fiction is the fact that it has this ability to reach up and grab you, to reach right up off the page, in fact. Fiction that terrifies my mind with ideas that seem never to go away is a rare instance, but there are other ways of entering my mind, as a reader (I doubt anyone would want to enter my mind as a renter, but that’s another matter), and those side-door-entries leave impressions equally as permanent.

Back in the day …

Sorry, that was a bad way to start a new paragraph. You see, I was born in 1988, and so I missed out on a lot of the ‘horror boom’, when writers were making real advances with the novel. What, for me, is ‘back in the day’, isn’t really back in the day at all, but a mystical time and place I am only left to imagine. There are many of you able to remember what it was like to be alive during this influx of Horror Fiction, and let me just say, I envy you, because one of the works I missed out on, not yet having been born, was ‘The Fog’ by James Herbert.

But, not to worry. I didn’t miss out, after all.

When James Herbert was writing this book, there was this new idea: shock horror. It wasn’t really a new idea, I mean, each work in its time and place tends to shock. Yet, the boundaries were still small. Taboo subjects permeated the genre. Then enter writers like Herbert. His book, ‘The Fog’ pushed boundaries and shocks on a new level, a level not seen in its day. I have to admit, though: as a modern reader, it still shocks.

There’s this fog, right? And it comes out of a chasm in the earth … whoever enters it is affected by it … and, and, and … well, those that enter the fog do some pretty nasty things. I mean little-naked-boys-tacking-teachers-to-the-wall nasty. People pissing in public. Cows trampling their owners for no good reason. It’s just the start of a horror novel that makes you think of the modern day slasher film, but the thing about this book is that it’s good. It produces images you won’t soon forget.

And the worst part? The fog. It keeps growing, and growing, and growing, and growing, and …

Review by David M. Wilson

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