Book Chat: The Fog
Once a week I’ll be discussing a Book or Movie/TV Series I love. Or posting a submission from a reader/author about a movie or book in the horror or zombie genre. Sharing the love of a book or movie as if you were talking with a friend.
Today’s post brings a Horror novel from Britain’s bestselling author, James Herbert. On my list of favorite horror authors.
Oldie but Goodie, 1975
A peaceful village in Wiltshire is shattered by a disaster which strikes without reason or explanation, leaving behind a trail of misery and horror. A yawning, bottomless crack spreads through the earth, out of which creeps a fog that resembles no other. Whatever it is, it must be controlled.
John Holman is sent to investigate land owned by the Ministry of Defence in England. The authorities wonder if they are really utilizing the land or not. John arrives at a small village at the worst time; an earthquake seems to have struck the area. Large holes open up and people are killed. Holman pitches into one such huge hole and manages to crawl out. As he ascended, a strange yellow mist rose upward. When he escapes, he is quite insane.
The yellow mist quickly starts moving across the countryside, developing into a large fog, affecting humans and animals who are in contact with it. Victims are mostly violent and seem full of rage. Some commit suicide.
Holman recovers after a week in the hospital and the government asks him to help gather a sample from the nucleus of the fog. He is considered immune, and even volunteers who wear heavily protected gear have been affected by the fog. The scientists have discovered it is a mycoplasma of parasites. John attempts to retrieve the sample several times, but is stopped by insane people and bad luck.
Finally, with the assistance of a scientist, he retrieves the sample and the organism is blown up. Vast numbers of infected people in London will be helped by putting them to sleep with gas ejected from planes. Once a serum is developed from the sample, people will be cured.
As with any James Herbert book I’ve read, this was a fascinating read. The effects of the fog on people was chilling; murder, violence, and sexual depravity. Warning: This is one of Herbert’s books that contains explicit sexual scenes.
I did feel a bit of Déjà vu because this has a very similar story line to The Dark, which is a favorite book of mine. The Dark was written five years after The Fog. Both dealt with a menacing “thing” that affected people’s minds, making them violent, etc.