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The Fog

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  23,099 ratings  ·  418 reviews
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.
Paperback, 345 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Macmillan UK (first published 1975)
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Kyle Trimper Depictions of graphic sex and sexual horror is quite frankly one of James Herbert's trademarks, and one of the reasons he has become popular and well-…moreDepictions of graphic sex and sexual horror is quite frankly one of James Herbert's trademarks, and one of the reasons he has become popular and well-esteemed in horror fiction. Almost every novel he has written is full of graphic depiction of lurid and sometimes deviant sex: even Once, which is supposed to be a light fairy story, is almost pornographic in nature. I'm not sure about Fluke, the one about the dog who is really a man, since it's one of the few James Herbert books I haven't read yet. Basically, if sexual details turn you off, perhaps James Herbert is not the author for you.(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,099 ratings  ·  418 reviews

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Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
An absolute classic from the mid 70s. A mysterious fog appears and drives human beings into madness. Here you really understand the term homo hominis lupus! The government is trying to do everything to stop the fog from moving to London. In vain. The fog reaches London. Will John Holman, the main character, who survived the fog, be able to stop this "deadly man made disease" in the end? I think this is the best book if you want to read something in the section something escaped from the laborato ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
~ + ~ Murder...Mayhem...and Madness.

THE FOG first shows its ugly face in a small peaceful village in England with two lovely children entering and happily exiting a candy store with their booty when the ground begins to rumble. Enter John Holman returning from a secret assignment for the Department of Environment who happens to turn up at just the wrong moment when the earth opens up....swallows those near..and emits its dense, yellow tinged, smelly life altering mist.

As THE FOG grows and gover

Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
The Fog, an early entry in British horror legend James Herbert's career, (and this is not to be confused with John Carpenters film of the same name), after having read The Rats trilogy (which I loved the first two in the series), I wanted to go through Herbert's backlog.

Like his previous workThe Rats, the concept is pretty simple, a mysterious fog drifts in and seemingly turns people insane, either murderous or/and suicidal, and their is an extremely disturbing scene at a boys school.

Centred mai
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror

I almost stopped reading this. (view spoiler)

The Fog mostly consists of short ho
Adam Light
I have always heard great things about The Fog, so when I finally found a copy of it, I knew I would be in for a treat. Luckily, I managed to avoid any spoilers, so I had no idea what to expect. I love that. I try to avoid blurbs and reviews of boks so I can experience the story with little or no expectations.

This book begins with a bang and, fortunately, this sets off a series of ever louder and more violent bangs. For a book published in 1975, it was surprisingly fresh. There were a few scenes
Jamie Stewart
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The first two acts of this book reminded me of a more gruesome John Wyndham novel while the third act reminded me of 28 Days Later. The Fog is an excellent horror novel, expertly with James Herberts matter of fact style which only adds to the horror within its pages. The authors writing style does not leave anything for the readers imagination, instead chooses to describe horrid scenes in full detail. The Fog is the story about a man made contagion that drives people mad. In the hands of a lesse ...more
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror

I am just getting my thoughts together after reading The Fog by James Herbert it was a mind blowing experience to read this author for the first time i must say he is right up there with Stephen King in my opinion i was glued to every word written & at times felt sick reading some of the story, luckily i have a strong stomach it really creeped me out at times but LOVED LOVED LOVED this book READ IF YOU DARE!!!

WARNING only read if you have a stron
Jul 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Although dated in certain respects (being published in 1975), I enjoyed this horror/science-fiction novel overall. It is generally fast-paced with strange events already happening within the first few pages - definitely not a slow start! The story deals with a mysterious yellow fog that is blown by winds across the English countryside and whenever humans or other animals come into contact with it, they sooner or later lose their minds and often become extremely violent.

At times, the book is lik
Apr 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
This guy is sometimes called the British Stephen King; he started writing in the mid 70s, same time as King did. Like King, his books were sortof shocking at the time for their violence. Here's his second and best-known novel, and here's what it's about:
Despite all the technological advances of science, it seemed survival still depended on the action of a man. One man.
Dun dun! The whole thing sounds like that, like the voiceover for the trailer for a shitty movie. But wait I'm not done, I have t
Leo .
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent book by the master of horror. Scary. Nothing to do with the film The Fog by John Carpenter and starring a young beautiful Jamie Lee Curtis. Even though the film is a different story to the book it is a very good film. I recommend both.🐯👍👍🐯
 (shan) Littlebookcove
Absolutely Terrifying.

Yep, James Herbert you have a fan for life now Its really good to find authors that are from your own country The fact James Herbert the author is from my old hometown! And comes out with the books he does is just mind blowing to me. 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 po
Jon Recluse
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant hybrid of a novel. Herbert hits all the highpoints that make a great thriller, then casually crosses over into the horror territory he would soon become an acknowledged master of, with scenes that will stay with you to your grave.
Sep 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am sure I have said several times that James Herbert was one of the writers I gained my introduction to horror from (the other being Stephen King). Now at the time a mixture of nativity and a limited range of choices (not sure if that is really the result of the former) meant that second hand markets and rummage sales were the only sources I knew of.

The result was that I devoured the early Herbert's which left a lasting image (or at least to start with) of English horror - it took the likes of
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ha-challenge
Starts right off with the action; several scenes will stay with the reader for a while! Reminded me somewhat of his novel THE DARK as far as the structure of the novel went... I will be catching up on several of his other books soon!
David Brian
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a re-read for me. I first read The Fog many years ago, and based on memories of being creeped out by the sense of threatening dread within its pages, I'd given it a four star rating. I've now 'bumped' that to a five.
This is early James Herbert; and it's easy to forget how very good his earlier stuff was.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fog is one of those books that would stare down at me from my fathers bookshelf when I was little. Titles like Wolfen, It's Alive, The Rats and The Fog, with covers so terrible I was scared and fascinated at the same time. Now, I'm trying to find those same books and read them myself, wondering if the stories live up to my childhood impressions.

The Fog didn't disappoint. The main story of how the Fog came to be and how it will be destroyed, while believable enough, was a bit boring. It's the
Matt Tandy
An interesting concept with a direction that's not quite expected, The Fog should have been much better than the end result. While captivating in many ways, the characters let the narrative down, as they are either too cold, as with the lead, Hollman, or a caricature, as with his girlfriend, Casey.

While it's not particularly horrific, there are many unsettling scenes, especially one with entire town behaving like lemmings. However, there are also many situations thrown in obviously for titillati
Alondra Miller
4 Stars


This is NOT like the 1980 movie that features Adrienne Barbieau and Janet Leigh. The Fog is one nasty piece of work and James Herbert seemed to like it that way. No quick deaths, no thought-provoking questions. Murder, mayhem, government conspiracy, sexual deviance and a proud middle finger. Kinda like those books from the 80's: Truly Tasteless Jokes One. It's tasteless and knuckle-dragging, but so damned fun. LOL
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Herbert experience and man what a start! I love the interludes that we get throughout the novel where we get to see the horrible things that the Fog causes people to do.
The book has a lot of gore and gruesome, violent scenes especially for something published in 1975. It also has some very mean spirited kills and I loved every second of it. Devilishly good stuff.
The characters were well written from the main protagonist John Holman to even the most minor characters. All of th
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
First horror book I have ever read and I am so glad I picked it up. Unfortunately, I didn't find it scary at all, although this did not make the narrative any less intriguing. Contrary to what other people say, I actually really liked reading about the backstories of the different characters and seeing how the fog affected each of them. I also really enjoyed reading the action and gore - the way Herbert writes his descriptions makes his story feel that much more realistic, which I can understand ...more
the story was ok but I never got attached to any of the characters. it's fast paced so it goes by quickly.
Good but disjointed opening, followed by a boring middle portion with too much tech-talk leading in to an intense
and horrifying ending.

Side note; Holman, the lead character and his partner Cassie did nothing for the book, the Fog is the winner here and well worthy the price of admission alone. With a better cast of characters this would be an easy 5 star read.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of cheesy horror
I remember looking at this novel when I was a just a kid. Probably about 1977/78 so I would have been nine or ten years old. Just reading the synopsis on the back of the paperback scared me. Throw in the lurid cover art of the New American Library edition and I knew that there was no way in hell my parent's would let me read Mr. Hebert's sophomore effort.......unfortunately.

Well the decades flew by, but I never totally forgot this book. A few days ago I found a copy (the same lurid New American
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Clearly Herbert intends to deliver sharp kicks to the stomach here, but he only succeeds in a few of the more minor incidences of people coming into contact with the fog early on and one or two late in the story. The more visceral sections are quite good, but they're not sustained for long and the author is not operating at a level near them for much of the book. Apart from some successes with minor characters, this is never really engrossing at a character level, despite the focus on the human ...more
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is more like it. As a fan of the author and a completist by nature, I've read a couple of his books lately that were just so so. The Fog was exactly the kind of scary fun ride that Herbert was capable of at his best. Oh, wow, I just edited this changing is to was, that's sad. But I digress...Fog was extremely graphic (not for the sensitive readers), uber violent, yet very humane at the same time. Herbert's got a real knack for side characters, really fleshing them out despite the fact that ...more
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reading a James Herbert directly after a Neil Gaiman is perhaps an odd choice for me. It’s following a writer who is genuinely funny, with one whose biggest flaw is – in my opinion – his distinct lack of humour. I generally find Herbert’s books entertaining, but moments of light relief, let alone jokes, tend to be few and far between. However, even though I didn’t give it the best preparation, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Fog’.

As the author’s preface (written in 1988) points out, Herbert considers
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Three and half stars

(I know there could be some mistakes in this review. I’m trying to improve my English, thanks)

I wanted to read an horror novel and I found this one. Although the writer is well known -and also the book is considered a classic-, I did not know James Herbert’s works before.

“The fog” is not an horror novel like the ones I used to know (Ahem! basically Stephen King’s books and some H.P. Lovecraft’s tales). I consider this book is also a disaster novel, like those movies in the
Zuky the BookBum
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, 3-stars
This is one of those books I really wanted to love more considering Herbert is kind of a UK horror icon, however, I only half loved it. Quite literally.

This book started off super quickly and super weirdly too. You’re immediately thrown into a bizarre world where The Fog is wreaking havoc on people’s brains and actions. I really enjoyed reading about all the weird things The Fog made people do, chapter 6 was quite the surprise! Herbert creates the perfect blend of over the top with gruesomeness
Peter Ruys

This was my first read by Herbert and I found it an easy, shocking, humourous, atmospheric, eerie, action packed and enjoyable read. He wastes no time getting into it!
For me, this book was all about the stories within the story, the vignettes, about what happened to the fog effected people. The boys in the school gym was possibly the most random, sexually depraved, gruesome thing I’ve read ... to the point where I had to laugh 😅. Herby and his pigeons was quite an entertaining story and I thoug
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This author is recommended as one of the horror greats, so when I saw this book and The Rats on one of my Goodwill adventures, I had to get 'em. I really enjoy horror stories though I don't seem to read them as often as other types, but while looking for my next book to read, I saw this one and it just said to me, it's time. So I went with the flow and started reading, and was immediately drawn into the story, wanting to know what was going to happen next. To be honest, when I picked this book u ...more
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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.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his 19 novels have sold more than 42 million

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