The Fog book cover
James Herbert, The Fog (New English Library, 1975)

Category: Adult Fiction: Horror: Non-Supernatural

Setting: 1970s  South England and London

Keywords: Biological Weaponry; Epidemics; Madness

In Brief: A fast-paced and entertaining read, with high stakes and high-level violence obscuring a rather bland cast of characters.

Plot: A fog causes a mass outbreak of extreme violence.

Protagonist: Male, lower-middle-aged public servant, surprisingly adept in the action hero role.

Female Characters: Very few. Only two continuing characters, neither much more than an outline of “na├»ve young love interest” or “doctor”. Apart from the doctor, everyone doing anything remotely useful in here is male.

Diverse Characters: A gay man and a lesbian are in here briefly; homosexuality is not depicted well. Cast is almost entirely white.

(content warnings beneath the cut)

Content Warnings:

  • homophobic violence
  • conflation of homosexuality and paedophilia
  • kill your gays
  • lesbian “cured” by sex with a man
  • sexualised violence
  • attempted rape
  • incest (ish)
  • suicide
  • extreme violence
  • dismemberment
  • domestic violence / murder
  • plane crashing into building
  • madness equated with violence and sexual violence