from my original blog on 20/8/19:
35 years ago I would have been about 16 years old when I first read this story. I’d wanted to read it again for some time, it had stuck in my mind as something worth re-visiting. Unfortunately I found that, for me, the story has not stood up well to the test of time.
The novel has a reliance on third-person narration that I found irritating after a while. The story felt slow as a result, and I found myself skipping long sections in order to find the next piece of ‘action’.
More critically perhaps for a horror genre writer, the ‘horror’ in this story seemed to have been confused with occasional horrific events combined with rather adolescent perceptions of sex. That style may have appealed to a 16 year old male in circa 1983, but it does not appeal today. Modern writing has progressed to be more immediate, fast-paced and driven by action. In genre fiction we’ve rather moved away from the slower style used in ‘The Fog’, and I think our stories are better for it.
Having picked up a 3-novel edition, I decided to try ‘The Spear’ as well. I’m afraid I only read the first twenty or so pages before getting so bored that I simply closed the book.
I hate to give poor reviews of books, but unfortunately for me these 2 neither lived up to nostalgia or modern expectations.