‘I’ll make a sound that’s so alone that no one can miss it, that whoever hears it will weep in their souls, and hearths will seem warmer, and being inside will seem better to all who hear it in the distant towns.’
Ray Bradbury’s The Fog Horn was first published in 1951 in The Saturday Evening Post. I came across it in his 1953 short story collection The Golden Apples of the Sun, which is a HUGE recommendation if you haven’t yet read it. This is the first of my Hallowe’en Reads 2018.
The Fog Horn is a tale of two men who work at a secluded lighthouse and what they witness there on a cold November night. It contains themes of loneliness, isolation, companionship, the power of nature, as well as how little we know about the vast depths of the ocean.
Keeping this brief review spoiler-free, I will just say that Bradbury’s descriptions of the sea and the sound of the fog horn are simply stunning. Here are some quotes to whet your appetite:
‘The ocean […] It rolls and swells a thousand shapes and colors, no two alike.’
‘The Fog Horn was blowing steadily, once every fifteen seconds.
“Sounds like an animal, don’t it?” McDunn nodded to himself. “A big lonely animal crying in the night. Sitting here on the edge of ten billion years calling out to the Deeps, I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.”
“I’ll make a voice like all of time and all of the fog that ever was; […] a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard, cold shore.”
‘A cry came across a million years of water and mist. A cry so anguished and alone that it shuddered in my head and my body.’
This is a big recommend to all those seeking a story perfect to read on a cold and windy autumn night. For added effect you could play a video of the sounds of the sea in the background, or leave it to your imagination:)