Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter Series #3)

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Overview

You remember Hannibal Lecter: gentleman, genius, cannibal. Seven years have passed since Dr. Lecter escaped from custody. And for seven years he's been at large, free to savor the scents, the essences, of an unguarded world.

But intruders have entered Dr. Lecter's world, piercing his new identity, sensing the evil that surrounds him. For the multimillionaire Hannibal left maimed, for a corrupt Italian policeman, and for FBI agent Clarice Starling, who once stood before Lecter ...

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Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter Series #3)

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Overview

You remember Hannibal Lecter: gentleman, genius, cannibal. Seven years have passed since Dr. Lecter escaped from custody. And for seven years he's been at large, free to savor the scents, the essences, of an unguarded world.

But intruders have entered Dr. Lecter's world, piercing his new identity, sensing the evil that surrounds him. For the multimillionaire Hannibal left maimed, for a corrupt Italian policeman, and for FBI agent Clarice Starling, who once stood before Lecter and who has never been the same, the final hunt for Hannibal Lecter has begun. All of them, in their separate ways, want to find Dr. Lecter. And all three will get their wish. But only one will live long enough to savor the reward....

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Luckily for us, seven years is all the R and R creator Thomas Harris allowed his brilliant, mad, and strangely charming Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Yes, the better part of a decade elapsed after then-FBI trainee Clarice Starling exposed her haunting childhood memory to the fascinated Lecter. Though Lecter assured Starling, at the end of The Silence of the Lambs, that he believed the world a better place with her in it, all that may change in Hannibal, as the doctor reawakens Starling's nightmare.
From the Publisher
"Strap yourself in for one heck of a ride—it'll scare your socks off."—Denver Post

"Relentless—endlessly terrifying."—Los Angeles Times

"Interested in getting the hell scared out of you? Buy this book on a Friday ... lock all doors and windows. And by Monday, you might just be able to sleep without a night-light." —Newsday

Don't miss Thomas Harris's New York Times bestsellers:
Red Dragon
Black Sunday

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
...[G]reat is the fund of fascination with Lecter built up in Mr. Harris's previous novels — for his being a superman embodying absolute yet comprehensible evil...that almost nothing can dissipate his malign attraction....Hannibal remains full of wonderful touches, typical of Mr. Harris's grasp of arcane detail.
The New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hannibal the cannibal is back again, and in this special audio version, listeners are treated to the author's unique and riveting interpretation of his characters' voices and personalities. Having escaped captivity in The Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Hannibal Lecter has been living on the sly in Europe, leading the life of a sophisticated, academic gentleman. But Hannibal has left behind one sloppy mistake: a victim named Mason Verger, who was accused of molesting his own children but managed to avoid jail provided he sought psychiatric treatment with Dr. Lecter. Hannibal has left Verger barely alive, and, bent on revenge, this man who is as much a monster as Hannibal buys off a cadre of corrupt government agents to find his nemesis. (As an interesting aside for listeners, Hannibal has left Verger lipless, and Harris's vocal rendition of this character is particularly eerie.) Simultaneously, Clarice Starling, the FBI agent who sought Dr. Lecter's assistance in finding another killer in The Silence of the Lambs, is also on his trail, while, in turn, Hannibal is seeking Clarice, for whom he shows a curious affection. As the two eventually find each other, the listener is treated to an incredibly disturbing and shocking conclusion. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Hannibal is, of course, Harris's long-awaited sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, which so thoroughly propelled the brilliant psychiatrist-cannibal into the popular imagination. We catch up with Lecter in Florence where he is living a scholarly life and rarely murders anyone but is still obsessed with FBI special agent Clarice Starling. He is nearly captured in Florence, after which the FBI and Starling are back on his trail. Also tracking Lecter is another monster, Mason Verger, his only surviving victim. Verger is mutilated, paralyzed, and on a respirator but has resources enough at his disposal to co-opt and manipulate the FBI's investigation in his quest for vengeance. The strong and likable Starling is doubly betrayed, first by the FBI and then by Harris himself, as the novel stumbles to its bizarre and unlikely conclusion. The author reads his own work with remarkable skill and precision--an ironic but welcome asset to this program, which is an adequate abridgment.--Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Stephen King
It is...one of the two most frightening popular novels of our time, the other being The Exorcist....[A] novel full of rough bumps and little insights....[An] authentic witch's brew, eye of newt and haunch of redneck....[N]ovels that so bravely and cleverly erase the line between popular fiction and literature are very much to be prized.
The New York Times Book Review
Larry King
A work of art. The last 100 pages are the best I've ever read in the thriller genre...five stars.
USA Today
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
...[G]reat is the fund of fascination with Lecter built up in Mr. Harris's previous novels — for his being a superman embodying absolute yet comprehensible evil...that almost nothing can dissipate his malign attraction....Hannibal remains full of wonderful touches, typical of Mr. Harris's grasp of arcane detail.
The New York Times
Paul Gray
What is there not to like about an evil genius with a taste for human sweetbreads and absolutely no morning-after guilt, or indigestion, about slaking his hunger? Particularly, it must be added, when such a monster is securely incarcerated in the dank basement of a Baltimore, Md., mental institution for the rest of his life. Having created a character of unadulterated evil, Harris has now proceeded to adulterate him, giving Lecter a traumatic childhood experience to explain the wicked path he later trod. What is more, Lecter is by no means the worst member of the rolling cast of Hannibal; that honor goes to Mason Verger, one of Lecter's two surviving victims, hideously deformed (thanks to Hannibal), heir to his family's meatpacking fortune, a one-time torturer for Uganda's former dictator Idi Amin, and a child molester to boot. The bumby journey toward the conclusion of Hannibal is often exciting. At the top of his form, Harris is the class of the current field of thriller writers, ladling out authentic-sounding information on such arcana as weapons and Swiss bank accounts, plus sharp thumbnail portraits of the major players and malefactors and incessant plot surprises.
Time
New York Observer
Mr. Harris's narrative tone is detached, knowing and dryly witty: The reader is somehow ironically complicit in the unfolding action...Mr. Harris does't simply describe, he seems to reveal...Even the book's shocking, bleakly amusing ending is gratifying in his hands. With Hannibal, Mr. Harris has devised an unlikely, unsentimental romance out of invidious deeds.
Time Out New York
After 11 years, Harris has succumbed to the demand for Lecter's return, but he's done so in a delightfully perverse book written with complete desregard for the standards of Holywood or the stomachs of squeamish readers. Harris builds Lecter's mystique by mostly keeping him in the background...When Lector finally takes center stage, he's shown in unlikely contexts — trapped between antsy children on a crowded airplane, for example — that through their absurd banality, make him suprisingly sympathetic. Harris's prose isn't as sharp as it was in Dragon or Lambs, but Hannibal's precise construction and cheerfully sick humor proce that Harris is still one of America's best, most daring pop writers.
— Andrew Johnston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440224679
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/23/2000
  • Series: Hannibal Lecter Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 51,227
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Harris began his writing career covering crime in the United States and Mexico, and was a reporter and editor for the Associated Press in New York City. His first novel, Black Sunday, was published in 1975, followed byRed Dragon in 1981, The Silence of the Lambs in 1988, and Hannibal in 1999.

Biography

Insightful. Cunning. Mysteriously elusive. Wickedly dark. Such descriptions could just as easily apply to novelist Thomas Harris as they could to his most famous creation -- one of the most notorious literary (and cinematic) villains of all time. Hannibal Lecter has left a wake of murder and chaos through a trilogy of horrifically mesmerizing thrillers: Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal. Now, twenty-five years after making his debut, Lecter is back in Harris's fifth novel Hannibal Rising. Biography From within the shadows of a darkened cell lurks a human monster with an intellect as sharp as a straight razor and a conscience as blank as a death shroud. He's Hannibal Lecter, a formerly brilliant psychiatrist turned prisoner after it was discovered that the good doctor had some rather, err... unconventional appetites.

Ever since the release of the film version of The Silence of the Lambs in 1991, Hannibal Lecter has been one of the most famous fictional villains in popular culture, perhaps only rivaled by Dracula and Frankenstein's monster. But what of Lecter's creator? Thomas Harris is quite a bit less accessible than the cannibalistic psychopath he crafted. While Harris is infamously media-shy, it is well known that he was once a crime reporter working for the Waco Tribune-Herald, later becoming a reporter and editor for the Associated Press. Harris would carry his fascination with true crime over to the world of literary fiction when he wrote his debut novel in the mid-70s. Black Sunday, the harrowing, terrifying tale of a terrorist attack plotted to take place during the Super Bowl, was inspired by the real-life assassination of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The novel revealed a young author with a gift for building palpable suspense out of a seemingly improbable situation (at least, in 1975 the idea of a mass-scale terrorist attack on U.S. soil was considered to be highly improbable). Two years after the novel's release, it became a major motion picture directed by the late John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate) and starring Robert Shaw and Bruce Dern. Black Sunday was the first film based on a book by Thomas Harris, but it was by no means the last.

In 1981, Harris finally published his second novel. It was Red Dragon that first introduced the world to Hannibal Lecter as he assists Special Agent William Graham of the FBI in his quest to hunt down a ritualistic killer. Lecter was a villain unlike any other: calm, controlled, insightful, even humorous, but ready to strike like a viper at any given moment. The book became a massive hit, both critically and commercially, paving the way for further adventures featuring the flesh-eating Lecter.

When Hannibal "The Cannibal" returned in a novel that propelled the character into the realm of superstardom, he was once again pitting wits with an FBI agent bent on bringing down a serial killer. However, this time the agent was infinitely more complex, her relationship with Lecter infinitely more provocative. Clarice Starling's battle of wits with Lecter was detailed in The Silence of the Lambs, one of the finest thrillers in print. The critical accolades were astounding: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Examiner, and the Chicago Tribune are just a sampling of the periodicals that praised The Silence of the Lambs. But it was Jonathan Demme's film adaptation of the novel that really sealed Harris's -- and Lecter's -- position in pop culture. With Anthony Hopkins giving a career performance as the doctor, The Silence of the Lambs is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films in cinema history. In fact, it is the only horror film ever to sweep the Academy Awards, winning trophies for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress (Jodie Foster as Agent Starling), and Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published.

Not surprisingly, expectations were high when Harris published Hannibal in 1999. However, this reunion between Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling was deemed too-much-of-a-grisly-thing by many critics who felt that the story had stumbled into the realm of gross self-parody. That didn't stop many from praising the book, though. In his review for the New York Times, fellow horror-master Stephen King said that Harris's fourth novel was "one of the two most frightening popular novels of our time, the other being The Exorcist." Larry King wrote in USA Today that Hannibal was nothing less than "a work of art." Once again, the story found a home on the big screen with Anthony Hopkins returning as Lecter and Julianne Moore taking over the role of Clarice. Much like the book upon which it was based, Hannibal received mixed notices because of its graphic violence despite the fact that the original ending of the book had been softened considerably.

For those hoping that the mixed reaction to Hannibal did not result in an end to Lecter's exploits, Harris's next book should be a bit of gruesome good news. Hannibal Rising is a prequel to the Lecter trilogy, tracking how an abandoned boy in Eastern Europe came to become one of the most diabolical creations in literature. So, settle down with some fava beans and a nice chianti, and hold tight... Hannibal Lecter will be back before you can say, "I'm having an old friend for dinner."

Good To Know

Harris is making his screenwriting debut with an adaptation of his Hannibal Rising. Starring the young French actor Gaspard Ulliel as Hannibal Lecter, the film is slated for release in February 2007.

Harris supposedly declined to be involved in the making of The Silence of the Lambs, but when the film wrapped, he sent each member of the cast and crew a bottle of wine.

Hannibal Lecter made his big screen debut as played by Brian Cox in the 1986 Michael Mann film Manhunter, an adaptation of Red Dragon. Sixteen years later, Brett Ratner remade the film with the novel's original title and Anthony Hopkins resuming his role as Lecter.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter Twenty One

The Christian martyr San Miniato picked up his severed head from the sand of the Roman amphitheater in Florence and carried it beneath his arm to the mountainside across the river where he lies in his splendid church, tradition says.

Certainly San Miniato's body, erect or not, passed en route along the ancient street where we now stand, the Via de' Bardi. The evening gathers now and the street is empty, the fan pattern of the cobbles shining in a winter drizzle not cold enough to kill the smell of cats. We are among the palaces built six hundred years ago by the merchant princes, the kingmakers and connivers of Renaissance Florence. Within bow-shot across the Arno River are the cruel spikes of the Signoria, where the monk Savonarola was hanged and burned, and that great meat house of hanging Christs, the Uffizi museum.

These family palaces, pressed together in an ancient street, frozen in the modern Italian bureaucracy, are prison architecture on the outside, but they contain great and graceful spaces, high silent halls no one ever sees, draped with rotting, rain-streaked silk where lesser works of the great Renaissance masters hang in the dark for years, and are illuminated by the lightning after the draperies collapse.

Here beside you is the palazzo of the Capponi, a family distinguished for a thousand years, who tore up a French king's ultimatum in his face and produced a pope.

The windows of the Palazzo Capponi are dark now, behind their iron grates. The torch rings are empty. In that pane of crazed old glass is a bullet hole from the 1940s. Go closer. Rest your head against the cold iron as the policeman did and listen. Faintly you can hear a clavier. Bach's Goldberg Variations played, not perfectly, but exceedingly well, with an engaging understanding of the music. Played not perfectly, but exceedingly well; there is perhaps a slight stiffness in the left hand.

If you believe you are beyond harm, will you go inside? Will you enter this palace so prominent in blood and glory, follow your face through the web-spanned dark, toward the exquisite chiming of the clavier? The alarms cannot see us. The wet policeman lurking in the doorway cannot see us. Come . . .

Inside the foyer the darkness is almost absolute. A long stone staircase, the stair rail cold beneath our sliding hand, the steps scooped by the hundreds of years of footfalls, uneven beneath our feet as we climb toward the music.

The tall double doors of the main salon would squeak and howl if we had to open them. For you, they are open. The music comes from the far, far corner, and from the corner comes the only light, light of many candles pouring reddish through the small door of a chapel off the corner of the room.

Cross to the music. We are dimly aware of passing large groups of draped furniture, vague shapes not quite still in the candlelight, like a sleeping herd. Above us the height of the room disappears into darkness.

The light glows redly on an ornate clavier and on the man known to Renaissance scholars as Dr. Fell, the doctor elegant, straight-backed as he leans into the music, the light reflecting off his hair and the back of his quilted silk dressing gown with a sheen like pelt.

The raised cover of the clavier is decorated with an intricate scene of banquetry, and the little figures seem to swarm in the candlelight above the strings. He plays with his eyes closed. He has no need of the sheet music. Before him on the lyre-shaped music rack of the clavier is a copy of the American trash tabloid the National Tattler. It is folded to show only the face on the front page, the face of Clarice Starling.

Our musician smiles, ends the piece, repeats the saraband once for his own pleasure and as the last quill-plucked string vibrates to silence in the great room, he opens his eyes, each pupil centered with a red pinpoint of light. He tilts his head to the side and looks at the paper before him.

He rises without sound and carries the American tabloid into the tiny, ornate chapel, built before the discovery of America. As he holds it up to the light of the candles and unfolds it, the religious icons above the altar seem to read the tabloid over his shoulder, as they would in a grocery line. The type is seventy-two-point Railroad Gothic. It says "DEATH ANGEL: CLARICE STARLING, THE FBI'S KILLING MACHINE."

Faces painted in agony and beatitude around the altar fade as he snuffs the candles. Crossing the great hall he has no need of light. A puff of air as Dr. Hannibal Lecter passes us. The great door creaks, closes with a thud we can feel in the floor. Silence.

Footsteps entering another room. In the resonances of this place, the walls feel closer, the ceiling still high—sharp sounds echo late from above—and the still air holds the smell of vellum and parchment and extinguished candlewicks.

The rustle of paper in the dark, the squeak and scrape of a chair. Dr. Lecter sits in a great armchair in the fabled Capponi Library. His eyes reflect light redly, but they do not glow red in the dark, as some of his keepers have sworn they do. The darkness is complete. He is considering. . . .

It is true that Dr. Lecter created the vacancy at the Palazzo Capponi by removing the former curator—a simple process requiring a few seconds' work on the old man and a modest outlay for two bags of cement—but once the way was clear he won the job fairly, demonstrating to the Belle Arti Committee an extraordinary linguistic capability, sight-translating medieval Italian and Latin from the densest Gothic black-letter manuscripts.

He has found a peace here that he would preserve—he has killed hardly anybody, except his predecessor, during his residence in Florence.

His appointment as translator and curator of the Capponi Library is a considerable prize to him for several reasons:

The spaces, the height of the palace rooms, are important to Dr. Lecter after his years of cramped confinement. More important, he feels a resonance with the palace; it is the only private building he has ever seen that approaches in dimension and detail the memory palace he has maintained since youth.

In the library, this unique collection of manuscripts and correspondence going back to the early thirteenth century, he can indulge a certain curiosity about himself.

Dr. Lecter believed, from fragmentary family records, that he was descended from a certain Giuliano Bevisangue, a fearsome twelfth-century figure in Tuscany, and from the Machiavelli as well as the Visconti. This was the ideal place for research. While he had a certain abstract curiosity about the matter, it was not ego-related. Dr. Lecter does not require conventional reinforcement. His ego, like his intelligence quota, and the degree of his rationality, is not measurable by conventional means.

In fact, there is no consensus in the psychiatric community that Dr. Lecter should be termed a man. He has long been regarded by his professional peers in psychiatry, many of whom fear his acid pen in the professional journals, as something entirely Other. For convenience they term him "monster."

The monster sits in the black library, his mind painting colors on the dark and a medieval air running in his head. He is considering the policeman.

Click of a switch and a low lamp comes on.

Now we can see Dr. Lecter seated at a sixteenth-century refectory table in the Capponi Library. Behind him is a wall of pigeonholed manuscripts and great canvas-covered ledgers going back eight hundred years. A fourteenth-century correspondence with a minister of the Republic of Venice is stacked before him, weighted with a small casting Michelangelo did as a study for his horned Moses, and in front of the inkstand, a laptop computer with on-line research capability through the University of Milan.

Bright red and blue among the dun and yellow piles of parchment and vellum is a copy of the National Tattler. And beside it, the Florence edition of La Nazione.

Dr. Lecter selects the Italian newspaper and reads its latest attack on Rinaldo Pazzi, prompted by an FBI disclaimer in the case of Il Mostro. "Our profile never matched Tocca," an FBI spokesman said.

La Nazione cited Pazzi's background and training in America, at the famous Quantico academy, and said he should have known better.

The case of Il Mostro did not interest Dr. Lecter at all, but Pazzi's background did. How unfortunate that he should encounter a policeman trained at Quantico, where Hannibal Lecter was a textbook case.

When Dr. Lecter looked into Rinaldo Pazzi's face at the Palazzo Vecchio, and stood close enough to smell him, he knew for certain that Pazzi suspected nothing, even though he had asked about the scar on Dr. Lecter's hand. Pazzi did not even have any serious interest in him regarding the curator's disappearance.

The policeman saw him at the exposition of torture instruments. Better to have encountered him at an orchid show.

Dr. Lecter was well aware that all the elements of epiphany were present in the policeman's head, bouncing at random with the million other things he knew.

Should Rinaldo Pazzi join the late curator of the Palazzo Vecchio down in the damp? Should Pazzi's body be found after an apparent suicide? La Nazione would be pleased to have hounded him to death.

Not now, the monster reflected, and turned to his great rolls of vellum and parchment manuscripts.

Dr. Lecter does not worry. He delighted in the writing style of Neri Capponi, banker and emissary to Venice in the fifteenth century, and read his letters, aloud from time to time, for his own pleasure late into the night.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 292 )
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(37)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 293 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    My idea of romance

    I love Thomas Harris, he is original and he comes up with the most orginal characters. I have been a fan since I watched silence of the lambs back when I was a tennager, and I have read his other books except for Black Sunday, soon though.

    I am one of the people that loves the book, start to finish, and I found the ending fitting for this couple. The tension that started with Silence of the Lambs, carried over perfectly. Some people think that Starling acted out of character, but if you read one book right after the other one, you can pick up the hints that Harris left regarding Starlings transformation.

    The poor girl had a crappy life, her career with the FBI was destroyed the moment she found Jame Gumb, she gave her best years to the bureau and it got her nothing but the scorn of her male contemporaries and superiors. Being a girl, and an attractive one at that with a strong personality didn't help her either.

    Dr Lecter took advantage of Starlings misfortunes to bring her over to the dark side, something she avidly welcomed I might add.
    I wouldn't called Dr. Lecter an anti-hero, no matter how much you romanticise him, he is still a murderous cannibal. But you can't deny that his attachment to Clarice is kind of sweet.

    A great book, the ending might not be for everybody, but like I say. Read Silence right before Hannibal and it makes more sense.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ** spoiler alert ** When I finished The Silence of the Lambs

    ** spoiler alert **

    When I finished The Silence of the Lambs I was so hoping that Starling would be a FBI agent well on her way to the top. In a perfect world, she would have been. However, "Hannibal" gives an all-too realistic and believable explanation of why she isn't. During the course of this book, her world collapses in on her and everything she has put her faith and trust in either abandons her (through circumstance or not) or completely turns on her.

    In SotL, Clarice was a young trainee who was aware of the things she would have to over-come once she actually made it out of training. However, in this book, she has becoming jaded by the reality of how much she's resented for her success and (it is at the very least implied) the fact that she had that success while being female.

    I actually enjoy the fact that, in the end, Clarice was left open to Hannibal's corruption because the world she valued so much had turned on her and basically left her with nothing to turn back to. I'm really a sucker for twisted versions of happy endings

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 1999

    Incredible

    It was the best book of the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of My Favorites...

    I read "Hannibal" over Christmas Vacation in two days, and I immediately proclaimed it as one of my favorites--and although I read (too) much, I have very few favorite books. I stayed up until 5AM the night between those two days reading it by the glow of Christmas lights. It drew me in and I simply could not put it down.<BR/>It is much better than the movie (which is still enjoyable in its own right), especially the ending. But if you want to know what that means, you'll have to read the book to find out.<BR/>Yes, it's a little gory, but nothing offensive. Another excellent thriller, "Battle Royale," was bloodier, if you want a comparison. At any rate, I figured that Krendler fellow had what was coming to him. (Read the book to find out what I mean by that.)<BR/>There's sort of a subliminal romantic twist to it too; not in the in-your-face/mushy/obnoxious style of the 90s version of the movie "Titanic" or those "Twilight" books, though. It was subtle and made the story more appealing.<BR/>I really don't want to give anything away, so I'll end my little review here. I do suggest you read it. You will not be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2000

    surely this is a joke.

    If, like me you,ve read and enjoyed Harris' two previous novels, don't rush out to get this one. All of the aspects that that made SOL and Reg Dragon grippping reads are missing here. What's wrong? Well, slooow plot, poorly defined characters (Starling starts well, but by the end of the book has become a totally vague personality), weak plot, improbable plot events ( eg man eating pigs - terrifying huh?) and a general lack of tension. The book also contains long passages of descriptive prose of Florence with historical and cultural musings at length. Also changes from third person narrator to first person and first person plural, all seemingly at random. If this isn't enought to bore you, then the last 50 pages or so where the plot goes into cuckoo land will finish you off. Imagine Dr Lecter as a caring benevolent gourmand?? You get the picture. The 'horror' in this book is simply not there, because the author has let the tension go and the reader is left feeling slightly sickened by the gruesome descrptive prose, but not scared because the situations are so obviuosly contrived. Why has Harris written such a bad book? Why did for example Stephen King give it such a rave review? Who knows. Actually who cares. I got my copy of this book for free and still feel I was ripped off. Don't go out there and pay for it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2000

    What happened to the ending?

    This book kept me interested until the end...are we really supposed to believe this? At least in a book I can put it down and think of something else, as a movie you see the people and what happens happens. I think the movie will be terrible if they don't change the ending and personally I will not be paying to see it and find out! HORRIBLE ENDING...DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE DISAPPOINTED!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2000

    What's wrong with Thomas Harris?

    It seemed like it took Harris 10 years to write this follow-up to the very popular Silence of the Lambs and I think he tried too hard to repeat the success of its predecessor. The first 450 pages are just plain mediocre and have very little suspense. Clarice Starling is about the only character in the entire book that isn't nauseating and the ending is the worst I have ever read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2000

    A Major Let-Down; Don't Bother!

    I was looking forward to reading Hannibal. I really enjoyed Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs as both were exciting, well-paced, and terrifying. But then I bought this book, expecting the same quality. I was so wrong. Most of this was tedious and slow. Setting descriptions which could have been interesting were so overdone that they became unbearable, like walking through quicksand. Harris went back-and-forth between tenses with little regard to the readability. But the worst element of this novel was the incredible, unbelievable departure from character at the end. What was Harris thinking, or not thinking, when he 'penned' the last chapters? As someone who had invested some time into the main characters, I could *not* believe the story could take such a bizarre turn. Don't bother with Hannibal.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 1999

    Tuesdays With Morrie is a real inspiration!

    This is definitely one of the greatest, most moving books I have ever read. It applies to every person on earth. Once you read this book, you'll have learned life's lessons.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2013

    I thought this was the best book of the series----it is romance

    I thought this was the best book of the series----it is romance between two people I always thought that Yul Brynner would make a great Lector the best way to read this right after you read Silence of the lambs---it makes sense and shows that love can exist no matter what---- a person can love and be loved in return

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    Having not read the previous 2 books (Red Dragon and the Silence

    Having not read the previous 2 books (Red Dragon and the Silence of the Lambs) I cannot compare the writings of the books, having said that watching the movie Silence of the Lambs gives me an idea of what happened in the previous book. 
    Well written but unfortunately predictable I won’t give away the plot as there are some people out there that may have not read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    Great Book

    Great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Creepy

    Creepy, interesting and macabre. Great if you're intetested in a dark book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was absolutely incredible! It is every you would expec

    This book was absolutely incredible! It is every you would expect in a novel, especially thriller/horror. It is exceptionally well written, suspenseful, has characters you care about, thrills, chills, and just so much more. It continues right off from The Silence Of The Lambs (only seven years later, but it doesn't feel like it besides Clarice's gain in maturity) so you can follow on with what the characters are doing.

    The book has five parts; four in America, and one in Florence. In my opinion I felt the Florence part (Part II) was 6/5 stars. It isn't that it is better written, it is just that it had some sort of suspense or chase or action within every word. I read that whole part in three hours because I couldn't put it down.

    The ending was sort of surprise, but that's what made it that much better. I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't read the book yet but this book is a great read and I would recommend reading it. At first I was a little apprehensive due to many of the one, two, and three star reviews below me and everywhere on line, but in the end I discarded the comments and decided to try the novel for myself. I am glad I did! I definitely recommend this to anyone who read and like Red Dragon and The Silence Of The Lambs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    A must read!!!!

    One of my favorite books ever. The whole series is amazing!!!!

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Thomas Harris, Hannibal

    Seven years have passed since Dr. Hannibal Lecter escaped from his prison for the criminally insane, the site of his conversations with FBI Agent Clarice Starling. He has never forgotten her. Nor has Mason Verger forgotten Hannibal Lecter. How could he, left utterly crippled, terribly disfigured from his much earlier confrontation with the doctor. Now Verger sees an opportunity to get to Lecter through Starling. If she can find him. Or if he can find her.

    Thomas Harris's Hannibal was a fantastic read. As the title suggests, this really isn't a story about Agent Starling, but about Lecter himself - his life, his early years, his incredible talents, and his enduring obsessions. The story is very engaging, in quite the same way that Red Dragon was - as a brilliant insight into a criminal mind. Yet even better written than Red Dragon with a literary style that does not inhibit the tension rising in the story, leading to the final great confrontation.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    If you loved the movies or the first books this is a book for you!

    I watched the movie before buying the book and I must say they are to me very different from each other, but not in the bad way!
    ((Warning possible spoilers!))
    This book was thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved watching Hannibal's love for Starling grow in such a twisted way and kinda wished there had been a family addition in the ending but this is a personal minor complaint on my part.
    overall I loved the book and it has made a happy addition to my small Hannibal collection.

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my favorite books of all time.

    I am a ten-minutes-here-or-there reader; this is the only book I have ever picked up and stayed awake all night long to read. I loved it. The ending will knock you out of your chair--and coincidentally, is nothing like the movie.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good, but not quite as good as Silence of the Lambs

    I first read Hannibal when it was initailly published and was not that impressed. I recently read it again and my opinion has changed quite a bit. It is fascinating to see into Dr. Lecter's psyche and begin to understand the origins of his psychosis. I won't spoil the ending if you haven't read it yet, but be prepared for a shocking twist. The most impressive thing about Hannibal is that it flipped my typical allegiance, and put the "evil" character in the position of the hero. I think that Harris should have stopped the Hannibal Lecter series with this book, as the followup, Hannibal Rising, was pretty weak. But, I think that he has an undeveloped storyline with Ardelia Mapp. I would love to read her story.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Hannibal

    Seven years have passed since Dr. Hannibal Lecter escaped from his prison for the criminally insane, the site of his conversations with FBI Agent Clarice Starling. He has never forgotten her. Nor has Mason Verger forgotten Hannibal Lecter. How could he, left utterly crippled, terribly disfigured from his much earlier confrontation with the doctor. Now Verger sees an opportunity to get to Lecter through Starling. If she can find him. Or if he can find her.
    Thomas Harris's Hannibal was a fantastic read. As the title suggests, this really isn't a story about Agent Starling, but about Lecter himself - his life, his early years, his incredible talents, and his enduring obsessions. The story is very engaging, in quite the same way that Red Dragon was - as a brilliant insight into a criminal mind. Yet even better written than Red Dragon with a literary style that does not inhibit the tension rising in the story, leading to the final great confrontation.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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