Hannibal Rising (Hannibal Lecter Series #4)

Hannibal Rising (Hannibal Lecter Series #4)

by Thomas Harris

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440242864
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/29/2007
Series: Hannibal Lecter Series , #4
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 45,143
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.85(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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 by Red Dragon in 1981, The Silence of the Lambs in 1988, and Hannibal in 1999.

Hometown:

Sag Harbor, New York, and Miami Beach, Florida

Date of Birth:

April 11, 1940

Place of Birth:

Jackson, Tennessee

Education:

B.A., Baylor University, 1964

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

The door to Dr. Hannibal Lecter's memory palace is in the darkness at the center of his mind and it has a latch that can be found by touch alone. This curious portal opens on immense and well-lit spaces, early baroque, and corridors and chambers rivaling in number those of the Topkapi Museum.

Everywhere there are exhibits, well-spaced and lighted, each keyed to memories that lead to other memories in geometric progression.

Spaces devoted to Hannibal Lecter’s earliest years differ from the other archives in being incomplete. Some are static scenes, fragmentary, like painted Attic shards held together by blank plaster. Other rooms hold sound and motion, great snakes wrestling and heaving in the dark and lit in flashes. Pleas and screaming fill some places on the grounds where Hannibal himself cannot go. But the corridors do not echo screaming, and there is music if you like.

The palace is a construction begun early in Hannibal’s student life. In his years of confinement he improved and enlarged his palace, and its riches sustained him for long periods while warders denied him his books.

Here in the hot darkness of his mind, let us feel together for the latch. Finding it, let us elect for music in the corridors and, looking neither left nor right, go to the Hall of the Beginning where the displays are most fragmentary.

We will add to them what we have learned elsewhere, in war records and police records, from interviews and forensics and the mute postures of the dead. Robert Lecter’s letters, recently unearthed, may help us establish the vital statistics of Hannibal, who altered dates freely to confound the authorities and his chroniclers. By our efforts we may watch as the beast within turns from the teat and, working upwind, enters the world.




Chapter 6



"Do you know what today is?" Hannibal asked over his breakfast gruel at the lodge. "It's the day the sun reaches Uncle Elgar's window."

"What time will it appear?" Mr. Jakov asked, as though he didn't know.

"It will peep around the tower at ten-thirty," Hannibal said.

"That was in 1941," Mr. Jakov said. "Do you mean to say the moment of arrival will be the same?"

"Yes."

"But the year is more than 365 days long."

"But, Mr. Jakov, this is the year after leap year. So wasl941, the last time we watched."

"Then does the calendar adjust perfectly, or do we live by gross corrections?"

A thorn popped in the fire.

"I think those are separate questions," Hannibal said.

Mr. Jakov was pleased, but his response was just another question: "Will the year 2000 be a leap year?"

"No—yes, yes, it will be a leap year."

"But it is divisible by one hundred," Mr. Jakov said.

"It's also divisible by four hundred," Hannibal said.

"Exactly so," Mr. Jakov said. "It will be the first time the Gregorian rule is applied.

Perhaps, on that day, surviving all gross corrections, you will remember our talk. In this strange place." He raised his cup. "Next year in Lecter Castle."



Lothar heard it first as he drew water, the roar of an engine in low gear and cracking of branches. He left the bucket on the well and in his haste he came into the lodge without wiping his feet.

A Soviet tank, a T-34 in winter camouflage of snow and straw, crashed up the horse trail and into the clearing. Painted on the turret in Russian were AVENGE OUR SOVIET GIRLS and WIPE OUT THE FASCIST VERMIN. Two soldiers in white rode on the back over the radiators. The turret swiveled to point the tank's cannon at the house. A hatch opened and a gunner in hooded winter white stood behind a machine gun. The tank commander stood in the other hatch with a megaphone. He repeated his message in Russian and in German, barking over the diesel clatter of the tank engine.

"We want water, we will not harm you or take your food unless a shot comes from the house. If we are fired on, every one of you will die. Now come outside. Gunner, lock and load. If you do not see faces by the count of ten, fire." A loud clack as the machine gun's bolt went back.

Count Lecter stepped outside, standing straight in the sunshine, his hands visible. "Take the water. We are no harm to you."

The tank commander put his megaphone aside. "Everyone outside where I can see you."

The count and the tank commander looked at each other for a long moment. The tank commander showed his palms.

The count showed his palms. The count turned to the house. "Come."

When the commander saw the family he said, "The children can stay inside where it's warm."

And to his gunner and crew, "Cover them. Watch the upstairs windows. Start the pump. You can smoke."

The machine gunner pushed up his goggles and lit a cigarette. He was no more than a boy, the skin of his face paler around his eyes. He saw Mischa peeping around the door facing and smiled at her.

Among the fuel and water drums lashed to the tank was a small petrol-powered pump with a rope starter.

The tank driver snaked a hose with a screen filter down the well and after many pulls on the rope the pump clattered, squealed, and primed itself.

The noise covered the scream of the Stuka dive bomber until it was almost on them, the tank's gunner swiveling his muzzle around, cranking hard to elevate his gun, firing as the airplane's winking cannon stitched the ground. Rounds screamed off the tank, the gunner hit, still firing with his remaining arm.

The Stuka's windscreen starred with fractures, the pilot's goggles filled with blood and the dive bomber, still carrying one of its eggs, hit treetops, plowed into the garden and its fuel exploded, cannon under the wings still firing after the impact. Hannibal, on the floor of the lodge, Mischa partly under him, saw his mother lying in the yard, bloody and her dress on fire.

"Stay here!" to Mischa and he ran to his mother, ammunition in the airplane cooking off now, slow and then faster, casings flying backward striking the snow, flames licking around the remaining bomb beneath the wing. The pilot sat in the cockpit, dead, his face burned to a death's head in flaming scarf and helmet, his gunner dead behind him.

Lothar alone survived in the yard and he raised a bloody arm to the boy. Then Mischa ran to her mother, out into the yard and Lothar tried to reach her and pull her down as she passed, but a cannon round from the flaming plane slammed through him, blood spattering the baby and Mischa raised her arms and screamed into the sky. Hannibal heaped snow onto the fire in his mother's clothes, stood up and ran to Mischa amid the random shots and carried her into the lodge, into the cellar. The shots outside slowed and stopped as bullets melted in the breeches of the cannon. The sky darkened and snow came again, hissing on the hot metal.

Darkness, and snow again. Hannibal among the corpses, how much later he did not know, snow drifting down to dust his mother's eyelashes and her hair. She was the only corpse not blackened and crisped. Hannibal tugged at her, but her body was frozen to the ground. He pressed his face against her. Her bosom was frozen hard, her heart silent. He put a napkin over her face and piled snow on her. Dark shapes moved at the edge of the woods. His torch reflected on wolves' eyes. He shouted at them and waved a shovel. Mischa was determined to come out to her mother—he had to choose. He took Mischa back inside and left the dead to the dark.

Mr. Jakov's book was undamaged beside his blackened hand until a wolf ate the leather cover and amid the scattered pages of Huyghens' Treatise on Light licked Mr. Jakov's brains off the snow. Hannibal and Mischa heard snuffling and growling outside. Hannibal built up the fire. To cover the noise he tried to get Mischa to sing; he sang to her. She clutched his coat in her fists.

"Ein Mannlein . . ."

Snowflakes on the windows. In the corner of a pane, a dark circle appeared, made by the tip of a glove. In the dark circle a pale blue eye.

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Hannibal Rising (Hannibal Lecter Series #4) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 179 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Did anyone notice Thomas Harris did not mention Hannibal's six-fingered hand in Hannibal Rising? I would think growing up with such a weird disfigurement would have been mentioned?
Laura Cerezo More than 1 year ago
For quite some time, i have been incredibly fascinated with the character Hannibal Lecter. This sacred literature has proven to be a chilling revelation to his past and i enjoyed every sentence. i recommend it for anyone who enjoys the mystery of a murderer's reasoning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This fourth entry into the 'Hannibal Lecter' series (even though he is just a supporting character in the first two entries, 'Red Dragon' and 'The Silence of the Lambs') tells the story of Lecter's childhood and the events that transpired to turn him into a notorious serial killer. Good idea, bad execution. The biggest problem is the boring story, which takes far too long to get started and never really pays off. Hannibal as a young man is subjected to various atrocities during the WWII Nazi occupation of his home country of Lithuania, and he spends the rest of the story exacting his revenge. At the end, we still aren't sure why Hannibal will eventually become a violent, dangerous serial killer, although we do feel sorry for him. Pity, unfortunately, is a far cry from terror, which is what we really want. Hannibal is the villian we love to fear, and the last two books have too much defanged the 'Hannibal the Cannibal' mythos that served the series so well. Author Thomas Harris seems bored with the characters and the story -- it is said that Harris was forced to write this book (and the screenplay for the movie) at the demands of producer Dino De Laurentis, who owns the movie rights to Hannibal Lector and claims that he would have made a movie about Lector's origin with or without Harris' help. the world of Hannibal is losing its luster -- it might be time for Harris to move on.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Let me tell you what's right with this novel first. There's a good backstory of Hannibal Lecter's childhood during WWII. That's it.I have to say that I admired Harris' writing back when In read the original Hannibal Lecter novel, Silence of the Lambs. I thought the man was a genius for inventing someone like Lecter and maintaining the suspense throughout the novel. I would seriously list Lecter as one of the "best" serial killers in print. But I can't believe how far away from that Lecter is the one portrayed in this novel. This is a prequel to the entire series, and I can't help but wonder if it's not the screenplay of the movie novelized. I tell you, as I listen to the words on the CD, I can envision each movie scene as it happens. My advice...keep your good memories of Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon and let this one go.and the NERVE of Harris to give Hannibal's aunt the name of Murasaki Shikibu, one of the most genius writers of all time (Tale of Genji), when he portrays her so stereotypically!and ps: the audiobook is read by the author and it's hard to take seriously with his French pronounciation mistakes!
aimees on LibraryThing 10 months ago
What an awful addition to the series. I couldn't tell which came first the book or the film script. Seemed to me like Harris rushed the novel just so the movie could be made.
Marie-Clare on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book is truly awful.
ryan.shuck on LibraryThing 10 months ago
From what I understand this was a rushed story by the author due to Dino DiLaurentiis wanting to film another movie on the character. Even so, I found the book very entertaining. This is the first book from the series that I've read, and I made the mistake of watching the movie directly after reading, which was a huge letdown. I think Thomas Harris has an innate ability to paint the scene very well, and DiLaurentiis' representation of the details on screen were much what I had imagined while reading. I see it was reviewed somewhat poorly here, but I think it's still worth the read if you like Hannibal Lecter.
RavinElise on LibraryThing 10 months ago
When I read in the introduction of this book that the movie of the same name came first, I didn't know what to expect. And where the movie fell flat, and was frankly horrible, the book went way beyond my expectations. I never thought I could possibly feel anything other than repulsion for a character like Hannibal Lecter, but this book proved me wrong. I felt for him, I wouldn't say sympathy, but you truly have some understanding how Dr.Lecter from Silence of the Lambs came about after reading this. This was a brilliant book, all I can say is that if you're looking at it, stop looking and read it.
keeponbooking on LibraryThing 10 months ago
It was a very refreshing story. For once, you can actually come to understand what made Hannibal Lecter the way he is. You get to crawl inside the past, and see what brought Lecter to his twisted mind.There are moments of sadness, moments of joy in Hannibal Rising. There is also that feeling of completion when you reach the end. You know that the story is finished. There is no need to bring about yet another sequel, the story is properly ended. Wonderful story, well written.I give this 5 out of 5 stars. This is a definite must read.
Leli1013 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Not the best of the Hannibal Lecter series. Honestly, as far as I'm concerned its not even part of the official series. In my mind it will always be a trilogy. However, I think Thomas Harris may have made it bad on purpose. The producers of the Lecter films were going to go ahead with a fourth film regardless of whether or not Harris was going to write a novel. I think he did this just so he could end it on his own terms.
pierthinker on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book has been rattling round the deep discount bargain bins for quite a while now. This must tell us something. The book-buying public do have a collective consciousness and in this case it chose to part with its cash for some Chianti and a few fava beans.The book is not a bad one. The problem is the whole premise of the origins or prequel genre. A general rule is, This Never Works (`Butch & Sundance ¿ The Early Years¿, anyone?). Hannibal Lecter is a great creation who scares the bejeesus out of me when he appears in `Red Dragon¿ and `Silence of the Lambs¿ as the epitome of evil and desirable suavity. Explaining where his evil came from can only diminish Hannibal. Why be frightened of Hannibal when you can be frightened of the thing that makes Hannibal fear?Harris tries to get round this by setting the origin story in Hannibal¿s childhood. The evil is just not expressed in an evil enough way. I kept thinking I was in a slightly darker Hogwart¿s.Harris can write and I cannot say this is a bad book. The relationship with Lady Murasaki is a finely drawn younger-older warped fantasy. The only way this could have worked well is by piling on the gore. Harris and Hannibal are too gentlemanly for that.
Heptonj on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book ticked all the boxes for me. Easy short chapters full of context and lacking in waffle.The rise of Hannibal Lecter is a story not to be missed. He has grown out of the slaughter of his parents and all those he holds dear and the ultimate mind-changer, the cannibalism of his younger sister by german sympathisers. All this is combined to give an absolutely unputdownable book.
barpurple on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Never meet your heros. You'll be disappointed.Dr Lecter tells us he once ate a census taker who tried to classify him. Harris should have listened to that and not gone poking about in the doctor's youth. I'm not suggesting that Harris should be cooked up with fava beans for writing this, but he should have left well alone. Instead of the fear and awe that the doctor inspires in Silence and Hannibal, young Hannibal is almost annoying. I was left with a stong sense of disappointment.
BunnyCates on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Hannibal Rising is not the "scare fest" I expected it to be. Not like the other Hannibal books at all really. I found I could not put it down though.My interest in starting the book was to learn why Hannibal became "the monster". My attention to finish the book was because of the description of the times, the love for his sister, the remorse and angst, the intrigue.And then I cried. ¿The little boy Hannibal died in 1945 out there in the snow trying to save his sister. His heart died with Mischa. What is he now? There is not a word for it yet. For lack of a better word, we¿ll call him a monster.¿ - Hannibal Rising, p. 243 I don't mean a small shed tear, like one would spill if they'd just READ something sad. I mean full on gails, that made me put the book away for a moment to gather myself. At that moment, my heart truely ached for the boy Hannibal, I grieved for and with him.The evoking of emotion is a neccessity for good writing. In my opinion this book is just that. GOOD WRITING.
vector4dz on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Oh, Hannibal I'm starting to feel sort of sorry for Thomas Harris, or at least as sorry as I can feel for a guy who writes books for a living, is worth about $100 million dollars and probably smokes high grade Afghan opium from a gold plated hookah while being serviced by Russian concubines. Harris just released "Hannibal Rising". It is a prequel to "Red Dragon" and "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal". It is supposed to be the "origin story" of Hannibal Lecter. I suppose the idea that Lecter has reached the point that he needs an origin story is a big part of the problem. The term "origin story" is something I have never heard used outside of comic book superheros before. Somewhere along the line Mr. Harris's great literary invention became a comic book superhero (or supervillian I suppose). The thing is, "Hannibal Rising" is not a bad book. Taken on its own merits in fact it is pretty good. And Thomas Harris is not a bad writer. The truth is that he is, in many ways, an extraordinary one who will never be recognized for his accomplishments. Most of that may be his own fault. But I feel sorry for him just the same. It is the nature of the modern world that an artist's work cannot simply stand alone - be judged on its own merits. We have to try to peek behind the curtain at the creator of the art and see what was going on. It has become impossible to not do this because SO MUCH information simply swims by us every day. Even an author like Thomas Pynchon who studiously refuses to make himself available and tries to have as little about himself known as possible has in fact become a part of his own stories for just that reason. We question his reclusiveness and its motives. It seems affected and unreal and at this point somehow detracts from what he has been doing all these years. In many ways it is this modern world, I think, that has undone Mr. Harris. Or maybe not. I need to say first that Thomas Harris is a great writer, and I don't use those words lightly. To be a great writer one only has to write one great book and he did that with "Red Dragon". "Silence of the Lambs" is also nearly great. I am not talking about great thrillers, or action books or genre books. I actually mean GREAT books. "Red Dragon" is brilliant and revolutionary. ALL of the books, both fiction and non-fiction, that have been published in popular literature in the last 25 years about criminal profiling and serial killers and examining the workings of a killer's mind have been rip-offs of Harris. Patricia Cornwell should send him royalty checks. He was the first guy that went to the FBI Behavioral Sciences dept. and studied and UNDERSTOOD enough and was able to communicate it in a dramatic narrative. But it goes further than that. He was also the first guy to do the intricate CSI type crime procedural stuff. He got that from the FBI as well and worked it into the story. All of the shows and books about THAT subject owe him fealty. More importantly he realized that none of those things were important if he didn't write well. He did it, and still does it, with short sentences creating dark mood and hazy, doomed characters. The characters have a depth and feel to them in his early work that makes the books an exploration of the mind and of thought and impulse more than simply murder mysteries. Hannibal Lecter was a small but fascinating character in "Red Dragon". (He also stole the show in the original movie of that book "Manhunter") His narrative purpose was to give insight into the mind of a serial killer and help the FBI Agent, Will Graham, get into the mindset of a sociopathic killer so he could figure out the thought processes of the killer they were currently hunting (the "toothfairy"). "Silence of the Lambs" featured a new FBI Agent, Clarice Starling, hunting a new killer, Buffalo Bill, with Lecter in the same role. He was in prison and being coaxed to help the feds. In th
santhony on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Has there ever been a more fascinating literary creation than Hannibal Lecter? Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs were mesmerizing. Hannibal was very satisfactory. Hannibal Rising is little more than a cash grab by the author and demonstrates a stunning lack of respect for his fans and the book buying public. I received this book for Christmas. Had I picked it up in the bookstore and seen the way that the author stretched a mere novella into a $28 hardcover offering, I would have certainly passed. Despite its length of barely 300 pages, it is broken into 60 chapters (with absolutely no justification for the chapter breaks other than to extend the number of pages in the finished product). The result is about 50 blank pages. In addition, the text is relatively large font, double spaced and wide margin. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that this work could have easily fit onto 150 pages. Readable in three hours. That's a novel only if it's written by Kurt Vonnegut. And what a shame. The subject matter is incredibly rich with possibility. What there is of substance is extremely captivating, but there is so little of it that one is left unsatisfied. Imagine a famished man sitting down to a meal, being given a tiny appetizer and then a bill for $100. It doesn't matter how good the appetizer was, he's not going to be happy. Unfortunately, Harris is not alone in such cash grabs. It has become increasingly common for wildly successful authors to start pumping out 200 page "novels" every six months in order to cash in while the iron is hot (see Larry McMurty's Telegraph Days and Berrybender series, Stephen King's Gunslinger novellas and John Grisham). As long as book purchasers continue to fork over the money, there is no reason for these writers to combine 2-3 of these efforts into a real novel. Look for 3 or 4 more Lecter novels of equal length as the author wrings every last penny from his fans.
ulfhjorr on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Much like Hannibal was a disappointing follow-up to Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Rising is yet a further disappointment. Alone, it would be a fine work, but it is hard to live up to the second installment in the chronicle of Hannibal Lecter.
ElectricRay on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I don't think I've ever seen a book bagged as savagely on Amazon as this - so much so that, despite having pre-ordered and received my copy, I almost didn't bother to read it. what a pleasant surprise, then to find a beautifully crafted, clever, literary novel, developing ever further one of the most complex characters of modern fiction, packed full of the same metaphor and figure as was Hannibal - a further stage in Thomas Harris' development from author of intelligent thrillers to a proper, literary, writer. Unlike most people, I liked Hannibal, but thought it was a bit baroque for its own good. With Hannibal Rising, Thomas Harris has kept the melody, but cut the ornamentation down to a plainsong. The character Hannibal Lecter's progress from his walk-on part in Red Dragon is intriguing: Thomas Harris can scarcely have expected, let alone intended, that a character seemingly named for the sake of a cheesy rhyme would, er, consume thirty years of his professional life. In Red Dragon Hannibal Lecter was mostly a bogeyman (at that point he displayed the classic psychopathic trait of childhood cruelty to animals - which has long since been revised into an uncommon affinity for assorted birds and horses): only in the novel Hannibal did Harris really begin to extend a figure who transpired to be more supernatural than human (there are unmistakable resonances of Dracula) and not really immoral at all. Perhaps this is Harris' most shocking initiative of all: A heartless psychopath, via a preference for eating only the rude, is now given a full moral basis and, what's more, we're on his side as he wields the knife. That's a pretty subversive shift in perspective, and Harris has executed it without us even realising what he was up to. Yet people still complain. The heart quickens briefly in the suspense, but mostly that's not what Harris is interested in, and nor can he really go to town since, by definition, we know what the outcome will be: Hannibal must survive, and given his superhuman faculties it is difficult to believe he is in any real danger throughout. What Thomas Harris is more interested in is the figurative devices through which he explores his doppelganger and by which he binds him to the existing canon. For those who bemoaned the lack of the writer's craft in this book I can only suggest you read it again, for barely a word is wasted, and Harris' writing is as deft and lyrical here as ever I've read it. There are no accidents, and it is not one that evil is personified by the "totenkopf" (or "death's head") insignia, nor that unspeakable slaughter of innocents once again takes place in a barn, just as it did in Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal (now we have a full circle: by rescuing Catherine, Starling has stopped her lambs screaming, and by avenging Mischa, Hannibal has stopped his). Every sentence is stuffed with allusions to the senses, and particularly smells, and sparks (such as those in Hannibal's maroon eyes) are a constant presence. The best news is that - albeit another decade away, there is clearly more to come: Will Graham has been the most interesting and complicated of Lecter's antagonists, and it can be no accident that Harris has saved the most fascinating period of both of their lives - between Lecter's arrival in Baltimore and his only proper apprehension by Graham - for last. We have yet to find out what happened to Benjamin Raspail and Mason Verger, and Harris has positioned himself nicely to finish the cycle with the police procedural which most of his fans, judging by this site, seem to crave above all else.
fothpaul on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I wanted to finish reading the Hannibal series but was a bit apprehensive of this one after feeling a bit let down by the last book. This one was pleasantly surprising and I ended up enjoying it very much. My main concern with it was that I feel it probably didn't actually need to be a Hannibal Lecter book. Apart from the hints in the previous book it feels a long departure form the initial 2 books of series. The writing style of the author still remains very engaging and fluid and this makes the book a smooth and interesting read. Will look up the first book which he wrote because I've enjoyed reading this series a lot.
eleanor_eader on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Hannibal Rising begins sketchily, but the sketches are beautiful, terrifying things. There is something both enchanting and awful in knowing that Hannibal the doting older brother to the adorable Mischa will one day ¿ in a sense, has already ¿ become Agent Starling¿s Dr. Lector. Then Harris begins writing the story in a more prosaic form, and his flashes of literary genius, the sleek writing that made Hannibal Lector one of the most compelling creations in psychological thrillers, are sadly wanting. Some of the dullness is simply that without the suave completeness of the fully realised Dr. Lector, one¿s attention is not as well held by this `burgeoning monster¿¿ could it be because Harris is not giving it his all? He has a reasonable plot, replete with vengeance and guiding circumstance; he begins perfectly, drawing us into Hannibal¿s boyhood and making us understand his earliest motivations, but once that boy reaches the orphanage that was the former home of his family, the balance between boy and monster seems mishandled. Even under the guardianship of his aunt, the Lady Murasaki, where her influence is a critical factor in Lector¿s development, between her character and his, something fails to connect.It¿s not all bad¿ there is gold to be found here, for the fan of Hannibal Lector to uncover, but I cannot help but feel that Harris could have done more with this early, crucial chapter in Lector¿s life¿ the detail is adequate, the setting precisely crafted, but it is as though another, less involved storyteller had shared them with us.
flutterbyjitters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a bit disappointing, i was hoping for more out of harris. silence of the lambs remains his best book.
biblioconnisseur on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This recieved a few bad reviews so I got it on audio. I was not as gripped. It seemed odd and flat. It did not have the rush the others do. Read by the author too so its not anyones fault but his.
hoosgracie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harris' prequel to the Silence of the Lambs (although there could be another one). Passable, but frankly not his best.
rosencrantz79 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What happened, Thomas Harris? Not that I expected the greatest read of my life, but I remember liking Red Dragon when I read it in the Peace Corps. Though Hannibal Rising purports to illuminate the origins of Lector's madness, most of the reasons Harris gives for the good doctor's predilection for human flesh end up seeming fairly predictable. Eh.
addict on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hannibal Rising is Thomas Harris's latest book in his wildly successful Hannibal Lecter/Silence of the Lambs series. Harris has written precious few novels -- a thriller called Black Sunday and the four Lecter novels -- in thirty years. But for all that he's a very occassional writer, his books loom large in the popular consciousness, and with good reason. They're very, very good. Hannibal Rising is the origin story of Hannibal Lecter, his childhood in war-torn Lithuania his life in a Soviet orphanage, his rescue to rural France, his move to Paris, and finally, his internship at Johns Hopkins in the USA. Hannibal is basically a superhero -- possessed of superhuman strength and intellect -- and so this is the equivalent of the radio-active spider bite and robbery-gone-bad that turns Peter Parker into Spiderman. Harris writes superbly -- he's clearly an obsessive researcher, and he revels in the incredible, vividly drawn scenery he conjures. He imbues Hannibal with a cold psychopathy that sends shivers up your spine even as it evokes a strange sympathy for him. The thread that connects all the Hannibal books is the philosophical question: where does evil come from? In The Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal is a kind of oracle of evil -- someone who understands it so well that he can tell you where it will strike, and hint that he knows why it will strike, too. In Hannibal Rising, Harris takes us through the incredible atrocities that transform Hannibal from a brilliant little boy into a cold murderer. As we found out in Hannibal, the last book in the series, Hannibal's family was murdered by looters during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania, who then ate his sister. In Hannibal Rising, we live through the events leading up to this, and through Hannibal's life afterwards, as he turns his brilliance to revenge, transforming himself from someone whose love is so fierce he kills for it into someone who can't feel love at all. This makes the Hannibal/Clarice Starling love affair in Hannibal (hinted at in Silence of the Lambs) pay off all the more. Hannibal Lecter may be the most interesting anti-hero in contemporary fiction, a character so good that he works as well in film as he does in print. The audiobook edition of Hannibal Rising is superb -- Harris himself reads it, in his soft southern accent, doing a marvellous job with the European accents, giving the text a real suspenseful treatment that only the author can impart. There's only one thing I don't like about this book -- the cover. It stinks. It's like someone rang down to the art department and said, "Get that guy who letters all the crummy Tolkien knockoffs to just write the title on burnt parchment, OK?" Link, Link to audiobook