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Hannibal

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Years after his escape, posing as scholarly Dr. Fell, curator of a grand family's palazzo, Hannibal lives the good life in Florence, playing lovely tunes by serial killer/composer Henry VIII and killing hardly anyone himself. Clarice is unluckier: in the novel's action-film-like opening scene, she survives an FBI shootout gone wrong, and her nemesis, Paul Krendler, makes h Years after his escape, posing as scholarly Dr. Fell, curator of a grand family's palazzo, Hannibal lives the good life in Florence, playing lovely tunes by serial killer/composer Henry VIII and killing hardly anyone himself. Clarice is unluckier: in the novel's action-film-like opening scene, she survives an FBI shootout gone wrong, and her nemesis, Paul Krendler, makes her the fall guy. Clarice is suspended, so, unfortunately, the first cop who stumbles on Hannibal is an Italian named Pazzi, who takes after his ancestors, greedy betrayers depicted in Dante's Inferno. Pazzi is on the take from a character as scary as Hannibal: Mason Verger. When Verger was a young man busted for raping children, his vast wealth saved him from jail. All he needed was psychotherapy--with Dr. Lecter. Thanks to the treatment, Verger is now on a respirator, paralyzed except for one crablike hand, watching his enormous, brutal moray eel swim figure eights and devour fish. His obsession is to feed Lecter to some other brutal pets.


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Years after his escape, posing as scholarly Dr. Fell, curator of a grand family's palazzo, Hannibal lives the good life in Florence, playing lovely tunes by serial killer/composer Henry VIII and killing hardly anyone himself. Clarice is unluckier: in the novel's action-film-like opening scene, she survives an FBI shootout gone wrong, and her nemesis, Paul Krendler, makes h Years after his escape, posing as scholarly Dr. Fell, curator of a grand family's palazzo, Hannibal lives the good life in Florence, playing lovely tunes by serial killer/composer Henry VIII and killing hardly anyone himself. Clarice is unluckier: in the novel's action-film-like opening scene, she survives an FBI shootout gone wrong, and her nemesis, Paul Krendler, makes her the fall guy. Clarice is suspended, so, unfortunately, the first cop who stumbles on Hannibal is an Italian named Pazzi, who takes after his ancestors, greedy betrayers depicted in Dante's Inferno. Pazzi is on the take from a character as scary as Hannibal: Mason Verger. When Verger was a young man busted for raping children, his vast wealth saved him from jail. All he needed was psychotherapy--with Dr. Lecter. Thanks to the treatment, Verger is now on a respirator, paralyzed except for one crablike hand, watching his enormous, brutal moray eel swim figure eights and devour fish. His obsession is to feed Lecter to some other brutal pets.

30 review for Hannibal

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter #3), Thomas Harris Hannibal is a novel by American author Thomas Harris, published in 1999. It is the third in his series featuring Dr. Hannibal Lecter and the second to feature FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling. The novel takes place seven years after the events of The Silence of the Lambs and deals with the intended revenge of one of Lecter's victims. It was adapted as a film of the same name in 2001, directed by Ridley Scott. عنوانها: هانیبال؛ ادامه ی سکوت بره Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter #3), Thomas Harris Hannibal is a novel by American author Thomas Harris, published in 1999. It is the third in his series featuring Dr. Hannibal Lecter and the second to feature FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling. The novel takes place seven years after the events of The Silence of the Lambs and deals with the intended revenge of one of Lecter's victims. It was adapted as a film of the same name in 2001, directed by Ridley Scott. عنوانها: هانیبال؛ ادامه ی سکوت بره ها؛ پرونده هانیبال؛ نویسنده: توماس هریس؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هفتم ماه فوریه سال 2000 میلادی عنوان: هانیبال؛ نویسنده: توماس هریس؛ مترجم: اصغر اندرودی؛ تهران، نشر البرز؛ 1378؛ در 615 ص؛ شابک: 9644422333؛ عنوان: هانیبال؛ نویسنده: توماس هریس؛ مترجم: شهناز مهدوی؛ تهران، نشر هامان؛ 1378؛ در 598 ص؛ شابک: 9649221816؛ عنوان: هانیبال؛ نویسنده: توماس هریس؛ مترجم: کورس جهانبیگلو؛ تهران، دایره؛ 1378؛ در 374 ص؛ شابک: ایکس - 964683924؛ چاپ دوم 1388 ؛ شابک: 9789646839243؛ عنوان: پرونده هانیبال؛ نویسنده: توماس هریس؛ مترجم: مجید نوریان؛ تهران، چکاوک؛ 1389؛ در 366 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1390؛ شابک: 9789648957242؛ عنوان: هانیبال؛ نویسنده: توماس هریس؛ مترجم: الهام دژکام؛ تهران، ؛ 1390؛ در 519 ص؛ شابک: 9789648957266؛ کتاب نخست از این سری: «اژدهای سرخ» نام داشت، که «هانیبال» در پایان آن داستان، به زندان میافتد. کتاب دوم: «سکوت بره ها» ست، که «هانیبال» را پشت درهای بسته ی زندان امنیتی میبینیم، در حالیکه «کلاریس استارلینگ»، مامور تازه کار «اف.بی.آی»، کوشش میکند، برای به دام انداختن «بیل بوفالو»، قاتل بیرحم از او یاری بگیرد. «توماس هریس»، پس از کتاب «سکوت بره ها»، کتاب سوم را با عنوان: «هانیبال» بنوشت؛ که ادامه ی داستان «کلاریس» و «لکتر» را تعریف میکرد. نویسنده در ادامه، کتاب چهارم: «خیزش هانیبال»؛ را در سال 2006 میلادی به چاپ سپردند، که داستان کودکی «هانیبال»، و ظهور او را تعریف میکند. بسیارانی کنجکاو بودند، و هستند، تا از خاستگاه این هیولای آدمخوار، سر دربیاورند، و این کتابها قرار بود پاسخ پرسش آنها را بدهد. هیچ یک از این کتابها به موفقیت «سکوت بره ها» دست پیدا نکردند. ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    Okay, let me confess up front: I loved Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs. Loved them. I enjoyed the movies, too: the movie version of Silence of the Lambs scared the pee out of me, and even so, I didn’t want it to end. So, long years later when I finally got hold of a copy of Hannibal, I really, really, wanted to love it, too. But I didn’t. Well, that’s not entirely true. If I pretend that this wasn’t a sequel about characters I already know, then I can find some bright spots. The book has some fantasti Okay, let me confess up front: I loved Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs. Loved them. I enjoyed the movies, too: the movie version of Silence of the Lambs scared the pee out of me, and even so, I didn’t want it to end. So, long years later when I finally got hold of a copy of Hannibal, I really, really, wanted to love it, too. But I didn’t. Well, that’s not entirely true. If I pretend that this wasn’t a sequel about characters I already know, then I can find some bright spots. The book has some fantastic descriptions of Italy. There are certainly some creepy scenes that gave me the shivers. I was fascinated by the concept of the memory cathedral. And I felt terribly bad for poor Clarice as her world crumbled in around her. The problem is, none of the characters seem remotely connected to the folks we met before. Hannibal Lecter, an enigma in previous installments, now has a background. It’s tragic and horrifying, but is it enough to form the Hannibal we all know? Maybe. But even if it is, do we really have to know the details of why Lecter is who he is? I’m not convinced that this information makes him a more compelling character. Clarice Starling, whose wagon was hitched to a rising star at the end of Silence, is on the verge of being pushed out of the FBI. She has been overlooked again and again for promotion and is reduced to being scapegoated by talentless superiors. Jack Crawford, a hero and mentor in the previous books, is now (for the short time he appears here) a liability. I understand that people change, but come on. So what happened? What changed between the publication of The Silence of the Lambs and the publication of Hannibal? Well, what changed was the character of Hannibal Lecter. In both Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal was a minor (though quite compelling) character. Harris went to great pains to point out that, although clever and extremely cunning, Lecter was not omniscient. There was always an explanation as to how he knew the things he did, and Crawford was equally clever at figuring it out. Enter Jonathan Demme. When Jonathan Demme made the movie version of Silence, he said that he wanted the audience to believe that Lecter was the smartest man alive. It didn’t matter how he knew the things he did—he just knew. And to the credit of both Demme and Anthony Hopkins, it worked. The movie firmly established Lecter’s genius, and in the context of the film, it was brilliant: you never have to explain how Lecter gets his information, and his outrageous escape becomes plausible. Besides, the smarter Lecter is the more the audience worries about Clarice. Hopkins’ performance firmly established a picture in our minds of who Lecter was and how he worked. Enter Thomas Harris, trying to write a sequel to a phenomenally popular book, which was also a hugely successful movie. Now everyone thought of Anthony Hopkins when they thought of Hannibal Lecter, and they believed he was the smartest psycho alive. Instead of writing about his own Hannibal, he tried to write about the Demme/Hopkins Hannibal, and that just didn’t leave him anyplace to go but over the top, which is a crying shame. The book collapses under the sheer magnitude of what we are expected to accept about these characters and where they end up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    It has been many years since I read a Hannibal Lecter book. The last Thomas Harris book I read was a couple of years ago, Black Sunday, and is very different from his Lecter titles. I noticed some of my friends were doing a buddy read of Hannibal, so I figured it was about time to give it a try I will say 3 to 3.5 stars. I liked it. But, it was a fifty/fifty thing. Half of it was the gruesome, suspenseful, mysterious story that I remember from previous Lecter books and movi It has been many years since I read a Hannibal Lecter book. The last Thomas Harris book I read was a couple of years ago, Black Sunday, and is very different from his Lecter titles. I noticed some of my friends were doing a buddy read of Hannibal, so I figured it was about time to give it a try I will say 3 to 3.5 stars. I liked it. But, it was a fifty/fifty thing. Half of it was the gruesome, suspenseful, mysterious story that I remember from previous Lecter books and movies. The other half was drawn out, slow, and sometimes uncomfortable weirdness. I think that some people might enjoy those parts, but to me they just felt like filler. And, the uncomfortable weirdness was in the few spots where it went from believable insanity to silly WTF-ness. A big part of this for me was the end - it just got way too out there to be satisfying. Overall, what it felt like to me was like Harris did so well with Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, that his publisher convinced him to write the next chapter in Lecter story and he just didn't have enough for a full novel. So, in order to get a complete book, the came up with some bizarre stuff to fluff it up a bit. I don't think that everyone will feel this way about it, but I couldn't avoid feeling that way no matter how much I kept hoping it would click for me before the end. I will finish my review by saying, despite my criticisms, I was entertained throughout. So, even at those points when I was scratching my head at the aforementioned WTF-ness, I was still enjoying the book. This might seem a bit of an oxymoron - enjoying a book while at the same time not being satisfied - but, that is how it was! Note on audiobook - I don't recommend. I was not super impressed with the narrator and there is a character who cannot talk very well (to say any more would be a spoiler), so it is very hard to understand at times.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    He’s Hannibal alright, but she’s not Clarice! This is the third novel in the “Hannibal Lecter” book series. WILL THE REAL MAIN CHARACTER PLEASE STAND UP? I already explained in my review of The Silence of the Lambs that I became fan of the story for Clarice Starling instead of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and pondering about the “ball effective time” of Lecter in the first two books, I still believe that Thomas Harris never thought that Hannibal Lecter would become the leading character in the book series,… /> He’s Hannibal alright, but she’s not Clarice! This is the third novel in the “Hannibal Lecter” book series. WILL THE REAL MAIN CHARACTER PLEASE STAND UP? I already explained in my review of The Silence of the Lambs that I became fan of the story for Clarice Starling instead of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and pondering about the “ball effective time” of Lecter in the first two books, I still believe that Thomas Harris never thought that Hannibal Lecter would become the leading character in the book series,… …but for better or worse, after the successful film, people embraced the character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter as the main one in the saga… …so it was logic now, that third book would be title Hannibal, so there wasn’t any doubt now that Lecter was the protagonist of the book series and the investigators Will Graham and Clarice Starling were just unlucky pawns of Dr. Lecter’ story. It was HIS story. Not Will’s, not Clarice’s, HIS. Will Graham had left the game. But Clarice could still make a second swing… …but Harris made the wrong call, in my humble opinion. (NOT) UNDERSTANDING THE MONSTER In real life, monsters (because monsters exist) don’t need a reason to do what they do, and how they do it, sometimes it’s explained, but sometimes they are just… …monsters. However, in literature, there is a need of reason, a need of order, a need to avoid senseless chaos, if the monsters have a reason of what they do, how they do it,… …readers tend to accept the monsters. So, while the whole backstory of Hannibal Lecter would be deeply exposed in his following novel, Hannibal Rising, here, you learn the real crucial piece of information about the past of Lecter which gives you the key to understand the monster… …and while Harris seemed to develop the book’s story according to that… …at the end… …I don’t believe he understood Lecter, for not saying Starling neither. (REALLY) KNOW YOUR CHARACTERS FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling was the star rookie thanks to catch “Buffalo Bill” even before of her formal graduation from Quantico, but… …that was seven years ago, and you can’t survive of only past glories, and she has just did an unspeakable mistake in a field assignment… …even Dr. Hannibal Lecter is worried about Clarice’s future. However, Dr. Lecter should be worried about himself since with a life doing so many wrong things to so many dangerous people, it was obvious that sooner or later, someone from his dark past would catch on him, looking for reckoning. Evil faces evil… …and Clarice’s mental health is in the middle. To be honest, two thirds of the book were quite well developed, showing many of the darkest things that human beings can do to other human beings… …it was the final act (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it) that I humbly think that Thomas Harris made the wrong call, A VERY WRONG CALL, with the characters of Hannibal and Clarice, not understanding the real reason of why they were so obssessed with each other… …and while you may think that only Clarice was ruined as character and that Hannibal wasn’t that bad ruined, trust me, if you understand Hannibal, even him was ruined to a level… …since even a monster can only fall to a certain degree, to avoid twisting its own code of why, what, how and to whom, do things.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    DD 10/01/2017 Hated it passionately. This is that rare case where books are even worse than films, if you can believe it. I don't know whatever possessed me to flip through this series. Thankfully, that entity (demon of boredom? cluelesness?) was swiftly exorcised by pretty average writing, plot with Boeing-sized holes (were we really supposed to believe in vanishing special agents who almost no one conveniently gives a damn about?) and nauseating character-building. So far this is a DNF. Left this unf DD 10/01/2017 Hated it passionately. This is that rare case where books are even worse than films, if you can believe it. I don't know whatever possessed me to flip through this series. Thankfully, that entity (demon of boredom? cluelesness?) was swiftly exorcised by pretty average writing, plot with Boeing-sized holes (were we really supposed to believe in vanishing special agents who almost no one conveniently gives a damn about?) and nauseating character-building. So far this is a DNF. Left this unfinished and I don't think I'll ever return to it (of my own free will). Or maybe I will, let's live and see about it. This series felt a bit stupid, stilted, pretentious, even. It felt as if Lecter was made and MADE and freaking forced to look like an intellectual. And he didn't come across as one. Or maybe I'm judging intellect on a scale which includes the humanity factor, or lack thereof? Not sure about that. I didn't like the language. The heroes felt without depth. Or maybe I just don't like this concept due to severely disliking the TV snippets of this that have been irritating me to no end for ages. The cannibal idea made me queasy. I can't fathom just how this stuff managed to give rise to that fan thing, where people would go on to even watch series on this topic. It'a goddamn mystery to me. The fact that our protagonist happens to be severely intellectual changes nothing for me. It doesn't add him any charm or any je-ne-sais-quoi or whatever it was that made this stuff popularish. Personally, I don't give a damn if a cannibal killer is an illuminating person or not. And a true intellectual? Don't think he was. I'm sure such an illuminated thinker might have found some other stuff to eat besides fellow humans, if only to be left alone by the society to pursue their oh-so-deep intellectual endeavours. The story with Clarice was, uh, nauseating. How do you really craft a supposedly love story (or whatever it was even supposed to look like!) out of a story line with chemically assisted brainwashing??? That's what it truly was, things should be called their own names!!! And I don't really give a damn about Dr. Lecter's string theory equations (was that supposed to make him more likeable, him penning supposedly brilliant time physics while drugging Clarice out of her mind??). It does not make me sympathise with him, not at all. I'm not rating it so far because it feels worthy of a 1 measly star (for the writer's effort and wasted time, nothing else). Still, all those fans, they couldn't have been totally mistaken about this series. Or could they? I'll give it some time to sit with me. Maybe I missed something totally notable and earth-shattering about it and will find it someday. .(Hopefully, that will not be that sad day my shrink goes to his one).. At this point, it's obvious to me that it was a mistake to read this. Note to self: I neet to be more scrupulous about choosing what I read. Otherwise I'm going to be investing a lot more of my time into stuff I find distasteful! Q: She was in the garden of the hurricane’s eye. (c) Q: She was awake and not awake. The bathroom was indeed comfortable and furnished with every amenity. In the following days she enjoyed long baths there, but she did not bother with her reflection in the mirror, so far was she from herself. (c) Q: “Mason is dead.” “Ummmm,” Starling said. “Would you play for me?” (c) Q: Starling had no sense of time. Over the days and nights there were the conversations. She heard herself speaking for minutes on end, and she listened. Sometimes she laughed at herself, hearing artless revelations that normally would have mortified her. The things she told Dr. Lecter were often surprising to her, sometimes distasteful to a normal sensibility, but what she said was always true. And Dr. Lecter spoke as well. In a low, even voice. He expressed interest and encouragement, but never surprise or censure. (c) Q: Sometimes they looked at a single bright object together to begin their talks, almost always there was but a single light source in the room. From day to day the bright object changed. (c) Oh, yes, YES! The fact they they might have hypnotised each other, or gotten self-hypnotised together or whatever that was, is supposed to make this special, I'm sure. Kidding! Q: Dr. Lecter seemed to sense their arrival at an unexplored gallery in her mind. Perhaps he heard trolls fighting on the other side of a wall. (c) Made me think of all those insufferable 'internal goddess' references in the 50 shades. Only here we get a gardenful of trolls instead! How unusual. Q: He replaced the teapot with a silver belt buckle. “That’s my daddy’s,” Starling said. She clapped her hands together like a child. “Yes,” Dr. Lecter said. “Clarice, would you like to talk with your father? Your father is here. Would you like to talk with him?” “My daddy’s here! Hey! All right!” (c) Vomit-inducing. This is exactly what I say when I see people so fascinated with all the shiny badges of merit, such as Doctor, Professor, President, etc. that they would miss what is right in front of them. This is a travesty of psychology. And 'Dr. Lecter' is no doctor, he might have been one at some point (or not!) but he is not one, after indulging in all his hobbies. Q: The monster settled back a micron in his chair. (c) For once, a correct reference. Q: Mr. Krendler is joining us for our first course. (c) Nasty! NASTY! I'm not going to give the detailed details here but they are extremely nasty. This is probably the worst thing I have ever read. Gross! Q: Dr. Lecter and Clarice Starling often talk at dinner in languages other than Starling’s native English. She had college French and Spanish to build on, and she has found she has a good ear. They speak Italian a lot at meal-times; she finds a curious freedom in the visual nuances of the language. (c) Once again, a pitiful attempt at either intellectuality or closeness: 'Oh, yeah, so they speak 3 foreign languages, they found each other, the intellectual soulmates, SQUEAAL!' For one thing, I don't think a couple of people with the depicted level of issues (to put it very mildly!) would be able or even want to get really close to each other. And there are lots of true polyglots out there, who have mastered a lot more languages and don't think it anything fancy. A very lame scene. Q: Their relationship has a great deal to do with the penetration of Clarice Starling, which she avidly welcomes and encourages...Sex is a splendid structure they add to every day. (c) Uh-huh, of her own free will, of course, NOT. Q: It is hard to know what Starling remembers of the old life, what she chooses to keep. The drugs that held her in the first days have had no part in their lives for a long time. Nor the long talks with a single light source in the room. (c) So, we are informed that the gal has been weaned off the drugs but is still on hypnosis. Good to know kidney failure might not be her next option. Still, I'm not really sure what purpose this achieves, ethic or aesthethic. Are we supposed to conclude at this point that hypnosis brainwashing is good for one's psyche? Q: We’ll withdraw now, while they are dancing on the terrace—the wise Barney has already left town and we must follow his example. For either of them to discover us would be fatal. We can only learn so much and live. (c) I can't help thinking it would have been best had I continued ignoring this series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    *TANYA*

    Hannibal happens to be one of my favorite fictional characters and with this book I became more enamored with him. Yes, it's twisted but me likes him a lot!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Noiresque

    I have a theory about this horrible book. Both Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs are formidable pieces of pop fiction. They are well-written thrillers with great descriptions and characters. They were both adapted into great movies. They made Thomas Harris a very rich man. I think Mr. Harris made a bet, maybe with a friend or just to himself. He knew that his next novel would be snapped up for big bucks for the screen rights. He knew he would not get any control over the script. So I have a theory about this horrible book. Both Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs are formidable pieces of pop fiction. They are well-written thrillers with great descriptions and characters. They were both adapted into great movies. They made Thomas Harris a very rich man. I think Mr. Harris made a bet, maybe with a friend or just to himself. He knew that his next novel would be snapped up for big bucks for the screen rights. He knew he would not get any control over the script. So he decided to write a book that would basically be un-filmable. It would be so preposterous, such dreck, that it would drive the screenwriters crazy. And Mr. Harris would be laughing all the way to the bank. This theory makes it possible to think that Thomas Harris is talented. There are other theories that eliminate that possibility. Of course, the publication of Hannibal Rising kind of shot my theory all to hell. I can't believe I was so excited about this book that I rushed out to buy it in hardcover. Ugh. I sold it to a used bookstore at the first opportunity.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jess☺️

    OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD !!!! Hannibal by Thomas Harris is the 3rd book in the Hannibal Lector series and I need more 🌟 this is my favourite and I think the best one of the series. It's more creepy, more edge of your seat thrilling and a little more gory/scary ( starving boars/ wild pig's and people eating and threating to eat people 🤢 enough said ) oh did I forget the big twist at the end 😱 This series is a series I recommend for everyone to read , The film's/TV series do a gre OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD !!!! Hannibal by Thomas Harris is the 3rd book in the Hannibal Lector series and I need more 🌟 this is my favourite and I think the best one of the series. It's more creepy, more edge of your seat thrilling and a little more gory/scary ( starving boars/ wild pig's and people eating and threating to eat people 🤢 enough said ) oh did I forget the big twist at the end 😱 This series is a series I recommend for everyone to read , The film's/TV series do a great job but we get a lot more insight into the characters. Hannibal Lector is definitely the character we love to hate.(Or is that just me 😬)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tristan

    “Did you ever think, Clarice, why the Philistines don't understand you? It's because you are the answer to Samson's riddle. You are the honey in the lion.” Clearly, the world didn’t need ( 'want' is another matter, of course ) one more novel featuring Hannibal Lecter. At the end of Silence of the Lambs, the good doctor had escaped the clutches of the law, after having treated the local authorities to a grotesque display of Grand Guignol theatre by way of parting gift. This was a more than fitting, infinite “Did you ever think, Clarice, why the Philistines don't understand you? It's because you are the answer to Samson's riddle. You are the honey in the lion.” Clearly, the world didn’t need ( 'want' is another matter, of course ) one more novel featuring Hannibal Lecter. At the end of Silence of the Lambs, the good doctor had escaped the clutches of the law, after having treated the local authorities to a grotesque display of Grand Guignol theatre by way of parting gift. This was a more than fitting, infinitely memorable adieu to the cannibal, who from his first appearance in Red Dragon never was supposed to be a main character, let alone the protagonist. But of course Harris - for a variety of reasons, financial considerations probably being the main one - couldn’t resist revisiting Lecter, and 11 years after Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal arrived, which places Lecter prominently in the foreground, now living in Florence as a museum curator under the alias of Dr. Fell. As can be expected, the mere fact of him being no longer confined significantly diminishes the interest the character previously managed to pique. Locked up, with only his intellect and ingenuity at his disposal to manipulate whatever unfortunate soul he deems worthy, he represented a much more intriguing, insidious creature. One only has to recall that one time he managed to talk a fellow inmate into biting off and swallowing his tongue just by whispering to him at night. What those words were exactly, no one knows, and that’s precisely what makes it disturbing. Oddly, Harris in a rare moment of authorial commentary, almost inadvertently intimates this fact in Hannibal: “Dr. Lecter stood at a distance from her, very still, as he had stood in his cell when she first saw him. We are accustomed to seeing him unfettered now. It is not shocking to see him in open space with another mortal creature.” Not shocking, you say? Thank you for proving my point for me, Mr. Harris. My previous “issue” with Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs consisted of there being not much new material in those books, since they both had been rather literally adapted (in the case of Red Dragon, twice) with few deviations. The problem rested with me, not with the books themselves. With Hannibal though, you get quite a different animal, which initially delighted me. There is a substantial subplot involving Mason’s peculiar sister, Hannibal’s traumatic memory of the tragic fate of his sister Mischa plays a considerable role, and Ardelia Mapp and Jack Crawford (both excised from the film) have been carried over from Silence of the Lambs, which make for wonderful additions to the plot, even though my reservations about a freely operating Lecter were still very much present. Yet, for being an otherwise accomplished, even highly enjoyable thriller, Hannibal unfortunately ends with a callous betrayal. Not of the kind perpetrated by one fictional character to another mind you, but by the author to his audience. As endings go, it surely must go down in history as one of the most ill-advised and ignominious. Normally I am a passionate advocate for the idea of the creator’s absolute sovereignty, who is under no obligation whatsoever to accommodate his audience. Yet here both Harris’ lack of judgment and the unwillingness (cowardice?) of his editor to stand firm and demand the ending to be replaced simply must be deplored. A mere 20 pages. That’s all it took for Harris to destroy the essence of Clarice Starling, one of the best loved female characters in all of fiction, only in order to ham-fistedly drive home the theme of mutual attraction between her and Lecter. Granted, this dynamic between the two was always there, lurking beneath the surface, but the impossibility of it ever materializing was exactly what made it interesting. Yet Hannibal ends as a twisted love story, fully consummated, which Harris apparently feels the need to make explicit in detail: "Their relationship has a great deal to do with the penetration of Clarice Starling, which she avidly welcomes and encourages." Yes, it actually says that. It's not so much the exploration of Starling as a sexual being that is irksome here (previously, she was almost solely focussed on her career, with not much thought given to romantic interactions with men) but how she is just undergoing the process, as if she has no agency. This is a radical departure from the individual established in Silence of the Lambs who, even in her inexperience as a rookie, very much had a mind of her own. That one line is absolutely devastating to this character. Starling was intrigued by Lecter to be sure, but she wasn’t as foolish as to think some healthy relationship could ever be maintained with him, an amoral cannibal. I didn’t buy it, even if she was initially under the influence of drugs and hypnosis. It’s clear in later passages she isn’t anymore under that influence, but actually chooses this life, with all her mental faculties intact. It totally goes against all we had come to learn about her. Above all else, Starling is strong-willed, highly intelligent, determined and has a rock-solid moral compass. It’s incredible that Harris didn’t realize those were the exact qualities that made her so popular in the first place. Ultimately, she just ends up as Lecter’s plaything, a puppet of his own creation. It really makes one wonder what went on in the author’s head at the time. Was he under time restraint, his deadline fast approaching? I'd really love to know the answer to that one. Hannibal is far from being a bad book, and I suggest you do read it, but go in with expectations tempered. With the ending being what it is, I can’t possibly give it more than two stars. Just goes to show that even if the first 500 or so pages were good and some passages even quite excellent, the whole enterprise can be ruined by the subsequent twenty. It's one of the most delicious of ironies that Thomas Harris - the creator of a famous fictional cannibal - would end up cannibalizing his own work.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Who knew The Hannibal Lecter series was a love story. What Da Fuck did I just read? I was hesitant to read Hannibal, various people told they hated the book and Everyone said they hated the movie and since I Loved both the book and movie versions of Red Dragon & The Silence of the Lambs...I was worried...Very worried. I waited over a month between finishing Lambs and starting Hannibal. I just kept putting it off & putting it off until I finally decided to force myself to read it for my R Who knew The Hannibal Lecter series was a love story. What Da Fuck did I just read? I was hesitant to read Hannibal, various people told they hated the book and Everyone said they hated the movie and since I Loved both the book and movie versions of Red Dragon & The Silence of the Lambs...I was worried...Very worried. I waited over a month between finishing Lambs and starting Hannibal. I just kept putting it off & putting it off until I finally decided to force myself to read it for my Read-A-Thon and I started reading it Friday & finished on Sunday because despite the 544 page count Hannibal is a fast read. Hannibal picks up 6 or 7 years after the events of Lambs, Hannibal is in Italy living his best life as a fugitive. Clarice Starling is still at the FBI but her once promising career has stalled. Hannibal's only surviving victim has put a bounty out on him and he has the money to follow though with it. We finally start to get some background on Hannibal and we are shown a bit of Hannibal's psyche. The entire book is great but the last 100 pages are bat shit crazy and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The last 3 chapters were the most unsettling in the whole book and if you've read the book you know what I'm talking about. I'm undecided on if I'll watch the movie but probably yes. If you've started the Hannibal Lecter series I recommend reading Hannibal despite what you've heard about the movie. 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge: A Book About A Villain or Antihero. Around the year in 52 books: A book set in a country you'd like to visit but have never been to.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stargirl

    Oh that ending. Sublime. Gothic horror detective chase story, blends genres with great ease, affirming Harris as a master storyteller- as if we didn't already know. Don't go in expecting another Red Dragon or Silence of the Lambs. This is a much bigger, far darker experience. It's all in the title people. Silence was the story of Clarice Starling, so there is a lot of hope and innocence to it. This one, is about the dark side of her character- and of that awful/awesome Doctor Mr Lecter himself. Oh that ending. Sublime. Gothic horror detective chase story, blends genres with great ease, affirming Harris as a master storyteller- as if we didn't already know. Don't go in expecting another Red Dragon or Silence of the Lambs. This is a much bigger, far darker experience. It's all in the title people. Silence was the story of Clarice Starling, so there is a lot of hope and innocence to it. This one, is about the dark side of her character- and of that awful/awesome Doctor Mr Lecter himself. A decadent spiral into madness and obliteration. A glimpse into hell. The quality of the writing is of the highest order, blurring the lines between popular fiction and literature. Ingenious and over the top, a true sequel that shows no mercy. And the ending... Sweet God. It really puts the reader in his/her place, reminding you that you have no control over the characters you read. The author is in charge and he will take you into places, dragging and screaming, that you don't want to know. Harris is James Gumb from Silence of the Lambs and this book is the pit he threw Catherine Martin into. Only she escaped . . .

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sufferingbruin

    Lord, what an awful book. Awash in mediocrity from first page to last. It has mediocre characters (the same which were so captivating in "Silence of the Lambs"), mediocre dialogue, mediocre scenery, virtually no suspense (but a plethora of pointlessly putrid acts), and a meandering narrative that often lacks consistency of time and place. "Hannibal" does not induce fear or revulsion so much as groans and guffaws. But don't worry: there's a bleeding HIV-postiive woman holding a baby whose last li Lord, what an awful book. Awash in mediocrity from first page to last. It has mediocre characters (the same which were so captivating in "Silence of the Lambs"), mediocre dialogue, mediocre scenery, virtually no suspense (but a plethora of pointlessly putrid acts), and a meandering narrative that often lacks consistency of time and place. "Hannibal" does not induce fear or revulsion so much as groans and guffaws. But don't worry: there's a bleeding HIV-postiive woman holding a baby whose last line is "let's swap fluids, bitch" before she's shot to death mid-crime. There are man eating pigs who are intended to be filmed in the act by people from the porn industry, at the behest of a sub-villain recovering from having his face chewed up by dogs. Thankfully, he gets by with having the tears of children put into his IV. No, that last sentence was not a joke. And of course, our two rivals are back. Clarice Starling gets the worst of it in "Hannibal". She has lost all trace of vulnerability and trepidation so there's nothing to overcome. In other words, she's lost what made her human in the previous book. Here, she's wizened super-woman; so cynical, so powerful and of course, distant. We don't know why she is all of these things and Harris doesn't seem to care. There are hints of being passed over at the agency and we can guess from her dour persona that Special Agent Starling is weary of the world but these are only guesses; nothing Clarice says or does leads to inferences one way or the other because it's her turn to play second fiddle. Harris' previous efforts, "Red Dragon" and especially "Silence of the Lambs" are both terrific. In both, Lecter plays a role (small in "Dragon" and of course, much larger in "Lambs") but supporting roles. "Red Dragon" explored profiling, a valuable but punishing trade. How much damage can happen when you take on the mind of a killer to catch the killer? Will Graham finds out in a brief visit to Lecter, ostensibly to get information on another serial killer when Lecter memorably calls him out: "You came back to get the smell back, didn't you? Smell yourself." Harris went further with "Lambs", with a myriad of themes, all of them intriguing, all of them meticulously developed. Which brings us to "Hannibal" and a crucial question after a painful week of reading: What is the theme here? Lecter is the unquestioned star of the show but what does Lecter have to tell us? I'm at a loss. We know he insists on only the best material accoutrements (to borrow a phrase from our sociopath)--the best food, the best cars and for heaven's sake, the best clothes. He travels the world, sniffing at the coarseness of his fellow citizens when he's not killing them. So Harris, in his infinite wisdom, has made Lecter a snob whose only relief from the utter pain of flying coach (oh, the humanity) is the foie de gras he sneaks on board. It takes awhile but the two engage. By that time, the reader is either beaten into submission or baffled as to why another page is to be turned. If--and it's a big if--reading continues, there is a conclusion so laugh-out-loud ridiculous one has to wonder about Harris' true intent. The best that can be said is that he wants to wash his hands of the whole enterprise. If so, mission accomplished. There is literally nowhere left for either to go, no worlds left to conquer though the world they inhabit doesn't resemble anything like the one we are living in. Shorter review: this is a book that makes you wish a zero star rating was possible.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    Jesh, I have to say it. Cover your ears if you can’t handle profanity. But for fucks sake was that ending?!! Because of the way Hannibal ended, I can’t rate this higher then 2.5 STARS. Hannibal almost put me into a book slump. I’m not lying. I’ve read Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs and loved both. I couldn’t put either book down and was obsessed. With Hannibal, I didn’t even want to pick it up at times. Thank goodness I read other books at the same time and the dreaded book slump didn’t get me! Jesh, I have to say it. Cover your ears if you can’t handle profanity. But for fucks sake was that ending?!! Because of the way Hannibal ended, I can’t rate this higher then 2.5 STARS. Hannibal almost put me into a book slump. I’m not lying. I’ve read Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs and loved both. I couldn’t put either book down and was obsessed. With Hannibal, I didn’t even want to pick it up at times. Thank goodness I read other books at the same time and the dreaded book slump didn’t get me! Almost all the characters in this book are abhorrent, evil and vile. I need to take a hot shower now to clean off the gross. I’ve never wanted two characters more in a book to die. (view spoiler)[ Mason Verger and Paul Krendler. In my opinion, I liked how poetic it was that Verger died by his sister that he abused. Krendler's death was a let down. I wanted more for this piece of shit and not with how it went down at the end. (hide spoiler)] Also, the pacing was off for this book. I think Thomas Harris could have cut about 100 to 150 pages. The part in Italy took too long and the writing was just strange. Maybe he should have just cut the end?! hahaha *long sigh* (view spoiler)[ I really did not like Lecter and Clarice’s relationship at the end. It’s a love relationship now and she’s going to throw everything away that meant anything to her, like Ardelia Mapp and being an FBI investigator?! Really?! I’ve got serious eye roll going on. I just can’t believe this and go with such a huge character transformation and change. It’s too unbelievable for me. It changed the whole complicated nature of their relationship in my opinion. I much prefer hunter and hunted between them. (hide spoiler)] Am I glad I read it? I guess. I’m glad I read it with friends and had moral support to finish it! In my opinion, just stick with Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs. You'll thank me later.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    In the interest of full disclosure blah blah Hannibal is my aesthetic yadda yadda Mads Mikkelsen herp de derp cheekbones blah blah darkness is sexy. In all seriousness if you’re reading this I’m going to assume that 1.) You’ve got at least a working knowledge of Hannibal Lecter and his adventures and also possibly 2.) You’re a friend of Matthew’s and you think its just HILARIOUS that he makes me write these. Incidentally Matthew I hate you. Look I made a shelf about it! I like this bo In the interest of full disclosure blah blah Hannibal is my aesthetic yadda yadda Mads Mikkelsen herp de derp cheekbones blah blah darkness is sexy. In all seriousness if you’re reading this I’m going to assume that 1.) You’ve got at least a working knowledge of Hannibal Lecter and his adventures and also possibly 2.) You’re a friend of Matthew’s and you think its just HILARIOUS that he makes me write these. Incidentally Matthew I hate you. Look I made a shelf about it! I like this book. I would, in fact, go so far as to say this is my second favorite Hannibal Lecter book after Red Dragon. Many fans of Dr. Lecter will disagree violently with me but to me this book and its ending is the only possible way that Dr. Lecter and Clarise Starling's story could have ended. For the sake of everyone's sanity (no one wants to hear me talk about cheekbones and Danish accents trust me we’d be here all night) I'll be talking strictly about the books here though I'd be lying if I said my appreciation for the books hasn't been colored by the television show. Cause it has. To refresh your memory and because I am aware that not everyone is quite as addicted to this character as I am and thus does not retain practically perfect recall of every part of his story let me remind you that when we last left the erudite, dashing, brilliant, cannibalistic Dr. Lecter he was assuring FBI trainee Clarice Starling that while her solving of the kidnapping of Catherine Martin and the subsequent killing of Buffalo Bill might "silence the screaming of the lambs" for her for the moment, that silence would not last forever. He reminded Clarice that, having escaped custody by taking a leaf out of Leatherface's book, he had "no plans to call on you" finding the world more interesting with her in it. I'm probably blending the movie and the book a bit there but I do so love that line. If you know Hannibal at all you know the worst thing he can be is bored. His MO isn't so much murder as it is manipulation of the people around him just to see what will happen. Sometimes that includes murder, of course, but in the end his needs seem much more wrapped up in living, breathing people and how they move through the world. He has no empathy so he's totally unfettered by all the societal conventions and feelings that keep the rest of us from acting on all of our impulses, good and bad, and he takes full advantage. As I've said before part of my attraction to him resides in wishing I could live the same way. To a degree. Of course. He's also always been on a quest for someone to share that life with. At least that's how I've interpreted it. Thomas Harris has never been especially forthcoming about the relationship Hannibal (I like to think we'd be on a first name basis if he were real) had with his first "protege" Will Graham, the FBI profiler gifted with such an intense sense of empathy it essentially drove him mad, but I see that relationship as something of a high school romance. It was fraught with high emotion and passion with Graham constantly fighting his worse impulses and Hannibal doing his damndest to bring them out. It's that first relationship we all go through that's all wrong and dramatic and sort of sets the tone for everything that comes after. Clarice Starling is Hannibal's after. She's sort of a Will Graham 2.0. Gifted with the same intense intelligence but not handicapped by Graham's affinity for evil. She knows right from wrong, its the core of her existence, its what's taken her all the way to the FBI and who knows what she might have gone on to do had she not walked into Hannibal's sights. They dance a beautiful dance around each other in The Silence of the Lambs, like a slow burning romance, a really fucked up one but still a romance of sorts. Harris never says a blessed word about attraction or desire, and the only time its mentioned is when one of them is pointedly denying it exists. But they do seem to require one another. Because when Hannibal begins they are both of them adrift. Clarice's career with the FBI has stalled after a disastrous case and an unfortunate personal issue with a superior. Hannibal is spinning his wheels in Florence. He's got his view of the Duomo from the Belvedere and after some fancy footwork a job in the art world but its all so much window dressing, there's nothing for him to...sink his teeth into (sorry couldn't help it). Yes, the novel stalls out a bit while Hannibal galavants around Florence murdering people, and buying Clarice perfume, and baffling a bumbling Italian detective. That story goes on so long it might as well be its own novel. But, there's an interesting third player added to the mix who soon changes the game. A good old fashioned Thomas Harris nasty. Mason Verger is just disgusting. He's not even attractively disgusting like Buffalo Bill or sympathetically disgusting like Francis Dolarhyde, he's just plain disgusting. A former patient of Lecter's, he's now intent on capturing Lecter and paying him back for a drug fueled night of barbaric debauchery that left him in a wheelchair (among other things). When Verger's agents attempt to capture Lecter he senses that Starling is tied up in this somehow and despite the risk, or perhaps because of it, he returns to the US to find her. Wackiness ensues! Is it a touch melodramatic? Well its a book about a cannibal genius who's in love with an FBI agent and trying to elude a guy with no face who wants to feed him to pigs so you tell me. Is there something a little weird and icky about trying to actually make Lecter a hero by putting him up against someone who kind of deserved all the terrible stuff Lecter did to him? Yeah it kind of dulls Lecter’s claws a bit. Is it uncomfortably homophobic at times? Yes, yes it is. Mason Verger has a lesbian sister who is like your grandfather's concept of what a lesbian is. So she's addicted to steroids, ripped harder then Rambo, and fond of crew cuts and, according to Harris, at least partly into women because she was molested as a child. Did I have a weird urge to find out what brains taste like after reading it? I'm not answering that. But of course whatever you thought about the book as a whole, the real issue for everyone is the ending. Everyone always loses their damn minds because (view spoiler)[they’re boning in Argentina by the end. (hide spoiler)] Here's what I think. It just makes sense. (view spoiler)[There was something horrifying and thrilling in watching Hannibal “rescue” Clarice from the madness of the Verger estate. Its oddly romantic and dreamy when Clarice wakes up in that beautiful bed to a closet full of designer clothes and to memories of strange, drug addled hypnotic suggestions, memories of a reunion with her dead father. Finding out that he intended to make her the living vessel for his long dead sister Mischa made a horrible kind of sense. Mischa and her death are the foundation on which Lecter's life was built. In trying to correct the error of her death he was attempting to correct the course of his own life. Clarice's refusal to accept that, to accept Hannibal's own metaphoric death and instead offer him the one thing he's always wanted, someone to share himself (the psychotic cannibal) with is the only way to save him. In a weirdly beautiful moment I have never forgotten she offers her naked breast to him, reminding him that unlike when he surrendered his mother's breast to Mischa when she was born he won't have to do the same with her. Then Harris writes one of my all time favorite lines: "He came swiftly from his chair to her, went on a knee before her chair, and bent to her coral and cream in the firelight his dark sleek head." Lecter is a monster without a doubt. He’s so far beyond anything diagnosable that they don’t even have a name for what he is. He is perfect, unrepentant evil. He has no place in the world. But in a weird way neither does Clarice. The world she wants to be a part of can’t accept her. She’s too beautiful, too smart, too noble for the mire of corruption that is the FBI and those who control it. Incorruptible goodness. That world will kill her before it allows her to join it. So why shouldn’t they build a new world of their own together? There’s beauty and I think possibly even love in this strange dark life they forge together and I can’t help but love it. (hide spoiler)] The world is just a more interesting place with these two in it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    **Note - After my re-read on 3/24/15, have bumped from four to five stars and edited review a little. * I read the four books in order of sequence, not publication, ending with Hannibal. I'm not sure if it was following them in order or my mood, but I was more enamored this time around. It's turned out to be my favorite in the series. I know this isn't the popular opinion, but I think Harris did a brilliant job wrapping up the series. The plot is as diabolical as Silence of **Note - After my re-read on 3/24/15, have bumped from four to five stars and edited review a little. * I read the four books in order of sequence, not publication, ending with Hannibal. I'm not sure if it was following them in order or my mood, but I was more enamored this time around. It's turned out to be my favorite in the series. I know this isn't the popular opinion, but I think Harris did a brilliant job wrapping up the series. The plot is as diabolical as Silence of the Lambs was, this time concentrating more on Clarice and Hannibal’s “relationship.” Hannibal Lecter is explored a lot more through internal dialogue; I learned a about his though process (disturbing as it was). I sat back in awe at his life experiences, his true motivations, and the odd little ‘room in his mind.’ The person inside of me interested in psychology found his detachment methods fascinating. His motivations, while not morally just, were made clearer by seeing it through his point of view. While I’d never agree with his actions, it was still better than being left in the dark. As always, I loved being in Clarices’ head. She’s morally righteous, determined, hard working, loyal and honest;­ the change she went through nearly stopped my breath. As mentioned before with the story, I DID lose interest after the beginning to a little after the center. The pacing was even during that time, but the material just didn’t keep my eyes wandering. I'm referring to that stint in Italy, which dulled a little and I wish Harris had spent a little less time in that section. Harris’s style, particularly when focusing on Lecter and Sterling, was intense and clever. His wording was sophisticated and drama-filled, sounding disturbing when it should have been. His use of dialogue was realistic, his action scenes well sketched so that the most damage that could be done to my nerves was. His sense of irony with plot really sang through. The ending of Hannibal is one of the most powerful I’ve ever read. I literally sat back and had to think for over an hour afterward…seriously. Not many books shake me up like that at the end; the last was a few years back by Sidney Sheldon. The novel wrap up was different than it’s cinema relative; don’t go in expected the same thing you see on screen, because it WONT HAPPEN. I wasn’t sure what emotion was appropriate when I read the finale. Mainly I was disturbed, as well as saddened, but in a strange, strange, strange, place deep inside, I was also pleased. (!) I don’t know what this says about ME, but the bottom line is Harris did his job so well with the last scenes, he almost did it a little ‘too’ well. It ties into the becoming, that bizarre act of transformation focused on by Jame Gumb, made famous in the series most famous work, Silence of the Lamb. To wrap up the series on that note is genius in its circular resolution. What Clarice revealed about herself, the price she paid as she sought to stop a madman from transforming an innocent woman into his vision of himself is now transferred to the second madman, the one who helped her stop the first. I couldn’t decide whether I should give it a four or a five rating; because of the middle lagging, I was going to settle on a four, but because of the powerful influence the ending had (it’s hard to impress me on THAT level), I just have to give it a five. It more than made up for its faults. Read Hannibal and experience the trauma for yourself. This novel doesn’t hesitate to psychologically assault its reader.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    I’m very surprised to see so many low ratings for this novel as I thought it was a masterpiece and by far the best book out of the series so far! I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen, I was absolutely fascinated by this installment and loved how action packed it was. There really wasn’t a dull moment and I LOVED that it was much more gory than the previous novels, I love me so good gore! I also really enjoyed getting to know Clarice more in depth and to really see I’m very surprised to see so many low ratings for this novel as I thought it was a masterpiece and by far the best book out of the series so far! I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen, I was absolutely fascinated by this installment and loved how action packed it was. There really wasn’t a dull moment and I LOVED that it was much more gory than the previous novels, I love me so good gore! I also really enjoyed getting to know Clarice more in depth and to really see Hannibal take control of her, it was absolutely fascinating to see and my favourite part of this novel.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris Shepherdson

    When Thomas Harris created the infamous Hannibal Lector in Red Dragon he couldn't have known the influence that character would have on crime fiction for the next decade. By the time he came to write Hannibal, ten years after his previous book, The Silence of The Lambs, he must have felt some serious pressure. The fact that Hannibal is the book it is, when written under these circumstances, makes it all the more remarkable. To call it a crime novel is doing it a grave injustice and reading When Thomas Harris created the infamous Hannibal Lector in Red Dragon he couldn't have known the influence that character would have on crime fiction for the next decade. By the time he came to write Hannibal, ten years after his previous book, The Silence of The Lambs, he must have felt some serious pressure. The fact that Hannibal is the book it is, when written under these circumstances, makes it all the more remarkable. To call it a crime novel is doing it a grave injustice and reading it as such will also leave the reader disappointed. This book sits closer to Stoker's Dracula or Shelly's Frankenstein than the serial killer fare of Michael Connelly. Treat this book more as gothic fairytale and you won't be disappointed. The greatest triumph of The Silence of The Lambs is, as iconic as the film version is, it scarecely registers as you read the book. You are taken into another world and any thought of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins are gone. The same is true of Hannibal, and then some.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rade

    "is it as good as Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs? No...this one is better." - Stephen King Oh put a cork in it, King. I love you but you are not being truthful at all. This book was IMO a giant turd of words. Feel free to disagree. For one, Lecter needs to remain a secondary character, the kind that will offer advice and feed on personal information of the people interviewing him. In this book he is featured a lot more than in other books. He is free but at the same time he is hunted and "is it as good as Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs? No...this one is better." - Stephen King Oh put a cork in it, King. I love you but you are not being truthful at all. This book was IMO a giant turd of words. Feel free to disagree. For one, Lecter needs to remain a secondary character, the kind that will offer advice and feed on personal information of the people interviewing him. In this book he is featured a lot more than in other books. He is free but at the same time he is hunted and he knows exactly who is hunting him. How? No idea. If you say he got enemies, it can be said just about anyone who he saw in his office or otherwise is his enemy. He does not necessarily help people. He points them in a right direction but does not explicitly say what they should do. Most time he enjoys torturing people in any way he wants. He is like a worm burrowing in you, always itching yet you can't scratch it. Two, Mason. A bit of a different character (in his appearance, at least) but his plan with pigs did not interest me one bit. His Roid Rage sister also creeped me out. The whole Italian hunt was rather tedious, going on forever. Three, the length of this book. Clocking over 500 pages, it felt sort of mundane. If I don't care about one character story line which was 1/3 of the book, it is hard for me to love the entire book. It dragged on and I think there was bunch of things that could have eliminated altogether. At least 10 out of the 103 chapters. And four, Starling. Once again she is found in a situation where she acted instinctively, got the job done, and got suspended because it is against regulations or some shit. She is like one of those rogue cop characters from 80s action movies where she plays by her rules and even if she ends up saving lives, her actions are frowned upon because it seems the end NEVER justifies the means. I am still lacking words to understand her actions in the end. I did like the whole eel part though. Do me a favor and just skip this one. Not even close to the first two books and don't listen to King. He can suck it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Number three in the Hannibal Lecter series. Really its only number two as in the first book ‘Red Dragon’ Hannibal was just an embryo waiting for his moment in the sun. You have to hand it to Thomas Harris when it comes to creating disgustingly vile characters he is really good at it. Hannibal has killed a lot of people over the years and only two survived their experience with Hannibal. One survivor, Mason Verger, now spends his days on life support machines and dreami Number three in the Hannibal Lecter series. Really its only number two as in the first book ‘Red Dragon’ Hannibal was just an embryo waiting for his moment in the sun. You have to hand it to Thomas Harris when it comes to creating disgustingly vile characters he is really good at it. Hannibal has killed a lot of people over the years and only two survived their experience with Hannibal. One survivor, Mason Verger, now spends his days on life support machines and dreaming up ways to kill Hannibal. But only the most gruesome deaths will do for Dr. Lecter. After what Mason has gone through at the hands of Dr. Lecter you have to have some sympathy for him until, that is, you learn that he is a sadistic paedophile who when younger loved nothing better than raping his younger sister. Mason Verger is only one of many truly vile characters. The story takes place in the USA, Florence Italy and back again to the States. Every man and his dog is out looking for Hannibal. But none more franticly than the FBI and Mason Verger. For all their due diligence, Hannibal is always one step ahead and he is taking no prisoners. Well not always one step ahead. Clarice Starling the heroin from ‘Silence of the Lambs’ is apart of the FBI team looking for Hannibal. But what Clarice does at the end is just unimaginable. With all its unfettered violence it is with some guilt that I have to admit that I really enjoyed this book. There is just something about Hannibal that is totally mesmerising. Highly recommended for readers with strong stomachs. 4/5 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    I knew it was really a love story because I had seen the movie first, but I didn't realize how much of a love story it would become. Sure, cat and mouse games were predominant, and they were satisfyingly concluded, but the true joy for me came with not only identifying with, but actively loving the title character. Clarise, on the other hand, has become a much more interesting character. I'm not certain how much I believe her own transformation. Sure, a person can be programmed, and I know I knew it was really a love story because I had seen the movie first, but I didn't realize how much of a love story it would become. Sure, cat and mouse games were predominant, and they were satisfyingly concluded, but the true joy for me came with not only identifying with, but actively loving the title character. Clarise, on the other hand, has become a much more interesting character. I'm not certain how much I believe her own transformation. Sure, a person can be programmed, and I know that in her case she had always respected the good doctor, perhaps even getting a bit obsessed; but openly throwing her lot in with him the way she does? Without drugs or more hypnotherapy? A completely willing slave? This is Clarise, after all; strong-minded, brutally honest, trailer-trash Clarise. The only conclusion I have to make is that her alteration is completely of her own choosing. And that's what makes it a love story. The question makes it delicious, of course.

  21. 5 out of 5

    James

    The book starts off wonderfully with Harris's visualization; you can see everything you read. There are complex characters introduced and of course a wicked weave between them. He shows the master insanity of Hannibal with his elaborate set-ups for escape from not only Starling but from a vile creature named Verger who sets out to seek revenge on the good doctor. And you are eating this up the whole time, because it seems that Harris is once again quite the masterful story teller. But then you g The book starts off wonderfully with Harris's visualization; you can see everything you read. There are complex characters introduced and of course a wicked weave between them. He shows the master insanity of Hannibal with his elaborate set-ups for escape from not only Starling but from a vile creature named Verger who sets out to seek revenge on the good doctor. And you are eating this up the whole time, because it seems that Harris is once again quite the masterful story teller. But then you get to the last few chapters. The best way I can describe it is it seems like he took his time and thought out every little detail like it was the master term paper. But then all of a sudden he realizes he doesn't have the time needed to finish it so he rushes it and throws an ending together. It was almost like to different authors. And of the ending! And what he does with Clarice! I was put off by the whole book in a matter of a few thousand words.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Niki

    Full review will come very soon, maybe even in a few hours. I don't need to think long and hard about this one before reviewing it. ...Indeed, a few hours later, here I am reviewing this book. First things first: I will not be putting any of the spoilers under a spoiler cut. That's because you SHOULD spoil yourself before reading this book, and spare yourself from reading it altogether. (Spare yourself. SAVE yourself. It's too late for me, but save yourself!!)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wow! What an ending!!! I love the ambiguity of it! How we just get the final scene at Mason Verger's, where Starling rescues Hannibal and he escapes! And then the book ends right after that! With no more scenes! So we're left to imagine! How Starling works her way back into the good graces of her FBI superiors! And continues her cat-and-mouse pursuit of Hannibal Lecter! But Thomas Harris knows that it's better to leave this up to the readers' imaginations! So he has Starling save Hannibal from M Wow! What an ending!!! I love the ambiguity of it! How we just get the final scene at Mason Verger's, where Starling rescues Hannibal and he escapes! And then the book ends right after that! With no more scenes! So we're left to imagine! How Starling works her way back into the good graces of her FBI superiors! And continues her cat-and-mouse pursuit of Hannibal Lecter! But Thomas Harris knows that it's better to leave this up to the readers' imaginations! So he has Starling save Hannibal from Mason Verger! And then that's the end! There were no more chapters! SO BOLD AND INNOVATIVE. FIVE STARS.

  24. 5 out of 5

    May 舞

    First half of the book: 3 stars Second half: 5 stars *THAT ENDING OH MY GOD* I'm emotionally drained

  25. 5 out of 5

    Somia

    3.5 Surprised Stars Book 3, sees Sterling’s career on the rocks, Dr Lecter is doing well but now has a massive bounty on his head, but this is Dr Lecter, people may think they are hunting him, but he is not the real prey, about to be trapped. Rather he is the predator that shouldn’t have been poked. The tension that ripples through the air in the 2001 movie version of this, and grips your throat didn’t manifest potently throughout the book for me, in particular I am referring to the scene whe 3.5 Surprised Stars Book 3, sees Sterling’s career on the rocks, Dr Lecter is doing well but now has a massive bounty on his head, but this is Dr Lecter, people may think they are hunting him, but he is not the real prey, about to be trapped. Rather he is the predator that shouldn’t have been poked. The tension that ripples through the air in the 2001 movie version of this, and grips your throat didn’t manifest potently throughout the book for me, in particular I am referring to the scene where Clarice meets Dr Lecter’s sixth victim Mason Verger. Although, I have to admit the author did well in making Verger feel really creepy within the pages of the book, and this had nothing whatsoever to do with his physical contours but rather his personality and characterization. Seriously he gave me the heebie-jeebies. Verger’s (view spoiler)[sister (hide spoiler)] was an interesting character, whose interactions with him further heightened the sense of unease that developed as I read (I do wish she had been in the movie). Mason and Margot’s relationship clearly was not what one would wish for (view spoiler)[between siblings (hide spoiler)] , his sinister/dark nature is further illustrated as they talk. For me some of the best parts of this book were the scenes containing Verger, seriously there was just something eerie about them, I found myself absorbed in a way that I wasn’t in any other part of the book. Paul Krendler was a toad of a human, and yes, I disliked him in the movie, but the added information the author gives us sharpened my dislike of him. The depiction of the dinner scene, with Dr Lecter, Sterling and Krendler in the book was so different to the movie, Sterling and her words/actions had me blinking a little. But that wasn’t the scene that had my eyes widening and going holy crap I can see why that didn’t occur in the movie!! And the final chapter, I still have no idea how I feel about it, damn I didn’t see this coming (not from the Sterling and Lecter I have been reading about before this book – honestly right now I’m just bewildered). This is one book in the series, I do see myself re-reading at some point (need to let the last chapter or two to really sink in for a while first though). The second half of the book was the best and most creepily engaging part for me. It’s so weird, usually I love books so much more than their movie versions, but in this case, I have to say if I was stuck in a room and I could either watch all the movies or read all the books, I would choose the movies. 99p on Amazon 5th May 2019

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Sale's over. $7.99 now. Still worth the price of admission, so if you haven't read this, get on it. ************************************ This incredible novel is only $1.99 today for Kindle. I suspect it's due to Cyber Monday, so move quickly if you want it at this price. I promise you won't be disappointed. Pick one up here. ************************************* I couldn't tell you how many times I've read this book. At least once or twice a year since 2002 o Sale's over. $7.99 now. Still worth the price of admission, so if you haven't read this, get on it. ************************************ This incredible novel is only $1.99 today for Kindle. I suspect it's due to Cyber Monday, so move quickly if you want it at this price. I promise you won't be disappointed. Pick one up here. ************************************* I couldn't tell you how many times I've read this book. At least once or twice a year since 2002 or so. I love this book so much I have it in three different formats for every occasion. Is there any more iconic serial killer/murderer than Hannibal Lecter? I don't think so. Hannibal Lecter is the epitome of a complicated "villain." I root for him throughout all of the books he features in. Thomas Harris followed Stephen Spielberg's example in the making of "Jaws": A shark movie without too much shark. In The Silence of the Lambs, Harris gave us the serial killer book without too much serial killer. Character driven, yet exciting and well-paced, Silence set the stage for the most thrilling villain in modern literature to grow and evolve within the pages of this sequel. Hannibal (the novel, not that hideous movie they made based on it. Pah! Shame on that ending!) occurs seven years after Dr. Lecter's escape from the custody of the Tennessee State Police and the death of Jame Gumb. Clarice Starling's career with the FBI has flatlined through no fault of her own, and Dr. Lecter gets in touch with her following a particularly nasty showdown played out before the national media. Mason Verger, Dr. Lecter's sole living victim and heir to a slaughterhouse empire, has set out to capture Lecter on his own, for his own nefarious purposes. Verger seems to me to be far worse a villain than Dr. Lecter. Whenever possible, Dr. Lecter prefers to murder those who he has deemed deserve it. Mason Verger preys on those weaker than himself. I especially love the ending to this book. If you haven't read the fascinating story of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and his "nemesis," FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling, I suggest you drop whatever you're doing and do so. Start with The Silence of the Lambs, though, or Red Dragon, so you don't come in to the middle of Lecter's story arc. You won't regret it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Unfortunately, this book was a disappointment for me. It felt totally different than the first two books, and was just missing all the thrill and mystery that made the others so good. I’m glad I read it, but with that ending going right off the rails from where I thought it could go, I can’t go higher than 2.5/5.0 stars, and round down.

  28. 5 out of 5

    F

    LOVED

  29. 4 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    3.5 stars “Hannibal” by Thomas Harris is the third book in the The Silence of the Lambs trilogy. “Hannibal” follows our namesake character right where we left off in “Lambs”, where Dr. Lecter has escaped custody and is in hiding. “Lambs” was one of those novels where the movie adaptation was absolutely thrilling, and did the book justice (a rare occurrence indeed) . As a huge fan of both movie and book, I was excited when this one finally came to the top of my TBR. Harris reintroduces us to Dr. Lec 3.5 stars “Hannibal” by Thomas Harris is the third book in the The Silence of the Lambs trilogy. “Hannibal” follows our namesake character right where we left off in “Lambs”, where Dr. Lecter has escaped custody and is in hiding. “Lambs” was one of those novels where the movie adaptation was absolutely thrilling, and did the book justice (a rare occurrence indeed) . As a huge fan of both movie and book, I was excited when this one finally came to the top of my TBR. Harris reintroduces us to Dr. Lecter, in all of his glory, but also paints him with a more human brush in this novel. We find out a little about Lecter’s past, including the atrocities committed on his young sister (most definitely a trigger and inspiration for his horrendous crimes) . Clarice is back as well, trying to salvage her damaged FBI reputation while searching for the elusive criminal. The newest addition to this cast of characters is Mason, who is a former survivor of Lecter’s, barely alive and extremely deformed. Mason’s life goal is to search for and destroy Lecter, and Mason eagerly heads his own team to hunt down the man who nearly stole his life. Parts of this novel were completely addicting and enthralling. I loved any and all parts with Clarice Starling, in her full girl-power glory and of course, the backstory of Hannibal encourages a reader to feel (gasp!) compassion for the self-proclaimed “monster”. However, that being said, there were parts of this novel that were not only slow, but even strange (and not in a good way) . Although the scenery in Italy was descriptive and beautiful to imagine, the plotline fell flat for me here. The Italian investigator seemed to be play an important part in the beginning, but as the story went on, I would’ve liked a less front and centre role for him in this novel (it was impossible to get rid of him completely, for plot reasons, but definitely unnecessary to feature him so centrally) . I would have preferred to skip over this part entirely. Thrilled with Clarice’s return, and the elusive peeks into the dark depths of Hannibal’s mind, the addition of Mason was an especially gruesome touch (one that was particularly enjoyable actually) . The ending, however, was extremely strange and beyond the realms of believability, and it left me questioning. “Hannibal” has well known and solid characters, and Harris writes creatively (although slightly pretentiously?) , which kept my interest for most of the novel. But it ebbed and flowed periodically, which made it slightly less enjoyable in spots. A huge fan of psychopathology and the criminal mind, “Hannibal” had all the important boxes checked. But after a huge hit like “Lambs”, this novel left me a bit disappointed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    *CONTAINS SPOILERS & SWEETBREADS* After discovering Harris upon seeing the phenomenal movie 'Manhunter' in the '80s I sought out Red Dragon which was a fantastic and gripping cat & mouse rollercoaster ride. Its follow up was of course Silence Of The Lambs, equally engrossing and with a massively popular movie adaptation to boot. It was therefore such a massive disappointment to read Hannibal, a book I'd waited impatiently for for the best part of a decade. In all honesty I don't thi *CONTAINS SPOILERS & SWEETBREADS* After discovering Harris upon seeing the phenomenal movie 'Manhunter' in the '80s I sought out Red Dragon which was a fantastic and gripping cat & mouse rollercoaster ride. Its follow up was of course Silence Of The Lambs, equally engrossing and with a massively popular movie adaptation to boot. It was therefore such a massive disappointment to read Hannibal, a book I'd waited impatiently for for the best part of a decade. In all honesty I don't think I've ever felt so deflated by a book I'd eagerly anticipated. It had nothing to do with my expectations being too high, the simple fact is Harris lost the plot with Hannibal and I'm not sure how or why he could get it so wrong. The story is so absurd and OTT that I even wondered if post-SOTL Harris had started to see the Lecter character as an albatross and wanted to bury it along with the good Doctor's victims. If he did he went about it in the most ridiculous ways imaginable and how he could expect his devoted fans to stomach the climax of the story is totally confusing. For what it's worth my opinion is that the Lecter character worked so wonderfully in the first two books because he's used sparingly. A whole book devoted to Lecter takes away a lot of the enigma Harris so brilliantly built around him in Red Dragon & SOTL. But it's not that simple. The tragedy of this book is that Harris takes the story almost into the realms of science fiction. I've certainly read science fiction that was more believable! But the biggest kick in the nuts was the climax, where we're expected to accept that Lecter keeps the now captured Clarice in a constant state of hypnosis, dashes off to South America where she eventually succumbs to her hidden devotion to the cannibal psychopath and they live happily ever after, a future that presumably involves her knitting him cute sweaters while he keeps them well fed in a diet of sweetbreads and brains. Sigh.

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