Hannibal

Hannibal

Book - 2005
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"Thomas Harris takes us once again into the mind of a killer, crafting a chilling portrait of insidiously evolving evil - a tour de force of psychological suspense. Seven years have passed since Dr. Hannibal Lecter escaped from custody, seven years since FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling interviewed him in a maximum security hospital for the criminally insane. The doctor is still at large, pursuing his own ineffable interests, savoring the scents, the essences of an unguarded world. But Starling has never forgotten her encounters with Dr. Lecter, and the metallic rasp of his seldom-used voice still sounds in her dreams. Mason Verger remembers Dr. Lecter, too, and is obsessed with revenge. He was Dr. Lecter's sixth victim, and he has survived to rule his own butcher's empire. From his respirator, Verger monitors every twitch in his worldwide web. Soon he sees that to draw the doctor, he must have the most exquisite and innocent-appearing batt; he must have what Dr. Lecter likes best."--Publisher website.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Dell Book, 2005, c2000.
ISBN: 9780440224679
0440224675
Call Number: HARRIS
Characteristics: 546 p. ; 18 cm
Subjects: Serial murderers -- Fiction.
Fugitives from justice -- Fiction.
Government investigators -- Fiction.
Revenge -- Fiction.
Horror fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Thrillers (Fiction).

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a_conzg
Sep 10, 2020

I watched Silence of the Lambs and fell in love with Jodie Foster's Clarice Starling and Hopkin's portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. I knew there was also a movie of the sequel but decided to read the novel first, eager to read about these characters again. What I got of Clarice and Hannibal I immensely enjoyed, even if Starling's future at the FBI isn't as bright as the ending of the 1991 film would have one believe.

Unfortunately, I felt like much of the novel was focused on secondary characters I never became fully invested in. I even found myself skimming some pages, eager to get back to the main protagonist and antagonist.

Spoilers for ending:
I know the ending is controversial, and it seems like you either loved it or hated it. I'm interested in dark romances, and the spectrum of the human emotion. I quite enjoyed the ending, and don't view it as having Clarice fail. The author is explicit in the text that she chooses to stay with Hannibal, and is even perhaps scarier than him. They end as equals. Would it have been interesting to see them end their cat-and-mouse game with Starling outwitting him and bringing him to justice? Perhaps. But I am equally satisfied with their twisted romance, the way Hannibal truly respects her as a person and an agent. And he is her dark mirror.

All in all, definitely an interesting read.

l
lunabookworm55
Apr 09, 2020

I'm nearly 200 pages into this book, and I can't really read it anymore. I think it spends far too much time or characters I didn't ask for and don't care about. It's fine to have side characters, but keep them simple. But I found myself rolling my eyes when I saw that yet another chapter was all about Pazzi or Mason. Or they just keep on re-iterating exposition they already gave us way too many times. I honestly wanted to see Clarice try to catch up to Hannibal, and see how he would toy with her as she pursued him. How she handles nearly being out of the FBI, this is the only job she has to focus on now. It's kind of irritating with such a great start to the book.

a
Ains_Wolf6
Jul 29, 2018

Just as enthralling and captivating as The Silence of the Lambs. I personally gathered a different "feel," to best describe it, from this book. I enjoyed it equally as much as TSotL, but Hannibal is different in the aspect that it's not as strictly a crime story. It has many more dramatic aspects to it that create this different feel to the story. I love, love, love the development of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Seeing him not incarcerated really gives readers the ability to see further into him, past Hannibal the Cannibal, even past the former surgeon and psychiatrist, and to him as a person. As Hannibal. There is a beauty in his refinement and sophistication, his charm and intellect. Lecter is still, undoubtly, the chilling man we grew to earlier in the series, but this book opens us up to his true self. His lack of restraint and freedom allows us to see the person inside the monster. Thomas Harris captured this development beautifully, in his thorough and detailed writing. I, personally, love the ending. I noticed some tension of a peculiar sort between Clarice and Lecter in TSotL, so this book just helped to bring them closer and bring clarity to that subject; one that many readers didn't want to mention.

a
avocadotree
Jan 02, 2018

I think the writing just gets better as the series goes on. I had to look a lot of things up more so than in the previous two books. Some of it is gruesome. And my what an ending.

s
srkmeyer
Apr 21, 2017

Good story. Preferred Red Dragon. Some parts difficult to read due to vocabulary & sounding too much 'like literature'. I like Elmore Leonard's writing rule: "If it sounds like writing, rewrite it."

s
ScorchingSun
Dec 05, 2009

I personally feel that novels and their movie twins need not be identical. Showing different personalities is fine as long as they don't quarrel.
This book is fictional entertainment and it works on that level.
It's a fascinating setup where an intensely complicated monster like Lector who has connived, manipulated and slaughtered so many others can himself be ensnared by a Clarice Starling. It's like a tiger mesmerized by a deer.

s
Salemfalls
Jan 06, 2009

DavidB, I agree and disagree with your opinion of this book. I saw the movie before I read the book, and cannot say which one I liked better. I can see why they chose to end the movie the way they did, and it was a good ending, but so was the books. Sure it was a little out there, but it was a great twist. I think the neding showed Hannibal as less as a monster and I can see why some people, yourself included, would not like this. Hannibal felt a personal vendetta against the world for what happened to his sister, this does not mean he is uncabable of love. As for Clarice, well look at how many other books and movies have the strong female characters falling for the 'bad boy' archatype. Hannibal is the original bad guy and it made a lot of sense that they ended up together.
I do agree with you in the way that if it had not been for Hollywood and Anthony Hopkins Hannibal Lecter certainly wouldn't be as huge as he is. But let's not forget that Thomas Harris is ultimately the creator of this character, and that Hollywood simply made him a star.
In conclusion, I thought this book was interesting, not one of my favourites, and Silence of the Lambs was way better, but good none the less.

d
DavidB
Nov 16, 2008

SPOILER ALERT: Hannibal Lector gets his cake and eats it too. And by cake, I mean people.

The conclusion of this novel is completely different from that of the movie.

As always, we should respect the authors and their original intent and shun Hollywood and their desire to make things blandly acceptable for the masses. It's not a question of which is better or worse; the Book's ending or the Movie's; this is how Thomas Harris intended for his story to conclude.

That being said, this novel further reveals the flawed logic behind Harris' writing and Hannibal Lector himself. Hannibal has become one of a greates modern villains bu that is only because of Sir Anthony Hopkins' excellent acting in the Silence of the Lambs.

This is a disappointing conclusion for those who viewed Clarice Sterling as a strong female protagonist and disillusioning to students of psychology. Thomas Harris is a bad writer and an even worse psychologist. Hannibal Lector should eat him.

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DavidB
Jan 05, 2009

DavidB thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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FavouriteFiction Oct 14, 2009

Convicted serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter escapes and again becomes involved with FBI agent Clarice Starling.

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