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Hannibal: A Novel by Thomas Harris

Hannibal: A Novel (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Thomas Harris (Author)

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7,56866692 (3.37)73
Title:Hannibal: A Novel
Authors:Thomas Harris (Author)
Info:Delacorte Press (1999), Edition: 1st, 486 pages
Collections:Your library

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Hannibal by Thomas Harris (1999)

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English (62)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
I have not read or seen "Silence of the Lambs" (or any of the other Hannibal Lecter books--I didn't realize there were so many in the series until I looked this one up here.)

I think reading the series in order might give you more background information, but overall, you don't have to have read the preceding books to get through this one.

The prose reminds me a bit of Dan Brown's books without the puzzles for the hero to solve. I wasn't quite sure what the point of the novel was: don't leave your victims alive so they can seek retribution? don't let the desire for revenge take over your life? evil always repays evil with evil?

Basically, many forces combine to put Clarice Starling into Hannibal Lechter's grasp--where it remains to be seen if she will stay. Along the way, Lechter settles the score with several would be assassins, others who want to sabotage Clarice's career, and provides the scapegoat for a sister who wants to kill her brother and take his semen to impregnate her significant other to ensure that their child inherits the Verger fortune.

I found the writing style dry and hard to get through. It took me a long time to get through the book--longer than it usually takes me to read a work of fiction. ( )
  JenniferRobb | May 28, 2018 |
An engrossing book.
However, there are too many revolting and gory details that undermine the basic plot and the ending is just unacceptable. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
This is terrible and fabulous at the same time. Like going to a art museum and finding the most amateurish-looking and ugly painting, and that, THAT piece somehow having the most resonance with you, and you spend the rest of the day wondering what has going on in the mind of that twisted but undeniably talented artist who would make something so confrontational and and uh... just dealing with liking something weird.

The first time I tried to read it, when it first came out, I couldn't get past the few chapters. Maybe not even the first chapter. It was soooooo bad. And it still is. It is a really, really bad mystery/suspense novel. Like romance, mystery/suspense novels have a structure that's promised the reader, and if it's not delivered, it's incredibly disappointing. Not just "the bad guy should get it in the end," but even in their universe. There is an order and structure to the mystery/suspense world, and it gets into everything. How the bad guys act, how law enforcement reacts, family life, politics. Everything gets slotted into either "correct" or "chaos," the parameters of which change from author to author. Mystery/suspense is about where these lines are drawn, and it draws people who are interested in contemplating these lines.

The first two Hannibal Lecter novels had it, even though the books, at least for their genre, were a little bit weird. Every baroque, overwritten page of Hannibal however, is like, "That line? Fuck that line. That line is stupid. We can contemplate about how dumb it is." Which makes sense actually, because Hannibal Lecter is the character in those earlier books that transcends the structures of their universe. "There isn't a word for what Hannibal Lecter is," (a line I am misquoting, fersure). Other characters commune with him as if he were an oracle, an oracle of Weird. "oh Weird one, show us what our structure-constrained eyes cannot let us see" and then Hannibal Lecter says some weird ass baroque shit, like in . "If you were to escape, tortoise, you would be forgotten almost immediately, invisible. It is your enclosure that makes you a god." & "The monkey touches himself not to feel pleasure, but to demonstrate to the zookeeper that he cannot be controlled." hahaha. Anyway, the hell was my point, that cannibalistic serial killers are strange and Hannibal Lecter is a pretentious baroque weirdo? And that a book that focuses on him is gonna be pretentious, baroque and weird? Woah! earth-shattering. i better slow down.

Hannibal belongs in the horror genre, not suspense. For characters beside Hannibal, it's a psychological slasher flick, like "Run he's got a knife! RUUUNNNN! He's gonna eat you ahhhh". But for Hannibal himself, it's cosmic. Get too close to Hannibal, he'll start warping your reality and mind so much it starts becoming cosmic horror to you, too, where people and their horrors are utterly insignificant, God is indifferent at best and mindlessly cruel at worst, and lines between correct and chaos don't matter. At least, that is how it seems to me, especially reading this after watching the Hannibal TV show, which I am convinced takes place in THIS universe, despite technically being a prequel of Red Dragon (the book Red Dragon itself seems to take place in a different universe entirely).

Even then though, it's still not a good book. Decentish, but execution is seriously lacking. The horror themes can really be pushed further, but as it is they are kinda just... meh. Like he was working intuitively, but not skillfully. ( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
Great story for the most part. I hated the ending (NO SPOILERS). The end made me throw the book across the room. I'd have given it 4 stars if the end didn't suck. ( )
  Adam_Z | Mar 19, 2018 |
After you read Red Dragon and Silence Of The Lambs you expect something awesome to come...but it doesn't. I barely read it. I'm not even sure if I'm up to reading Hannibal Rising. ( )
  Denicbt | Feb 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grimaldi, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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You would think that such a day would tremble to begin...
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Clarice Starling's Mustang boomed up the entrance ramp at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on Massachusetts Avenue, a headquarters rented from the Reverend Sun Myung Moon in the interest of economy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 038529929X, Hardcover)

Horror lit's head chef Harris serves up another course in his Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter trilogy, and it's a pièce de résistance for those with strong stomachs. In the first book, Red Dragon (filmed as Manhunter), Hannibal diabolically helps the FBI track a fascinating serial killer. (Takes one to know one.) In The Silence of the Lambs, he advises fledgling FBI manhunter Clarice Starling, then makes a bloody, brilliant escape.

Years later, 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.

What happens when the Italian cop gets alone with Hannibal? How does Clarice's reunion with Lecter go from macabre to worse? Suffice it to say that the plot is Harris's weirdest, but it still has his signature mastery of realistic detail. There are flaws: Hannibal's madness gets a motive, which is creepy but lessens his mystery. If you want an exact duplicate of The Silence of the Lambs's Clarice/Hannibal duel, you'll miss what's cool about this book--that Hannibal is actually upstaged at points by other monsters. And if you think it's all unprecedentedly horrible, you're right. But note that the horrors are described with exquisite taste. Harris's secret recipe for success is restraint. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:50 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

FBI agent Clarice Starling's involvement in a dramatic drug bust brings her once again to the attention of cannibal killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter who escaped from custody seven years earlier after helping Clarice nab a serial murderer.

(summary from another edition)

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