He is one of the most haunting characters in all of literature.
At last the evolution of his evil is revealed.
Hannibal Lecter emerges from the nightmare of the Eastern Front, a boy in the snow, mute, with a chain around his neck. He seems utterly alone, but he has brought his demons with him.
Hannibal's uncle, a noted painter, finds him in a Soviet orphanage and brings him to France, where Hannibal will live with his uncle and his uncle's beautiful and exotic wife, Lady Murasaki.
Lady Murasaki helps Hannibal to heal. With her help he flourishes, becoming the youngest person ever admitted to medical school in France.
But Hannibal's demons visit him and torment him. When he is old enough, he visits them in turn.
He discovers he has gifts beyond the academic, and in that epiphany, Hannibal Lecter becomes death's prodigy.
Click here to download a free excerpt from chapter 6 of Hannibal Rising.
©2006 Thomas Harris; (P)2006 Random House
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I have scene the movie version of this book and it is a good portrayal.
I read these books after watching the series Hannibal, i wanted to know more about Will Graham and was sad to find out that he really only appears in one of the series, but other than that i was very happy with this series. At times it is a little slow, but i think i went in with unreasonably high expectations. In all an enjoyable look into the darker side of the human mind.
How can a cannibalistic sociopath become such a mesmeric character? The answer is quite simple.
Thomas Harris is a master storyteller.
If you applauded Hannibal's tracking down of his one-time tormentor, Dr Chiltern then this episode of his life is for you.
You will cheer him on page after page.
The plot of this novel was alluded to in 'Hannibal', but that does not detract from this latest episode. Indeed, Harris has a consumate skill in placing questions in each of the Lecter stories which always leave you wanting more. Thankfully he has left room for at least another two 'Hannibals'. The only pity is that he makes us wait so long for each instalment.
This is visceral entertainment of the highest quality and superbly read by the author himself.
"Left me wanting more"
Hannibal Rising catalogue's the development of the nascent sociopath we meet in the author's later books. Harris deftly explores the nature vs. nurture debate in the evolution of such a personality type, hinting at a 'certain coldness' in Hannibal's father and a comment that the Lecters' were 'not quite as other men', but also describing in chilling detail, the traumatic events that were the catalyst that set the young Hannibal upon his murderous path. From the first meeting with Hannibal's family in Lithuania, through the traumatic events of his childhood, and his development into an urbane aesthete and intellectual giant one finds themselves routing for Hannibal all the way. As a consequence, the finale proves highly satisfying. My only negative comments are that the book felt slightly truncated, and has left me yearning for the taste of.......more Hannibal Literature! Great narration by the author himself
"OK but not a patch on earlier Lecter tales"
I am a great fan of earlier Hannibal Lecter tales, particularly 'Silence of the Lambs' and this is the main reason why I bought this book. I have to say that I was a tad disappointed. The book is OK, indeed quite interesting in its background detail, but it has neither the pace nor tension of its predecessors.
I have to say that I thought it a mistake to have the author narrate the book. His is not a bad effort, but he simply does not have the skill to fill in the characters or vary the pace and tension - it is too black and white where colour is called for, and too montone. And his strong Southern American accent simpy cannot cope with the largely European characters he is trying to draw. I recall some years ago listening to 'Silence of the Lambs' being narrated by Frank Muller - now that was truly edge of the seat stuff. This is not in the same league.
I could not recommend this book strongly except, perhaps, to previous Lecter fans.
"Loved every minute"
I can't praise this novel highly enough. Several times I jumped back a few chapters just to hear them again! It is very well written, the plot goes forward at a good rate and the characterisation is excellent. I see inspiration here both from Memoirs of a Geisha (with the language, not just the fact that there is a Japanese lady) and Perfume by Patrick Suskind. I especially like that Lecter and Grenoille both have a 'memory palace' and both novels are quite darkly comic as well as being unspeakably sad.
At first I was disappointed with the narration. It should be much longer than 7 hours because Mr Harris narrates too quickly. However after a few chapters it stopped bothering me and I enjoyed his natural accent as well as the other accents he attempted.
What I like most about this is that it doesn't reduce a mysterious, almost superhuman 'bad guy' to a normal guy with a bad past. It does explain why he first kills - and it's a motivation that we can probably all sympathise with - but it does not explain why he carries on killing after the novel's events. It is at the end of Hannibal Rising that he becomes a monster, and once a monster he is no longer subject to normal human desires and motivations.
Well worth a listen.
"Not like the film."
Nothing like the film but much more interesting and enjoyable. The scenes are so well set they become very much part of the story and the characters become alive in them. I really look forward to the rest of the series having now a much greater understanding of Hanningfield.
"Slow to start, but picked up pace"
This tells the story of Hannibal's childhood and the events that lead to him becoming a "monster"/psychopath, it was a bit slow to start, but picked up pace. I did enjoy this and would listen to it again, in fact I think I may enjoy it more on the second listening.
"Not a patch on the others"
This always felt like a story that did not need to be told. Of the allure of the character of Hannibal Lecter is that you do not know exactly where he came from. It also stretches credibility that he is on the radar of police at an early stage and then is able to remain above suspicion for so long.
"Never allow an author to narrate his own book!"
The story is good, reasonably interesting although not really engaging.
But it was a huge mistake to have the book narrated by the author. I say it time and again, only professional voice actor should narrate the audiobook, otherwise it becomes amateurish performance detracting from the quality of the story.
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