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What readers think of Hannibal, plus links to write your own review.

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Hannibal

by Thomas Harris

Hannibal by Thomas Harris X
Hannibal by Thomas Harris
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Jun 1999, 480 pages

    Paperback:
    May 2000, 672 pages

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There are currently 24 reader reviews for Hannibal
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Tristan Luke
No one seems to be getting it. This book is marvelous. Possibly the best yet, though it needed Silence to build on. Harris took the character he's been developing since Red Dragon and deepened him, humanized him. His most meaningful qualities from the beginning were the human ones, so the character is the better for it. The most meaningful lines in these pieces, the essence of what the author has to teach us, comes from Lechter ("taste is not kind, and being smart spoils a lot of things"). Harris speaks to us, I believe, through Lechter more than any other. You may find that uncomfortable since so uninhibited by our ideas of right and wrong, but it simply is. The reviews posted herein seem to be disturbed at the changes in Starling and the subsequent coupling of she and her mentor Hannibal. People have lived with the world created in Silence for ten years, and, true to form, seem very uncomfortable with change. A review on this website described the "old" Clarice as "awesome!" and chided the new. Perhaps the author of that review would be more secure reading Wonder Woman. The original starling was a naive young woman. How Wonderful to see Harris acknowledge the invasiveness and corruption that is federal law enforcement in this country through her. If one really respects her in Silence then certainly it is clear that her fall from grace with the FBI was inevitable as she is a woman of integrity. Perhaps Harris's fall from your graces was also, and for the same reason. Hannibal has always been Harris's true hero in my opinion. He speaks to us the most through Lechter. The man who truly teaches us how to think and to live. No, I don't advocate killing people and eating them. I don't believe Harris does either. That's fantastic, an indulgence of the revenge fantasies we all entertain. Harris obviously has the sensitivity of an artist which makes him doubly offended at some detestable man who, say, butchers deer indiscriminately. How lovely to imagine sticking him with an arrow, and eating him! Lechter's homicidal eccentricies are an expression of a strong sense of justice in my opinion. The novel Hannibal has made that all the more clear His lack of inhibibition notwithstanding he is truly empathetic . It seems many wanted to continue to see him as some kind of almost supernatural figure. Fearful, and easier to dismiss. They were comfortable with that. It seems many are disillusioned with Lechter now, many claiming he's lost his edge. Wrong. Not so. By endowing him with a kind of mortality Harris has made the character far more thrilling and three dimensional. I thought the whole piece including the romantic climax at the end was an absolutely brilliant and bold gesture from the author. The perfect resolution.
Thank you for your time.


Max Vanvoorst
After Silence of the lambs I was expecting another, edge of my seat, thriller.
Peyton Place was more scary and more realistic then this book will ever be, a total waste of good money, please someone buy my copy from me!


Scott Chang
Hannibal finally came out in paperback and I was overjoyed. I heard mixed reviews about the book and was unwilling to fork out the horrendous hard cover price. After reading it, I realize the seven dollars the paperback cost me was too much. Why was I so utterly disappointed in Harris's long awaited sequel? Oy vai. Where do I begin?
Clarice Starling is awesome in Silence of the Lambs. She's the Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, except unlike the waify fairy tale heroine, she's got backbone and character-- one that has enough "umph" to pit her against the terrifying Hannibal Lecter. But in the sequel, Clarice Starling succumbs to fairy tale heroine status and her "umph" is lost. Harris describes her as too stupid to play FBI politics but smart enough to figure them out. It doesn't work.
The Beast in this new tale is just as bad as the Beauty. In his long anticipated story, Harris reveals the dark shadows that lurk behind Hannibal's mask. As a result we meet a whiny loon wounded and crazy because of the travesties of World War II. Lecter has lost his mystique and the story is deeply hurt because of it.
The final drug induced coupling of these two characters is indeed the demise of the book. Beauty succumbs to the Beast because her grit is gone and she needs to "save" him. The Beast then turns into a prince, suckles on her breast, and later feeds her brain. Finally the pair frolic away happily in Brazil listening to Opera and living large. BLECH. Buy it at a used book store if you must read it. Fifty cents is about all it's worth.


Lori
While Harris has once again taken us on a wild ride thru cannibalism with the debonair Hannibal Lecter, I can't help but feel cheated. I finished the book just five minutes ago, and feel that Harris was not true to the character he created in Clarice Starling. The gutsy, bootstrap-lifting FBI agent introduced in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, in my opinion, would not have been so completely taken in by Lecter, nor would her sense of right and wrong, clearly established in SILENCE, allowed her to ever come to her senses and still remain with Lecter. I found this book an entertaining read, but for the last 100 pages or so, I was dragged along, looking for the situation to be corrected. It never happened. Mr. Harris, whatever happened to Clarice's ideals?


Lucas Sjeklocha
The aptly titled "Hannibal" is a wild yet over imagined ride into the psyche of the infamous Hannibal Lector. As brilliant as Harris' work is Hannibal desperately needs to tie to reality. A psychological thriller none-the-less still needs to tie into reality so the readers have a base. The world shown to us in Hannibal is too outlandish for us to comprehend the facets of. The book is an excellent ride but leaves you with nothing but the shock of a love-affair between Clarice and Hannibal. I hope the movie brings their plight down to earth for the rest of us.


Sonia Dadwal
The sequel to 'The Silence Of the Lambs', eagerly awaited for by thousands was interesting if not gripping. It lead you into the world of Dr Lector and for me ruined 'The Silence of The Lambs' for the shear insane genius of Dr Lector no longer exists as Harris stripped him of his brute evil and tried to explain 'why' he was like this. A disappointment in my opinion and although a good read, it is far from one of Harris's best novels!


Stephanie Moss
To call Hannibal brilliant is a mistake. This novel is clearly an author's flight into his overactive imagination. The chief weakness of Hannibal is that it is too absurd and quite revolting in places. In order to really make a thriller frightening and suspenseful a strong link to reality is needed. This novel so clearly does not do that. It is over the top. Hannibal Lecter manages to be a competent surgeon, psychiatrist, Italian Scholar, the Son of a Count, amazingly strong (even though he is getting on a bit). And what about Clarice? Eating brains with Lecter, then going to bed with him?!!!! Has Thomas Harris lost his marbles???? This reminds me of Vincent Price in Doctor Phibes for God's sake. The book isn't evil. It's just daft. There are good bits which are classic Harris. The shoot out at the start. Lecter escaping with Starling. The death of Pazzi. But the structure of the novel was all wrong. It was downright dull in places and lacked a lot of the nail-! biting quality of Thomas Harris. Thomas Harris is still my favourite author by a long chalk. But Hannibal is definitely his worst book yet


Blake
Very original. Harris seems to have matured as a writer as he masterfully blends his knack for suspense with the wonderful penetration into Lecter's psyche-- much in the fashion as Amadeus or Shakespeare in Love as we see exactly what makes geniuses tick.
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