Summary and book reviews of Hannibal by Thomas Harris

Hannibal

by Thomas Harris

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

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 1999, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2000, 672 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Prepare to travel to hell and beyond as a master storyteller permanently alters the world you thought you knew.

Invite Hannibal Lecter into the palace of your mind and be invited into his mind palace in turn. Note the similarities in yours and his, the high vaulted chambers of your dreams, the shadowed halls, the locked storerooms where you dare not go, the scrap of half-forgotten music, the muffled cries from behind a wall.

In one of the most eagerly anticipated literary events of the decade, 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 bait; he must have what Dr. Lecter likes best.

Powerful, hypnotic, utterly original, Hannibal is a dazzling feast for the imagination. Prepare to travel to hell and beyond as a master storyteller permanently alters the world you thought you knew.

Chapter 21

The Christian martyr San Miniato picked up his severed head from the sand of the Roman amphitheater in Florence and carried it beneath his arm to the mountainside across the river where he lies in his splendid church, tradition says.

Certainly San Miniato's body, erect or not, passed en route along the ancient street where we now stand, the Via de' Bardi. The evening gathers now and the street is empty, the fan pattern of the cobbles shining in a winter drizzle not cold enough to kill the smell of cats. We are among the palaces built six hundred years ago by the merchant princes, the kingmakers and connivers of Renaissance Florence. Within bow-shot across the Arno River are the cruel spikes of the Signoria, where the monk Savonarola was hanged and burned, and that great meat house of hanging Christs, the Uffizi museum.

These family palaces, pressed together in an ancient street, frozen in the modern Italian bureaucracy, are prison architecture on the ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

USA Today
Thomas Harris, the man who wrote the great thriller The Silence of the Lambs, serves up what can only be described as morally reprehensible slop in his book Hannibal.

When Silence came out 11 years ago, serial killers seemed more of a novelty, particularly one who was both brilliant and aristocratic.... But fantasy violence doesn't seem so entertaining after seeing teen-agers run screaming from high school. It seems sick to sit in the cozy comfort of one's living room and read for fun and pleasure about the squeals human beings make when their ears are cut off.

No one should deny Harris his right to publish novels. But bookselling is in a sick, sad place when Hannibal is this summer's must-read."

The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
Hannibal starts out strong, steadily improves and then, perhaps anticipating the fate of its eponymous anti-hero, goes straight to hell.

New York Times Book Review - Stephen King
It is...one of the two most frightening popular novels of our time, the other being The Exorcist....[A] novel full of rough bumps and little insights....[An] authentic witch's brew, eye of newt and haunch of redneck....[N]ovels that so bravely and cleverly erase the line between popular fiction and literature are very much to be prized.

Library Journal
Although Harris's occasional lapses into baroque language and the novel's confusing, dreamy ending mar an otherwise perfect thriller, enormous patron demand makes this a necessary purchase in even the smallest public library.

Publishers Weekly
This narrative roils along a herky-jerky vector but remains always mesmerizing, as Harris's prose and insights, particularly his reveries about Hannibal, boast power and an overripe beauty.

Reader Reviews

nrvj

Thomas Harris turns a poet in his description of Hannibal. This book is not to be read for the gory of it or to understand Hannibal, it is to be read for Harris' vision of Hannibal. He takes descriptive writing to a new dizzy height.
Doug Schwartz

Although I don't read many books this had to of been the best PERIOD.......................................
Phil

A Grave Disappointment
I enjoyed reading the book from the beginning right near the end. And being a sadistic person, I was excited with what was about to happen to Dr. Lecter. Then all of a sudden, a stupid twist. I clearly don't understand what Harris was thinking of ...   Read More
Anonymous

Quite a disappointment for fans of the previous books, like myself. The writing is still great, if more affected, but the characters have become cliched and the book plods at an uneven pace. The author attempts to humanize Hannibal and even tries ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Thomas Harris

If you liked Hannibal, try these:

  • Heart-Shaped Box jacket

    Heart-Shaped Box

    by Joe Hill

    Published 2008

    About this book

    More books by this author

    A multiple-award winner for his short fiction, author Joe Hill immediately vaults into the top echelon of dark fantasists with a blood-chilling roller-coaster ride of a novel, a masterwork brimming with relentless thrills and acid terror.

  • From A Buick 8 jacket

    From A Buick 8

    by Stephen King

    Published 2003

    About this book

    More books by this author

    A novel about our fascination with deadly things, about our insistence on answers when there are none, about terror and courage in the face of the unknowable.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Yolk
    Yolk
    by Mary Choi
    Mary H.K. Choi's young adult offering Yolk deftly maintains several plotlines running through the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Blizzard Party
    The Blizzard Party
    by Jack Livings
    It is 1978 and the place is New York City. A massive bacchanalian party is taking place at an Upper ...
  • Book Jacket: The Light of Days
    The Light of Days
    by Judy Batalion
    Renia, Sarah, Zivia, Frumka, Hantze, Tosia, Vladka, Chajka, Gusta, Hela, Bela, Lonka, Tema, Chasia, ...
  • Book Jacket: Hummingbird Salamander
    Hummingbird Salamander
    by Jeff VanderMeer
    In Hummingbird Salamander, Jeff VanderMeer weaves cybersecurity, bioterrorism, wildlife trafficking ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Widow Queen
    by Elzbieta Cherezinska

    The epic story of an 11th century Polish queen whose life and name were all but forgotten until now.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    Of Women and Salt
    by Gabriela Garcia

    A kaleidoscopic portrait of generations of women from a 19th-century Cuban cigar factory to the present day.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Miss Austen
by Gill Hornby
A witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
Win This Book!
Win The Beauty of Your Face

A New York Times Notable Book of 2020

"Stunning.… A timely family saga with faith and forgiveness at its core."
Marie Claire

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

It's N S O M N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.