Extensive Review From The Hannibal Book Series

The Hannibal series is an American media franchise consisting of four books revolving around the main antagonist, Hannibal Lecter.

Hannibal is brought out as Cannibalistic, psychiatrist and serial killer whose childhood life is the cause of his personality. The use of modern literature and novel genre of horror, psychology, crime and suspense contributes to the success of Harris works.

The main and recurrent characters of the Hannibal series are Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Clarice Starling, Will Graham and the FBI.

Hannibal Book 1: Red Dragon

Book Description

Red Dragon cover page

The plot revolves around a hypersensitive former FBI detective, Will Graham, who seeks the help of a psycho psychiatrist Lecter for clues to catching a killer on the loose.

Will Graham had actually quit the FBI after he was captured by Hannibal Lecter who almost killed him. The FBI needs Graham’s insight and Graham on the other hand needs Lecter’s genius to get hold of a serial killer who is butchering entire families. Due to this, Lecter takes advantage of the whole situation and manipulates both the killer and Graham at large from his cell.

The killer, Francis Dolarhyde is a shy film processor who is obsessed by a bizarre painting of William Blake, The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun, hence believing that he is possessed by the red dragon. Dolarhyde picks his victims by studying their home movies and then watches them for hours before striking.

Will Graham observes a few things about the killer’s personality so as to also understand his mind and why he is so much obsessed with killing people. He learns that Dolarhyde has a terrifying childhood characterized by constant abuse from his grandmother. The voice of his grandmother seems to be urging him to mayhem.

Dolarhyde falls in love with a blind girl, named Reba, at the film lab. The dragon wants him to kill the girl but he feels reluctant. Will he give in to the voice?

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Product Information, Features and Specifications

The Hannibal first series, Red Dragon, was published by Berkley on 6th January, 2009.

The book edition is written in English and its 464 pages long.

Its dimensions are 4.2 by 1 by 7.5 inches while the shipping weight is 8.8 ounces.

This book is great to anyone who not only loves literature but also loves the genre of fiction, thriller and psychological horror revolving around crime and mystery as brought out in the Red Dragon.

Even though one might have watched the movie, this book is a page turner and has a beautiful flow of a thriller. It is smart, witty, scary, outfaced and original, hence considered a masterpiece. The characters are beautifully written while the technical information is presented in a way that is both concise and interesting.

Thomas Harris possesses the ability to assume the personality, desires and intentions of a wide array of different characters in three dimensional and fascinating ways. Red Dragon is a book that will make one read and re-read once again without feeling monotonous.

Hannibal Book 2: The Silence Of The Lambs

Book Description

Silence of the Lambs book cover

In The Silence of the Lambs thriller, Clarice Starling of the FBI’s behavioral science section is assigned to conduct a psychological profile of Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal is a psychiatrist who has been imprisoned for nine consecutive life sentences in a mental institution for serial murder. Lecter is reluctant at cooperating with Clarice but finally gives in. Lecter only accepts to offer his help in finding the serial killer who has eluded authorities for months on condition that he gets accurate information about Clarice, her childhood and as an orphan..

The killer being sought after has been dubbed “Buffalo Bill” because he has the habit of kidnapping overweight women, starving them for some days and then strikes by killing, skinning and dumping the remains in a nearby river.

When Bill strikes again, the agents believe that Lecter knows much more about the killer because his predictions indeed were a match to the autopsy findings performed by Starling and FBI sleuth Crawford. They therefore request Lecter to give them the information in the exchange of a deal that he would be transferred out of the asylum. Lecter however doubts the genuineness of the offer and considers it a lie.

Clarice Starling struggles to focus in spite of being insulted, humiliated and betrayed. She needs to understand Lecter’s final, ambiguous scrawl so as to find the killer. Will Lecter help her and will she eventually found Bill?

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Product Information, Features and Specifications

The Silence of the Lambs was published by St. Martins Paperbacks on 15th February, 1991.

The book edition is written in English.

It is 384 pages long with a shipping weight of 7.2 ounces.

The dimensions are 4.2 by 1 by 6.5 inches.

This thriller book is not only entertains but also stimulates the intellect. The incredibly captivating antagonist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is depicted as a leading psychiatrist, cannibalistic and a walking paradox who manages to diagnose everyone else and read them like a book. The Silence of the Lambs is a major page-turner and a succulent read. The pacing is magnificent; the prose is very simple while maintaining a sophisticated vocabulary and being profound like few others have managed. The novel so engrossing from beginning to the end as compared to the movie i.e. Dr. Lecter behaves more sophisticated in the novel than in the film.

Hannibal Book 3: Hannibal

Book Description

Hannibal book cover

In Hannibal, Lecter stands in to advise and help an FBI agent, Clarice Starling, who has been asked to carry out an errand by Jack Crawford, which draws up psychological profiles of serial killers.

Lecter lives a good life in Florence, posing as a scholar and rarely murders anyone but is still obsessed with FBI special agent Clarice. The FBI together with Clarice trail on him and he is nearly captured. Mason Verger, another monster who was accused of molesting his own children but managed to avoid jail term provided he sought psychiatric treatment with Dr. Lecter, is also in pursuit of Hannibal Lecter for vengeance. Apparently, Verger is the only surviving victim of Lecter whom he has mutilated, paralyzed and on the respirator but has enough resources at his disposal to co-opt and manipulate the FBI’s investigation in his quest for vengeance.

At one point, the FBI suspends Clarice who is then replaced with an Italian cop to be on the take from serial killers and to work with Hannibal.

Hannibal shows a curious affection to Clarice and seeks her. As the two eventually find each other, the reader is treated to an incredibly disturbing and shocking conclusion.

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Product Information, Features and Specifications

Hannibal was published by Dell Publishers on 23rd may, 2000.

Its written edition is in English language and is 560 pages long.

The book has dimensions of 4.1 by 1.2 by 6.9 inches and weighs 9.1 ounces.

Lecter is brought as being deliciously intelligent, witty, convincing and brutal. The middle section of the book was based on the Italian detective’s perspective. It appears to be dragging and goes on for far too long, but the ending of the section is shocking and at the same time satisfying, making all the dragging parts worth it.

Hannibal is recommended for anyone who gets thrilled by a blazing showdown at the climax of a book. More so, it is entirely for someone whose interest is in Harris’ craft as a murder mystery writer as it has veered too far into the ethereal horror territory.

Hannibal Book 4: Hannibal Rising

Book Description

Hannibal Rising book cover

In this book, Hannibal Rising, we are introduced to the childhood life of Hannibal Lecter which facilitated his current personality. Through glimpses of Lecter’s early life, readers discover how Lecter came to be a highly educated and cultured man as well as a cold-blooded killer.

When he is eight years old in 1941, and living with his parents and sister, Mischa, their family is affected by the World War II. They thus flew to their lodge to elude the advancing German troops. After three years, the lodge is bombed by a German Stuka when an advancing soviet tank had stopped at the lodge for water. The explosion spared only Hannibal and Mischa as the rest of the people died. Mischa is later captured by soldiers intending to cannibalize and kill her.

Hannibal is taken by his uncle, Robert Lecter, and goes to live with him. The whole ordeal has left him irreparably traumatized but his uncle’s wife, Lady Murasaki, helps him to heal and overcome the trauma.

Hannibal made his first killing when he murdered a butcher out of vengeance of insulting his aunt. He beheaded him and ate his cheeks. At that time, he was a medical student responsible for preparing cadavers for lessons.

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Product Information, Features and Specifications

Hannibal Rising was published by Dell Publishers on 29th may, 2007.

The book edition is written in English and is 384 pages long.

Its dimensions are 4.2 by 1 by 6.9 inches and weigh at 8.5 ounces.

This new novel fills one in on the details of the childhood and origins of Hannibal Lecter, but is different from the earlier books in style and quality. It is a series of short, sketchy chapters that reads like what it probably is. The novel is devoid of suspense, characterization or the scenic descriptions which has made Harris work so enjoyable.

The book has a thoughtful plot since it answers the many questions about what had actually led Dr. Hannibal Lecter to have such as a personality.

About the Author

Thomas Harris is the New York Times bestselling author of the Hannibal Series consisting of Red Dragons, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising. He is also well known for the novel Black Sunday which unlike the rest of the books is non-Hannibal.

Harris is an American novelist whose genre revolves around crime, horror and suspense just as depicted in the Hannibal series. He began his writing career covering crime in the United States and Mexico and was a reporter and editor for the Associated Press in New York City.

All his works have been made into films, the most popular one being, The Silencer of the Lambs that was a multi-Oscar winning.