Hannibal Book 1: Red Dragon

Red Dragon cover page

The Red Dragon is the first novel of the Hannibal series as written by Thomas Harris and published in 1981. The novel introduces the main antagonist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter who is not just a smart psychiatrist but also a cannibal and serial killer.

Thomas Harris embraced this title from one of William Blake’s paintings, The Great Red Dragon.

Book Details

The Red Dragon book is available on Amazon in both hardcover and paperback formats.

It is published by Berkley and is 464 pages long.

The book has dimensions of 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches and weighs 8.8 ounces.

Its genre is a mixture of crime, thriller, physical and psychological horror.


The FBI is in search of the most wanted serial killer, nicknamed ‘The Tooth Fairy’. Jack Crawford has this mission at stake and he needs the help of the former greatest FBI profiler, Will Graham to offer his help. Graham had resigned as a detective when he was almost killed by Hannibal Lecter whom he had captured three years ago.

‘The Tooth Fairy’, who is found out to be Francis Dolarhyde, works at a film processing lab. He targets his victims by studying their home movies, stalking them at a distance before striking and murdering the families. With the help of the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal, Graham is able to understand the psychology of Dolarhyde, his thoughts and what drives his personality. As it is, the serial killer believes to be the Red Dragon depicted in William Blake’s painting. This obsession gives him the urge to kill and get satisfaction in it. Moreover, his personality is contributed by constant abuse from his grandmother while still a child.

When Dolarhyde falls in love with Reba, also working at the film lab, a lot is to be feared. Will the Dragon in him or his grandmother’s voice convince him to kill her?

The Red Dragon book is great. It has a well characterization, well thought of plot and a good flow of events. What makes it amazing and a highest rated literature book is because it is full of mystery, thriller and psychological horror in it.

Hannibal Lecter has such a complicated but interesting personality that will make one read it over and over again.

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About the Author

Thomas Harris is an American writer born on 11th April, 1940. He is known for writing modern literature and suspense series, one being the Hannibal series. He has also written the book, Black Sunday, which was his very first novel.

All of his works have been made into films, the most notable being the multi-Oscar winning The Silence of the Lambs, which became only the third film in Academy Award history to sweep the Oscars in major categories.