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Hannibal Rising [Hardcover]

Thomas Harris
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Thomas Harris remains both the progenitor of the modern serial killer novel – and its greatest exponent. Red Dragon was the first appearance of the murderous Hannibal Lecter, and with its success, the Harris imitators burgeoned almost immediately. The Silence of the Lambs, however, moved Harris into really rarefied heights, its achievement boltered by the addition of a strongly drawn heroine, trainee FBI agent Clarice Starling. Hannibal, the last outing for Harris’ monstrous Lecter, drew a more controversial response, with Clarice Sterling locked into a bizarre relationship with her cultivated predator, and it looked as if the next book would develop that grim scenario.

However, Hannibal Rising goes in a totally unexpected direction – in effect, it’s a prequel to the earlier books, returning to Lecter’s childhood in World War’s Eastern Front. The youthful Hannibal sees his family murdered by the Nazis. But something else happens which alters (and deforms) Hannibal’s psyche forever. The boy moves to Paris with the beautiful Japanese widow of his last surviving relative. And soon, an orgy of grisly revenge is in train, wrought on some opponents almost as nasty as Lecter is to become himself.

We’ve seen this before: Hannibal murdering people quite as ruthless as he is – whether this makes the operatic bloodshed satisfying is a matter for every individual reader. Whatever your stance, the effect of Harris’ prose is, as ever, utterly irresistible.

Hannibal Rising is comparatively uncomplicated, when set against the complex, richly textured Harris novels that came before it.

Is there a danger that in showing us how Hannibal became a monster, something is lost of his terrifying mystery? As if to deal with this possibility, Harris keeps Lecter unknowable by removing his customary articulate examination of this own motives (he is still a boy, after all). But the tale of bloody vengeance has a forward trajectory that (whatever your reservations) will render this is a one (or two) sitting reading. And the next book will, surely, recapture that richer Harris texture. --Barry Forshaw


` Hannibal goes on his fiendishly imaginative rampage, the pace picks up, one turns the pages faster, time flies, and one is sorry that there aren't more pages to turn'. -- The Sunday Times

`Lecter remains a powerful, iconic creation...he is more like Dracula, coming out of the forests of eastern Europe to bring his evil to an unsuspecting west.' -- Observer

`This novel is a sure-fire best seller and will be gobbled up by Harris's millions of fans world wide. No doubt the Hollywood studios are already queuing up to turn it into a film, and who can blame them with a work of this magnitude.' -- Independent on Sunday

`Thomas Harris [is]... a writer of vivid and fluent thrillers.'
-- Daily Telegraph

`Thomas Harris is undoubtedly a master of his craft and a great writer' -- The Mirror

Book Description

The story of Hannibal Lecter's childhood and early years, from the mega-bestselling author of Hannibal and The Silence of the Lambs. Now fans of the new Sky Living TV series Hannibal can read the books that launched a legend. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

A guaranteed No 1 bestseller - the story of Hannibal Lecter's childhood and early years, from the mega-bestselling author of Hannibal and The Silence of the Lambs.

From the Inside Flap



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

From the Back Cover

Praise for Thomas Harris


‘A masterpiece… Chillingly brilliant’ Observer

‘Quite simply a compelling and brilliant thriller.’ Daily Mirror

‘The thrills, horror, sly erudition and sheer exquisite writing make this so much more than another serial killer novel... [It] reaches almost sublime levels of gothic grandeur at its conclusion. If only all bestsellers were so rewarding.’ Guardian

‘This is the best-written thriller to dominate the market in years…in the wit, erudition and sheer style of the eponymous Dr Lecter, we have not only a world-class villain but a literary evocation of the diabolical to compare with Goethe and Gogol. Honestly’ The Times

‘The readers who have been waiting for Hannibal only want to know if it is as good as Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs…It is a pleasure to reply in the negative. No, not as good. This one is better.’ Stephen King


’Utterly gripping’ Independent

‘A virtual textbook on the craft of suspense. A masterwork of sheer momentum that rockets seamlessly towards its climax… Harris is quite simply the best suspense novelist working today.’ Washington Post

About the Author

A native of Mississippi, Thomas Harris 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. His first novel, Black Sunday, was published in 1975, followed by Red Dragon in 1981, The Silence of the Lambs in 1988 and Hannibal in 1999.
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