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Hannibal Hardcover – 8 Jun 1999

384 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 8 Jun 1999
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd; 1st Ed 1st printg edition (8 Jun. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434009407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434009404
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.8 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (384 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Hannibal. Dr Hannibal Lecter. "A brief silence follows the name, always, in any civilized gathering," wrote Thomas Harris at the beginning of his stunning The Silence of the Lambs in 1988. You don't want him in your head, you don't want you in his head. Now, a decade later, Lecter is back--ready to take up his place as one of the cult figures of contemporary fiction. Almost a modern myth, in fact, if the scale, and thrill, of the publication of Hannibal is anything to go by. Harris's book is "news": not only "book news" but "real" news, one of the biggest publishing events of the decade in terms of print run (one million copies worldwide), film rights (Hollywood has paid six million dollars for the book: Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore will star) and cultural cachet.

The serial killer--like his counterpart, the psychologist-profiler--is a figure for our times; "In the contemporary mind," as one psychoanalyst, Christopher Bollas, has put it, "the serial killer is the statement of evil". Psychiatrist and killer, Lecter gives a peculiar twist to that evil (and Harris has always been interested in the precarious division between killer and cure). In Red Dragon, published in 1981, Will Graham was one of the first of the fictional profilers thinking and feeling his way into the minds of the killers he pursued. Behind bars, Lecter was a charged, but compelling, presence--an enigma who promised to be a key to psychopathic crime if only someone were genius enough to understand him. Jack Crawford tried, and then Clarice Starling. Now, as if in response to those who wanted to know more, comes Hannibal, a novel which constantly threatens to bring Lecter to life through its (sometimes grisly) pages. "Dr. Hannibal Lecter's fingerprint card is a curiosity and something of a cult object": Harris is the one who knows, who has "been there", and takes his readers into Lecter's world of curious courtesy and exquisite taste, sickening cruelty and loving murder. Both Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs were masterpieces of plot and suspense; though complex and plotted, this is rather more "Hannibal's book": no-one who wants to know, and suffer with, Lecter--his past victims, his past life, his strange feelings for Starling--can miss this brilliant piece of mythmaking. --Vicky Lebeau --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'If there’s a better book this year, with truth, fantasy and a touch of erudition combined in prose which really does leap off the page, I’ll eat my hat’ -- –Francis Fyfield, Express

'No panting fan… could have hope for more… Hannibal is a great popular novel and a plausible candidate for the Pulitzer Prize’ -- Guardian

‘A compelling and brilliant thriller… Sentence for sentence there is nobody to natch him… It is an incredible achievement… absorbing’ -- Daily Mirror

‘No horror writer is more adept at making the stomach churn… compelling…truly shocking…a brilliant book’ -- Mail on Sunday

‘Worth the wait… look no further for the chiller of the year’ -- Peter Millar, The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
Ok, ‘Hannibal’ has been hailed the worst of the Hannibal Lecter trilogy, but I am here to disagree. It is just a slightly different genre, and may not appeal to all you pyscho lovers out there! It is nowhere near as thrilling as the first two books (‘Red Dragon’ and ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ for all you Hannibal virgins out there!) however; I think it is the most essential. After reading the first instalments, I wanted to find out more about Dr. Lecter himself, and not just focus on another hero/heroine that saves the American public from an evil serial killer. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Red Dragon’ and ‘Silence’ are quite possibly the best novels of the century, and subsequently great films, but they do not capture my imagination as thoroughly as the third of the series. If you have seen the movie version of ‘Hannibal’, do not be discouraged. Surprisingly I found the film terrible as it did not incorporate the most important aspects of the plot (and changed the ending, which was vital to the storyline).
I absolutely loved how Thomas Harris delved into the character of Hannibal, and gave us a taster of his history. I also love how this scarily intelligent and eloquent doctor actually has the views of a 5-year old (see Mischa and Clarice). After ‘Silence’ I was eager to find out what Hannibal actually felt about Clarice, and it is all answered in this book (I LOVE the ending!). It emphasises the characters more than a murderous plot, as seen in the previous two, which I felt gave more depth to the novel and made it so much more interesting. However, the best part of this book is how Harris encourages and builds a relationship between the reader and Dr. Lecter, and by the end I found myself actually liking the vile serial killer! Then I started thinking, what is so bad about eating people anyway?!
(Disclaimer – I am a vegetarian!!!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By on 29 July 2000
Format: Paperback
Having read all of the Lecter Books, I was expecting something amazing here, but having read some of the other reviews my expectations were lessened somewhat. Having read the book (twice) I can say that I am definatly not dissapointed and found it to be a riviting read from cover to cover.
The average rating in my opinion does not do this book justice, this I feel is because of what preceded this book. Silence of ... was a a clasic, and the film brought the book to a wider audience, in the respect of wanting a story, written in a similar can-and-mouse format then this story will not delevier what you want.
What it does do is expand on the concepts and ideas that surround Lecter, allowing you glimpses into his mind allows you to both reach him, and respect him as a person, and yet be chilled by his actions.
The ending has been a source of much debate in the reviews I have read thus far, I do not feel it is any way a let down to the book or the series. I think it is excatly inline with the Dr's personality, and makes sense as a form of tempory insanity as a result of the depression which was enveloping Starling throughout the book, and was in my opinion cleverly built up throughout. This leaves the possibility of further sequels, which I hope mr Harris sees fit to bestow upon us, or as an ending to the series in its own right.
Read this book but approach it with an open mind, and I doubt many will be dissapointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By on 4 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
...This is genius, pure and simple. Harris has not only created a novel of extreme trauma and terror, but one that is also literally brilliant. To be honest, there are not many contemporary novels that even come within touching distance of this masterpiece. Harris is miles out in front.
Of course, by now, having read an enormous amount of reviews of this book one comes to see a slight conflict in the criticisms. People either love or hate the ending. Those who hate simply despise and feel cheated and those who love the conclusion generally feel the opposite. Well, personally, I believe that the ending that Harris portrays is the only real ending that the book could have had. Yes it is twisted, and yes it is evil. But it is also surreal, equally matching all that has gone before in the novel. Harris does not take the usual path through his books and he hasn't now. It is certainly not dreamt up in 5 minutes as some would believe. It is carefully placed. Yes it does add considerably to the shock factor, but that I feel is merely a bonus. It shows how a novel such as this can end against normal convention.
It is a book like all of Harris', well written, researched and utterly gripping. [Who] knows how he will carry on having produced such a spell binding tapestry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By readerman on 27 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book when it was first released and ordered it again to re-read after seening a DVD of the film "based" on the novel.The really frightening part of reading the novel was,to me,starting to like Dr Lecter and hoping for the escape of a badly damaged and extemely dangerous person.This in my opinion is extemely clever writing on the part of Thomas Harris.Yes, the novels dealing with him and some of the other characters (on both sides of the law) are horrifying,but very clever writing.
Pity the film maker seemed to miss the point in the ending of this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought the third instalment of the Hannibal Lecter saga in France and read it within 5 days, such was the intensity of the storyline, although some mini-plots including the pickpocketing of Lecter for fingerprinting purposes go on way too long.
Again, Harris plumbs the depths of human evil with some of the most twisted, unsympathetic characters ever put into print, while the gore factor is only used in moderation. However, we find out a lot more about the two key characters in this volume, all of which is relevant to the plot, unlike Stephen King's unbearable twenty-page monologues on minor characters and background incidents bearing no real relation to his stories.
The ending, as many reviewers have noted, is somewhat disappointing and a little over-the-top even for Harris, but of course Harris has left the ongoing plot open-ended and ripe for another sequel to the Lecter franchise.
We'll have and see what fate has in store for Dr Lecter and Agent Starling in the next episode of this gripping saga, and let's hope for a more fitting finale next time around.
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