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3.2 out of 5 stars
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3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 6 August 2000
Although a gripping read in some places Harris over-indulged in lengthy scene setting and pointless ravings about fine foods and the cop's tedious family history.Harris swapped tenses so many times during the novel that I didn't know if I was coming or going.He spluttered between first gear and gripping action but unfortunately he failed to sustain this and increasingly fell into unintentional comedy.The ending made you want to hurl the book around the room and jump on it, I felt angry that I had wasted precious hours of my life reading such amateurish drivel.How can an author go from the exellence of Silence of the Lambs to the awfulness of Hannibal;are we sure it was even the same writer?
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on 5 June 2001
Harris has developed a good plot with some interesting twists and turns, but lets it down with limited command over the English language. It's written very much in the "Tom Clancy" school.
This is further compounded by some basic factual errors - referring for example to a translation issue in the New Testament from Hebrew to Latin - except the New Testament was written in Greek! This clear lack of classical education makes one think his descriptions of Florence (which are good) and Dante were contributed by someone else (and there are credits for this at the end of the novel).
A good 'airport read', but a classic it is not.
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on 4 June 2001
...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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on 27 December 2001
The real beauty of Dragon & Silence was their brevity. Nothing was extraneous. Everything drove on the plot. In both, Lecter had a supporting role and was all the more striking for it. In Hannibal, Lecter takes centre stage, but the character just isn't strong enough to hold the book together. The uneasiness and fear of Dragon & Silence are here replaced by gore and pantomime (flesh eating pigs? A villain who drinks from a glass smeared with a child's tears? They seem to have wandered in from some trashy horror novel). And I guess that's all it is, a trashy horror novel.
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on 22 January 2016
.This is another great book in this series. I read this quite a few years ago, and I actually found this one quite disturbing in places, even made me feel physically sick. Although I really enjoyed this, I still prefer The Silence of the Lambs.
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on 5 March 2002
This book was slow, too long at the beginning and too caught up with seemingly irrelevant twists and turns. It does have it's moments and Harris sometimes writes beautifully and insightfully but these moments were too thin on the ground. Starling is an interesting character as of course is Lecter, but I believe Harris could have done so much more with them. To sum up: beautiful backdrop to a part of the story (Florence), two excellent characters, terrible plot, BIG disappointment.
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on 9 August 2000
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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on 15 October 1999
I got this book as a present since, as many people, I dont like publicity machines and so refused to get it, particularly in hard-back. As fate would have it I got it in hard-back. I had read Red Dragon and Silence Of The Lambs and thought Red Dragon to be the better book in terms of pure suspense, I literally couldnt put it down. So I expected the same type of content from Hannibal. I was wrong, it's not the suspense filled terror that we're used to instead Harris goes to great lengths to, in some way, humanize Lecter to the reader, and from the outset of this look back to Lecters past it was obvious that Harris was killing off Lecters legacy (i.e. I'd be very surprised to see a sequel). It's unfortunate that the book lacked momentum because it WAS written very well. I was particularly impressed at the detail given to the inner workings of Lecters mind which was beautifully constructed and well researched, even if only for the references to The Memory Palace. Worth an open minded read though
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on 2 February 2001
A few of my students (I am a teacher) had recommended the book, and I decided to read it before I went to see the film. It took me less than 4 days to read because I could not put it down. The wording, the suspense, the gore, the whole thing is tremendous. Some people complain about the ending, but I think it goes right along with the "evil" plot. I hope the film can portray the book fairly. I can't wait.
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on 4 May 2012
Some of this book is well written. Some of it is terrifically scary. But...some of it is very poorly written and far fetched. The plot is great and gripping...up until the end. The ending is ludicrous and silly. Still worth a read though.
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