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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 22 August 2016
While I have no insight into Thomas Harris' actual creative process, I became increasingly convinced throughout reading this book that he only wrote it as a kind of "what if" exercise after completing the last book, hypothesising about what may have happened after the end of Silence of The Lambs, but then it reached a good 400 pages and he figured, "Meh, why not publish it?"

Hence we have what essentially comes across as very well-written SOTL fanfiction, complete with Hannibal's tragic back story and subsequent humanisation, the questionable character motivations and of course the "Clannibal". However, don't take this comment as a criticism. The story is a wild ride from start to finish and is as wonderfully narrated as his other novels. Not to mention, I found the book hilarious... Perhaps unintentionally at times (for example, when Hannibal broke into Clarice's car and licked the steering wheel - who would be able to keep a straight face while picturing that??), but that being said, I believe this book needs to be read after taking a few steps further into the fantasy end of fantasy realism. It may be with that outlook that I didn't detest the "shock value" ending.

Don't pick this up expecting another crime thriller. It's not Red Dragon or SIlence Of The Lambs. It's it's own thing, something else entirely. And somehow, it works.
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on 16 March 2016
This is one of those stories which you don't ever forget. The minute you invest in the story line and characters, you find yourself drawn into this scary and intelligent world. It lives up to the hype, and went above and beyond my expectations. I haven't seen the film because I am worried it will destroy my memories of the book, but I have heard that the film is an excellent representation. I enjoyed this so much that I immediately purchased the entire 'series'. It is dark and scary, yet we still find ourselves trying to understand Lecter and his 'ways'. A truly great writer.
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on 27 October 2013
To be perfectly honest, I think I built this book up after hearing so much about it and it being a bestseller and everything. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Red Dragon, so I was very excited to read this, but the killer isn't half as complex and interesting. Hannibal Lecter himself isn't exciting as I was expecting him to be (he wasn't mentioned much in Red Dragon so I was excited to know more about him). I would have liked to know a little more about what Lecter did before he got caught because there are a lot of random references to it throughout both books and we're just expected to know what happened. By the end of Red Dragon you kind of pieced together some of what happened when he got caught, involving WIll Graham, and the same can be said for this book. You can piece together little bits about his capture and that he was a cannibal (Hannibal the Cannibal, as people call him), but if I'm perfectly honest, this book was a little bit of a let down for me, personally. However, the storyline is still interesting and good, Harris' writing style is incredible and he's a talented guy. I don't regret buying this book, but I don't think I'd read it again.
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on 23 June 2014
I read this a long time ago - probably shortly after it first appeared, and remember being knocked out then. I gave my copy away - didn't mean to, but sometimes a loan ends up that way. Recently I needed inspiration, and wanted to read something to fire me up, so bought another copy.

Oh man - I remember being impressed the first time, but reading it again I can't get over how perfect this is. The opening chapter alone heralds the entire book in a few sparse, densely written pages. And it just gets better from there on.

I was amused to read some of the other Amazon reviews from people who had seen Silence of the Lambs and then been disappointed because there's not more Lecter in this one. But there is - the entire thing is about Lecter and Graham.

Oh, and I once met Brian Cox on the top of Ben Nevis and we chatted for 20 minutes while he smoked a cigarette, and he is, in my mind, the creepiest Lecter of all. Love that film. Love the book.
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on 24 January 2015
The character of Hannibal Lecter has now become a legendary creation. Here we get the first glimpse of him, although he is not the main focus of the story.

The book was later adapted into Silence Of The Lambs. Although the plots are slightly different, some of the mechanisms within the plot are reminiscent and if you didn't know about the connection between the two you might think the author was just recycling ideas.
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on 9 October 2016
Love this book, and decided to buy it after seeing the film. The book is well written and provides a better understanding of character, compared to that of the film.
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on 17 February 2017
Easily the best book among all four and the most gripping of all, defiantly highly recommended for any Hannibal fans, Wont disappoint.
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on 13 January 2014
I love reading thrillers, they are my favourite genre. The Silence of the Lambs was published and released on film before I was born, however I knew I had to purchase one of the best Thrillers of all time. I really enjoyed SOTL, it has a very good, solid storyline and once I had started the book I was absolutely drawn and didn't finish until I had put it down. You don't need my review to tell you that a best-selling book is good! Read it!
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on 4 February 2014
A fully realised work of imagination with well rounded characters, a colourful plot that keeps you galloping and a detached writing style that provokes absorption rather than repulsion. After 10 reads over 25 years, it's still the only book I've read more than once, Pride and Prejudice excepted. It's the novel against which all crime thrillers can be measured.
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on 22 August 2016
What compliments can I give this book that haven't been said thousands of times all ready? Definitely one of the best books ever written. Sometimes I'll just pick it up and read over some of my favourite chapters again and it still gives me chills.
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