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but then it reached a good 400 pages and he figured
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.