I respect a money grab, the studio wanted a Hannibal prequel so Thomas Harris decided to write it. The young Hannibal in this book is pedestrian.
There is no reason to read this book, or see the movie! This is my least favorite of Harris's "Hannibal Saga." His reasoning for Lecter's particular "taste" is, get this, REVENGE. Everything about Harris's "young" Lecter seemed too far fetched, from his "medical studies" and re-illustrations for anatomy texts, to his Japanese geisha-like aunt/love-interest who lives in Paris. I read somewhere that Harris had "gone gay" for Lecter after turning out the "disappointing" last installment called merely, Hannibal.
Despite bad reviews (of the movie and the book), I loved HANNIBAL RISING. I knew that there couuld be no book like Silence of the Lambs, that Hannibal would probably be a quieter, subtler book. You come away wondering if you have a monster waiting to rise up. HANNIBAL RISING is probably one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. Hannibal Lecter will stay with me for a long time and I cant wait to read the tale of his beginning all over again.
And I was expecting this to pick up where the last book left off so when I discovered it was about Hannibals origins I was a tad let down.
Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hannibal the Cannibal) is one of fiction most iconic and revered psychopaths. The book starts near the end of the 2nd World War and recounts the early life of Hannibal with his parents and his much loved younger sister Mischa. The uncles wife The Lady Murasaki takes Hannibal under her wing and with much love, care and understanding Hannibal learns to talk once again. Little by little Hannibal recall the horror that ended Mischas, his sister, life and with that memory comes the burning need for revenge.
Every word reads like an exercise in how to bilk the public out of a couple of more dollars with a character that accidentally became famous. Hannibal Lechter is one of the great evil characters of modern American writing and cinema and the book Hannibal Rising does its very best to destroy all of his appeal. Despite the total absurdity of the story itself you would be able to forgive Harris the mistake of writing this book. Im going to do my best to forget that both the book and the movie Hannibal Rising ever existed so I can go back to loving Hannibal Lechter.
"Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. Can you stand to say I'm evil?" - Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs Hannibal Lecter is the bogeyman - a dark and terrible figure from a child's nightmares who lurks in the shadows, waiting to pounce. In the first three books in the Lecter series - Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal - he is as powerful and unknowable as nature, a force of primal evil. Hannibal Rising, a prequel that portrays Lecter's evolution into the cannibal serial killer we all know and love, mucks it all up by trying - and failing miserably - to humanize him. A grand guignol character like Lecter is bound to be over-the-top, but Hannibal Rising's lurid theatrics make him downright corny. In the other Lecter books, I couldn't stop reading about him; in this one, I couldn't wait to be done with him.
This was a true prequel to the character of Hannibal, and I was rather wishing we could have a continuation of him as an adult, post-Clarise, but it just wasn't to be.
When in the head of Hannibal, the story is at its most intriguing, not just because the character is done so well (he is), but because it seems Harris finds firmer footing. Overall the author filled in the past of Hannibal that he'd sketched in later events.
The angel intervenes in time." "Not always," Hannibal said. It was fantastic to see that Hannibal was not always the monster he ended up becoming.