He is one of the most haunting characters in all of literature. At last, the evolution of his evil is revealed. Hannibal Lecter emerges from the nightmare of the Eastern Front, a boy in the snow, mute, with a chain around his neck. He seems utterly alone, but he has brought his demons with him. Hannibal's uncle, a noted painter, finds him in a Soviet orphanage and brings him to France, where Hannibal will live with his uncle and his uncle's beautiful and exotic wife, Lady Murasaki. Lady Murasaki helps Hannibal to heal.With ...
He is one of the most haunting characters in all of literature. At last, the evolution of his evil is revealed. Hannibal Lecter emerges from the nightmare of the Eastern Front, a boy in the snow, mute, with a chain around his neck. He seems utterly alone, but he has brought his demons with him. Hannibal's uncle, a noted painter, finds him in a Soviet orphanage and brings him to France, where Hannibal will live with his uncle and his uncle's beautiful and exotic wife, Lady Murasaki. Lady Murasaki helps Hannibal to heal.With her help he flourishes, becoming the youngest person ever admitted to medical school in France. But Hannibal's demons visit him and torment him.When he is old enough, he visits them in turn. He discovers he has gifts beyond the academic, and in that epiphany, Hannibal Lecter becomes death's prodigy.
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Thomas Harris has finally killed Hannibal Lecter. No, not literally killed him, but, believe me, this book will finish off your interest in the character. Child Hannibal grows to young adulthood in this novel and starts to act like Indiana Jones, running around killing bad guys with a gun. That's right, a gun, which he actually flourishes and brandishes, in his revenge-driven pursuit of the men that ate his baby sister during the war. The sister-eaters conveneniently remain together in sort of a little mafia, after the war, making finding them easier for Hannibal. The last half of the book consists mainly of a tedious, one-by-one finding and killing process, sort of like a teen slasher movie set in post-war Europe. Harris has slowly been transforming Lecter into an anti-hero/hero and with this book, the transformation is complete. The author has Lecter stop just short of donning a cape and red tights. There is a faint whiff of possible love for Hannibal, but it's written so thinly that it's not clear that even Thomas Harris thought it was a good idea. Lecter is suspected and pursued by a police detective, but with the usual prequel problem: we already know that Hannibal doesn't get caught and hanged for his exploits. Thomas Harris' heart just wasn't in this one; a better book may well have been a finale in which the tortured soul of Hannibal Lecter is finally allowed to rest. This book is a definite clinker and anti-climax in the Lecter series.
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