Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hannibal Lectar Series

By Thomas Harris

Starting with Red Dragon, followed by Silence of the Lambs, and ending with Hannibal as was suggested to me, I enjoyed this series quite a bit. I was a pretty big fan of the movies, so I decided to give the books a try to see if there was any more to be had from the chronicles of Clarice and Hannibal. I was surprised at how accurate the movies were. There was also one other really big surprise that actually very much contradicted the movies, and I liked it. Let’s just say, it has a really good alternative ending. You may be wondering why I did not add Hannibal Rising to this review. I made a conscious decision to do this review before listening to the Pre-ist-quel because I’ve only heard and read really bad things about it. I liked the movie so we will see, I will start Hannibal Rising today and get back with you. 

So if you have no idea what the Hannibal series is, let me start by saying in my opinion Hannibal is one of the most well developed characters in literary history. Hannibal is a world renowned psychologist and also likes to eat rude people. It’s hard to talk about him because the books never let you think that you are smarter than he is, or that you can ever really get to know him because of his unpredictability. He has no problem going after whom could be called his equal Will Graham, then chooses to help and protect Clarice Starling develop as a person and an FBI investigator, because he sees something in her that he likes. Clarice was one of the only people Hannibal cannot predict.

These books are basically three individual mystery-thrillers linked together by Hannibal, who is in and out of a maximum security psych ward. I will have to recommend these books if you enjoy mysteries and psychological thrillers. I’m not even sure which is my favorite because they were each so individually good. You can listen to them in just about any order you choose, but I was really happy with the order that I chose.

Update: I listened to the Hannibal Rising audiobook, wanted to keep it separate from the first three because I heard how bad it was. To me it wasn't bad at all, it was just very different. I felt like this writing style kind of changes over time, but that is to be expected as an author grows and their interests change. Hannibal Rising is about the "coming-up" of Hannibal and how he because "Hannibal the Cannibal" There is/was a lot of mystery shrouding the character, and some of that is revealed in Rising. The time lines don't totally make sense to me, with the wars up to modern day, but I just accepted it. I would recommend Hannibal Rising as a decent fourth and final option to a really mind grabbing series. Like most things, go into it accepting it's probably not the best, and you'll come out pleasantly surprised.

☆ 4/5 Stars 

Ages 18 & Up

Approximately 50 hours.

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Psychological Thriller

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