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Which is the best Hannibal Lecter Novel?

  1. Hannibal Rising

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Red Dragon

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  3. The Silence of the Lambs

    6 vote(s)
    66.7%
  4. Hannibal

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  1. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hannibal Lecter Series

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Bluemouth, Jan 11, 2007.

    For those of you that have read and enjoyed them what do you classify as the best of the Lecter series?

    I have to admit I was one of the minority that enjoyed Hannibal Rising, but I know that it is far from being the best. That award I give to Red Dragon and I consider it Harris' best work.
     
  2. Traci
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    Traci Member

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    I'd like to know more about the new book.. I saw it on the shelves but figured I'd wait till it came out in paperback. Is it worth the read?
     
  3. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    My vote is on The Silence of the Lambs and I can pinpoint exactly why (for me personally).
    First of all, I have read only The Silence, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising so I can't comment on Red Dragon (although I have watched the film).

    The reason why Silence did it for me was more on a primal psychological level because I found Dr. Lector much more frightening because he was actually already locked up. That's a contradiction, but just because a psycho is physically locked up doesn't mean that his terror cannot extend beyond his physical limitations such as a cell, his threat can be done psychologically which I think is awesome. Physical danger in fiction is so overdone. Not many try to base a story on extremely intelligent badasses but would rather them act like cavemen with a knife/gun/whatever.
    I need more than that.

    The only beef I had with it was, I think, Thomas Harris may have slipped up early on in the book. The drama was unfolding good but what they successfully, and wisely, left out in the film was Hannibal's reference to Buffalo Bill's motivation for skinning women was to acquire a "vest with tits".
    He never said this in the film for a good reason. We were only given only so much information in the film about B/Bill's pre-transsexualism so the revelation that Clarice found in him skinning women to make a woman suit (the scene in one of the victim's bedroom) worked well but I think it kinda fell flat in the book because we were pretty much given all the reasoning for B/Bill's actions early on. So in the book the final revelation didn't work.

    Hannibal is something you can't really make a comparison with because it's simply a different story altogether. I liked it, but the last few chapters I hated so much and this is where I think Thomas Harris literally lost the plot between the relationship between Clarice Starling and Hannibal. They made radical alterations for the film which was a very good idea (Ridley Scott is the man!). Maybe Harris got high at that point in the book and lost his marbles, who knows?!!

    I didn't like Hannibal Rising alll that much because I thought it was pretty thin. I'm also being prejudiced because all I have seen lately with films and books are writers/film makers obsessing over 'origin' stories such as Batman Begins etc. It's like it's fast becoming a trend for creative people to sell out to expectation by ruining their creations by writing stories detailing the origin of their once proud world and its inhabitants. I really don't think this is necessary.

    So Silence has my vote at the moment until I get around to reading Red Dragon.
     
  4. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    You gotta get round to Red Dragon. I love it. Hannibal is locked up and used smartly. Harris actually lets the reader get to know Dolarhyde, and the overall pace of the novel is perfect.

    Hannibal was an average book, the ending was okay, but the film was classy. I didn't like Silence of the Lambs (movie) - it just didn't do it for me and I can't see why so many love it. Maybe because of Anthony Hopkins in his excellent performance, otherwise I don't see it. I was angered by the fact Buffalo Bill didn't utter the words: "How does it feel to be so beautiful" after he had been shot. In the book that was AMAZING. WHY NOT ADD IT IN??? It completely summed up his character.

    So I'll always be a Red Dragon fan.
     
  5. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    Yeah, I think partly what could be a problem even for excellent writers like Harris is that some writing within prose can sometimes lack the incredible discipline of something like screenwriting. In prose we can and do get away with writing a lot of unnecessary things (such as Tom Clancy'c obsession with over-writing totally unnnecesary military technical detail).

    For the writer's to leave out Bill's last speech could be a lot of factors no less including the moral of putting him in a sympathetic light to show him as human (this is part of Hollywood's "no-no" politics with films more likely to be taken seriously than OTT crap from the likes of Quentin Tarantino). After all, Bill was a maniac regardless of his reasoning.

    But my money is actually on the reason that they just simply did not need that last line of dialogue from him. I guess sometimes we register information differently in terms of what we read in a book and what we experience in a film. This is something a lot don't seem to grasp when they make a crossover from prose to cinema.
     
  6. online.education
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    The Silence of the Lambs

    Both the book and the movie are good. Harris wrote it like a detective novel and he didn't attempt to make it some kind of romance novel; I guess that's why this came out as the best of all four (in my opinion).
     
  7. SirSamkin
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    I liked silence of the lambs best, but I think the ending in Hannibal was perfect for the book, because it shows Hannibal's psychological victory over Clarice. In this instance the bad guy won. He'd manipulated so many people throughout the series, and he finally got the main character. I found Clarice to be lackluster. Just a standard FBI agent. If Clarice would have captured Hannibal, it would have been totally unrealistic. Besides, Hannibal is one of those people you love, even though you know you shouldn't. If Hannibal lost, I would have been disappointed. And Hannibal was intrigued by Clarice throughout Silence of the lambs, so why not fall in love?
     

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