Off the Shelf
By Marcus Pan
The final (chronologically) in Thomas
Harris psycho-thriller about Hannibal Lecter, sort of anyway. While
Hannibal played a very minor role within the confines of the novel Red
Dragon, his high brow ramblings, intellectual banter and conversational
brilliance captured audiences during the Silence of the Lambs. While the
story involved the hunt for serial killer Buffalo Bill, it was Hannibal
The Cannibal Lechter that stole the stage in a bloody escape after
striking a deal with a senator.
With Buffallo Bill now out of the picture, Hannibal
picks up the search for the now on the loose Hannibal, who has found acceptance
with a bit of a new façade in both face and location. With the
intelligence of the good doctor he can fit in just about anywhere, and easily
does. While Clarice Starling, never forgotten by Hannibal as he begins
fantasizing her as a replacement for his long lost younger sister, Mischa.
This is the novel that holds the breathtaking scene of a
cannibalistic lobotomy that blew me away in the movie version. As
Clarices FBI career stalls due to the actions of Paul Krendler, as she
pissed him off in Silence of the Lambs by having the audacity to find
Buffalo Bill herself, a drug raid gone bad gives Krendler the fodder he needs
to stall it even further.
As a gift to Clarice, Hannibals capture and live
serving of her nemesis is a surprise for one of their dinners. The ramblings of
the slowly lobotomized Krendler are gems of the dinner conversation. The act of
removing and cooking pieces of Krendlers own brain as he sat there and
talked to the couple is great.
Besides Krendler, another foe of Hannibals is Mason
Verger one of his surviving victims. Vergers obsessed with
capturing Lechter himself, and through the use of his fortune hes set
himself up with a reporting system that gives him every move the FBI and
authorities discover about the doctors movements even before agents of
the bureau get the data. Verger manages to get his hands on Hannibal long
enough to get himself killed.
A few words of caution the ending to the book is
radically different to the end of the motion picture from MGM. In fact the
ending originally penned by Thomas was changed due to the outrage that some
critics had over the original ending to the novel. Ill let your imagine
go with that
Hannibals fascination with Clarice as a
Clarices fascination with a man she finds engaging and
Buenos Aires in summer
Hannibal by Thomas Harris
© 1999 by Yazoo Fabrications, Inc.
by Dell Publishing
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