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Hannibal rising : a novel


Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, 2006.
Physical Description:
323 pages ; 25 cm
Number in series:
Chronicles serial killer Hannibal Lecter's childhood and early adulthood after being taken from a Soviet orphanage to live with his uncle and aunt in France. He becomes the youngest person ever to attend medical school in France.
Geographic Term:



Call Number
Harris, T.

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Author Thomas Harris was born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1940 to Thomas, an electrical engineer, and Polly, a high school chemistry and biology teacher. He graduated with a B.A. from Baylor University in 1964. He has one child, a daughter, from his first marriage.

Harris worked as a general assignment reporter for the Associated Press in New York and covered the crime beat daily. He spent time at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico and has interviewed serial killer Ted Bundy in researching for his novels.

Harris's first novel, "Black Sunday" (1975), was a collaborative effort with fellow reporters Sam Maul and Dick Riley. While working the evening shift for the AP, they came up with the idea of using the Goodyear Blimp as the vehicle for a terrorist attack at the Super Bowl. The next novel, "Red Dragon" (1981), tells the story of the FBI's search for a murderer and introduces the infamous character Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter. The 1986 movie version of this novel was titled Manhunter. Next came, what many considered to be a masterpiece of suspense, "The Silence of the Lambs" (1988) and brings back the psychopathic killer Hannibal Lecter in an intense exploration of evil. The film version became the third movie in history to claim the top five Academy Awards, which were Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), Best Screenplay (Ted Tally), Best Director (Jonathan Demme) and Best Picture. The sequel, "Hannibal," was published in 1999 and it was also made into a movie.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Twenty-five years after Hannibal Lecter, a cross between Professor Moriarty and Jack the Ripper, first invaded the imaginations of countless readers worldwide in Red Dragon, bestseller Harris has crafted an unmemorable prequel that's intended to explain the origins of Lecter's evil. Fans of Harris's previous Lecter novel, Hannibal (1999), already know the major trauma that transformed the young Lecter-the murder of his beloved younger sister, Mischa, during WWII-which the author describes in more grisly detail. Lecter also has an unusual love interest, his uncle's Japanese wife, Lady Murasaki, but the bulk of the narrative focuses on Lecter's quest for revenge on those he holds responsible for Mischa's death. Unfortunately, the prose and plotting lack the suspenseful power of Red Dragon or The Silence of the Lambs, and will leave many feeling that with such a masterful monster as Lecter, less is more. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

In the parlance of superhero comics, the latest product of  Harris’ best-seller-and-hit-flick factory would be called an origins story, a narrative accounting for the hero’s superness. Bruce Wayne becomes Batman because of the childhood trauma of seeing a gunsel mow down his parents. Hannibal Lecter becomes the ultimate übermensch because of the childhood trauma of seeing his little sister eaten by criminal scavengers-guys so loathsome even the SS won’t take them--near the end of World War II. Whether and to what extent he actually saw wee Mischa’s demise remain in question throughout most of the book, for until he is an 18-year-old med-school whiz kid, he can’t consciously recall the incident. Which doesn’t, however, mean that he isn’t bent on revenge from the minute after he last sees Mischa alive. Revenge he exacts, making the closing third of the book riveting, not least because at 18 he lacks the omniscience that he honed to perfection in The Silence of the Lambs (1988). Harris’ creation continues to fascinate, here as a youngster far more than as a should-be-doddering senior in Hannibal (1999), and despite (or because of) Harris’ styleless prose. The movie opens all over, like one of the gross anatomy specimens Hannibal prepares in these pages, in February. Start soaking the fava beans.--"Olson, Ray" Copyright 2007 Booklist