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Summary

Longlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.

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.

Click here to download a free excerpt from chapter 6 of Hannibal Rising.
©2006 Thomas Harris (P)2006 Random House

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterpiece !!!!!!!!!

How can a cannibalistic sociopath become such a mesmeric character? The answer is quite simple.

Thomas Harris is a master storyteller.

If you applauded Hannibal's tracking down of his one-time tormentor, Dr Chiltern then this episode of his life is for you.

You will cheer him on page after page.

The plot of this novel was alluded to in 'Hannibal', but that does not detract from this latest episode. Indeed, Harris has a consumate skill in placing questions in each of the Lecter stories which always leave you wanting more. Thankfully he has left room for at least another two 'Hannibals'. The only pity is that he makes us wait so long for each instalment.

This is visceral entertainment of the highest quality and superbly read by the author himself.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Left me wanting more

Hannibal Rising catalogue's the development of the nascent sociopath we meet in the author's later books. Harris deftly explores the nature vs. nurture debate in the evolution of such a personality type, hinting at a 'certain coldness' in Hannibal's father and a comment that the Lecters' were 'not quite as other men', but also describing in chilling detail, the traumatic events that were the catalyst that set the young Hannibal upon his murderous path. From the first meeting with Hannibal's family in Lithuania, through the traumatic events of his childhood, and his development into an urbane aesthete and intellectual giant one finds themselves routing for Hannibal all the way. As a consequence, the finale proves highly satisfying. My only negative comments are that the book felt slightly truncated, and has left me yearning for the taste of.......more Hannibal Literature! Great narration by the author himself

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • West Wickham, United Kingdom
  • 13-07-08

OK but not a patch on earlier Lecter tales

I am a great fan of earlier Hannibal Lecter tales, particularly 'Silence of the Lambs' and this is the main reason why I bought this book. I have to say that I was a tad disappointed. The book is OK, indeed quite interesting in its background detail, but it has neither the pace nor tension of its predecessors.

I have to say that I thought it a mistake to have the author narrate the book. His is not a bad effort, but he simply does not have the skill to fill in the characters or vary the pace and tension - it is too black and white where colour is called for, and too montone. And his strong Southern American accent simpy cannot cope with the largely European characters he is trying to draw. I recall some years ago listening to 'Silence of the Lambs' being narrated by Frank Muller - now that was truly edge of the seat stuff. This is not in the same league.

I could not recommend this book strongly except, perhaps, to previous Lecter fans.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gemma
  • Radlett, United Kingdom
  • 30-05-12

Loved every minute

I can't praise this novel highly enough. Several times I jumped back a few chapters just to hear them again! It is very well written, the plot goes forward at a good rate and the characterisation is excellent. I see inspiration here both from Memoirs of a Geisha (with the language, not just the fact that there is a Japanese lady) and Perfume by Patrick Suskind. I especially like that Lecter and Grenoille both have a 'memory palace' and both novels are quite darkly comic as well as being unspeakably sad.

At first I was disappointed with the narration. It should be much longer than 7 hours because Mr Harris narrates too quickly. However after a few chapters it stopped bothering me and I enjoyed his natural accent as well as the other accents he attempted.

What I like most about this is that it doesn't reduce a mysterious, almost superhuman 'bad guy' to a normal guy with a bad past. It does explain why he first kills - and it's a motivation that we can probably all sympathise with - but it does not explain why he carries on killing after the novel's events. It is at the end of Hannibal Rising that he becomes a monster, and once a monster he is no longer subject to normal human desires and motivations.

Well worth a listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hannibal Year Zero

What did you like most about Hannibal Rising?

An intelligently plotted novel, combining an awful time in history with an awful origin for everyone's favourite cannibal.

What does Thomas Harris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Thomas Harris reads his own book and is surprisingly good at it. His performance of the characters gives and extra impetus to the characters.

Any additional comments?

The answer to the question of what made Hannibal Lector, this story also introduces antlers villain in the form of Grutas, one of the nastiest characters in literature. Excellently written and excellently read, this audiobook is definitely one not to miss.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nice intro to Hannibal but slow..

I enjoyed hearing the genesis of Hannibal but found this really slow and laboured.

I'm sure loads will love this but it wasn't really for me.

The reading itself was very good and the quality of the writing unquestioned.

it's worth a try..

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well read. I'd recommend it to friends or family.

One of my favourite books. I've read the book and now heard how the author (Thomas Harris) meant it to be heard.

The reading is by Thomas Harris and well performed by him. I'd like to hear more of his books being read by him in an unabridged version.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding performance and book one of the best

Having Thomas Harris read his own book makes the book come alive. Felt that I was more in the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not like the film.

Nothing like the film but much more interesting and enjoyable. The scenes are so well set they become very much part of the story and the characters become alive in them. I really look forward to the rest of the series having now a much greater understanding of Hanningfield.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 20-07-15

Slow to start, but picked up pace

This tells the story of Hannibal's childhood and the events that lead to him becoming a "monster"/psychopath, it was a bit slow to start, but picked up pace. I did enjoy this and would listen to it again, in fact I think I may enjoy it more on the second listening.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Abbie
  • 23-06-14

Eerily Entertaining

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I have scene the movie version of this book and it is a good portrayal.

Any additional comments?

I read these books after watching the series Hannibal, i wanted to know more about Will Graham and was sad to find out that he really only appears in one of the series, but other than that i was very happy with this series. At times it is a little slow, but i think i went in with unreasonably high expectations. In all an enjoyable look into the darker side of the human mind.