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Summary

A quiet summer night...a neat suburban house...and another innocent, happy family is shattered - the latest victims of a grisly series of hideous sacrificial killings that no one understands, and no one can stop. Nobody lives to tell of the unimaginable carnage. Only the blood-stained walls bear witness.

All hope rests on Special Agent Will Graham, who must peer inside the killer's tortured soul to understand his rage, to anticipate and prevent his next vicious crime. Desperate for help, Graham finds himself locked in a deadly alliance with the brilliant Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the infamous mass murderer who Graham put in prison years ago.

As the imprisoned Lecter tightens the reins of revenge, Graham's feverish pursuit of the Red Dragon draws him inside the warped mind of a psychopath, into an unforgettable world of demonic ritual and violence, beyond the limits of human terror.

A native of Mississippi, Thomas Harris began his writing career covering crime in the United States and Mexico, and was a reporter and editor for the Associated Press in New York City. His first novel, Black Sunday, was published in 1975; followed by Red Dragon, in 1981; The Silence of the Lambs, in 1988; Hannibal, in 1999; and Hannibal Rising, in 2006. All the Hannibal Lecter books have been made into films, most notably starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. Sky has also produced a television series based on the notorious mass murderer, starring Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne, and Hugh Dancy.

©1981 Thomas Harris (P)2014 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"The best popular novel published since The Godfather." (Stephen King)
"Completely gripping." ( Time Out)
"Something out of the ordinary for strong nerves and stomachs, an intricately crafted chiller." ( Observer)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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

Red Dragon, kept me on the edge of my seat

Hi really enjoyed this, despite having previously watched Manhunter, which is the 1986(?) film adaptation and knowing what was coming, I was still captivated and kept on the edge of my seat. I listened to this whilst completing a large painting and it kept me alert and interested throughout, I often didn't want to stop for a rest as it meant stopping listening.

I was enthralled by the mind of the Dragon, in particular his requirement to evolve and the processes that he went through in order to become.

A very satisfying listen.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great intro to the world of Hannibal

I didn't realise this was the first book but I'm glad I purchased and listened. What an intro into the world of Will Graham and Hannibal Lector. The voice actor was well suited to the tone and pleasing to the ear, shame about his interpretation of the female voices, which were a little annoying though.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The writing is superb.


A classic anyway you look at it no gimmicks just story and literate in a way most crime books are not. Blakes images are used like to create almost a subtext, like when the dragon takes the blind woman to touch the tiger burning bright, in the forest of her night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? placing himself as the maker of that scene, it is such a daring move by the character and the writer it plays in my mind.

If you have not read it you are missing on a great pleasure, if you have a second reading will give you a new perspective on how well time has treated this book, because of its brilliant use of language and characterisation.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Excellent start to Hannibal Series

Would you consider the audio edition of Red Dragon to be better than the print version?

Voice is very good and easy to listen to. It does also add drama to the story and is well paced. The character voices are well done and distinguishable. Found it very enjoyable as a listen.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Dragon?

Finale. All comes to a head. The character development throughout the story is excellent. Especially Dolarhyde.

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

Drama and suspense. The voice felt very deep at first but I got used to it and it was pleasant to listen to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened on holiday so did it in stages. It worked well like that but the story was good enough to mean I got through the book pretty quickly.

Any additional comments?

Definitely recommend this book and any others in the series. Especially for those who are fans of the Hannibal series of films. You get a lot more character development in the books which I think adds a lot to the story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad but not the best.

I liked this book but I prefer audiobooks with a cast. As far as the Hannibal Lecter books go it's not a bad one but not the best.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Hard to get into and hard to put down.

Liked it but struggled to get into it.
I listened to the first few chapters a few times before I got into it and now I feel like I have to listen to the next books.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Classic Harris, introducing Hannibal Lecter

Having watched the entire film series, the book is a fantastic background to Dollahyde's insanity. There is much more detail to his experiences as a child which gives his personality more of a well rounded character. There is no villain like Hannibal Lecter.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dark is the Soul of Man... And Darker Still His Deeds

Wow!

I saw the film and it was reasonably true to the book. But this reading made me hold me breath so many times.

Masterfully Written and Brilliant Narration!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Slick thriller, all killer no filler.

What made the experience of listening to Red Dragon the most enjoyable?

Having watched both film adaptations and the TV series Hannibal, I subsequently enjoyed this both as a Hannibal Lecter origin story and as a Will Graham story. Plus fantastic writing and a far deeper interaction with the Tooth Fairy/Red Dragon made the listening immensely enjoyable.

What other book might you compare Red Dragon to, and why?

I've gone straight into Harris' 'The Silence of the Lambs' hopefully that book will compare to it.

Which character – as performed by Alan Sklar – was your favourite?

Alan Sklar's narration suited the tone of the book perfectly. The popular answer to this question will undoubtedly be Lecter, however I liked his version of Will Graham more.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I felt sorry for Francis Dolarhyde, considering he's the villan that is quiet an achievement. I empathised with most of the characters and felt the story was suspenseful.

Any additional comments?

Well worth your time.😀

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

As good, if not better than the movie

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The book gets right into the story.. ... very little padding.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Dragon?

I think the under current ruining through the book that Hannibal Lecter is part of this story.

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

I'm not usually keen on American narrators, but he is as good as they get.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

Any additional comments?

Hannibal..... what a perfect creation... he scares all of us, methinks.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful