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.
Serial thriller: don't miss more from Thomas Harris.
©2006 Yazoo Fabrications, Inc.; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
In the hands of a skilled narrator, even a mediocre novel can be brought to life in unexpected ways. Sad to say, this is indeed a mediocre novel, despite my high hopes that it would be otherwise.
With author Thomas Harris narrating, Hannibal Rising becomes almost unbearable. His otherwise charming Southern accent is a mismatch for the European locales of the book and his voice lacks the proper nuance for moments of both tenderness and of gripping evil. The end result is a grating and irritating experience.
I really wish I could file a positive report here, but this listen is just completely sapped of all life by the author's flat reading.
I have to say I'm astounded folks are even giving this two stars, let alone four or five! This is one of the worst books it has ever been my misfortune to encounter. Above and beyond the flat, poorly written narrative is the author's narration. Why in the world someone at Random House Audio didn't tell this guy how bad his narration was is beyond me. I agree with another reviewer that Harris sounds like Gomer Pyle trying to pronounce French, German, and Japanese. His French is unbelievably bad. Was any effort even made to correct his pronunciation? Admittedly, Hannibal Rising is such a horrible novel that no narrator could have helped it much, but Harris is, without question, the worst narrator I have ever heard. Just flat out embarrassing.
It's hard to put my finger on just why this book left me so unsatisfied. Hannibal Lechter as a sympathetic character just doesn't sit right. And when he reaches adulthood, the book's plot becomes utterly predictable. One of the most fun aspects of previous books is the series is the unexpected nature of Hannibal's "adventures."
Mr. Harris is not a professional narrator and I am willing to grant him some slack. But I could more animation into "I got the wash off the line" than Hannibal's declaration of love for Lady Murasaki, to cite just one of many examples. Some characters of a geographic region had accents and some did not. And most were rendered so thickly that they were almost not understandable. Certainly a more able reader would have helped, but I don't think enough to make this a good audiobook.
I was interested in learning how Hannibal became the Cannibal, but that's all this book did, convey facts. Hannibal did this, Hannibal did that. There wasn't much in the way of a plot and it certainly wasn't very exciting. And this review is from someone who typically can forgo a less than stellar plot assuming the character development is there. If you're a fan of the previous books, you have to listen, but prepare yourself for a bit of a disapointment.
Story is ok. Different feel from the other Hannibal books, but still engrossing. An interesting look at hannibals back story but more of a revenge tale. Still left me wondering a bit how he would continue and go on to become "the cannibal."
Overall though it's hard to get around how bad the reading is. Thomas Harris is a great author but not a voice actor. His style of reading often had me wondering who was speaking and the accents some times had me distracted from the story. The Japanese speaking is awful and the "Japanese" music that some times shows up in the background seemed out of left field at times.
Even though this is the shortest by far of the audible Hannibal books it still took me a long time to finish because of the narration. I kept nodding off.
I have enjoyed all of the Hannibal Lecter books from Thomas Harris, but this one kind of skipped and jumped around so I was confused about what was going on in the story.
Don't jump around so much. Be a little more detailed on certain aspects that could be misinterpreted. There was a part where some tanks showed up and then it was talking about the treatment of Hannibal and his sister (I think) by the soldiers from the tanks and then it jumped to something else. I had to listen to the same segment several times and still had trouble understanding it.
I would have used different narrators when characters changed. Have one person reading when Hannibal is a little boy. Another person read when he's older. Etc. Or alternate voices when different characters are talking. When its just same reader or same voice reading all speaking parts it's hard to discern who is talking.
I have a feeling this book was written fairly quickly to come out before the movie did and as a result it wasn't quite as good as the previous 3 books. By the way Hannibal needs to be released Unabridged on Audible.
I thought this story started a little slow. I had a difficult time gettibg to like Hannibal, but suddenly I found myself listening more and more.
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