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Red Dragon | [Thomas Harris]

Red Dragon

An innocent family are 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.
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Publisher's 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.

©1981 Thomas Harris (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks

What Members Say

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4.4 (501 )
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  •  
    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 08-21-14
    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 08-21-14 Member Since 2013

    Love my family....along with guitars, cameras, and a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Always a brides maid...."

    This novel deserves to be in the shadows of Silence of the Lambs. It is a good book, don't get me wrong, but it is not in the league of it's successor. There are many parallel lines in this story with Silence of the Lambs (SOTL). In fact, some of the famous parts of SOTL originated in this book. Often word for word. It felt to me like this was Mr. Harris' first attempt at his idea for a great novel, and SOTL is a second try at basically the same storyline with MUCH greater results.

    The "bad guy" in this book was a well developed character, but just felt a little too "pre-packaged" for my taste. Like he was built to check off all of the typical serial killer development boxes. I don't want to get into too many specifics in my review, as I want the reader/listener to experience them for themselves, but while much of this story line worked well for me, there were a few points that I didn't like.

    There really was not much mention about Lechter in this book, either. There is one encounter with him in the asylum (rang very similar to SOTL), and a few brief mentions of him throughout, but that is all. The story focused much more heavily on the Dragon.

    As I have looked back over what I have written so far, it sounds as if I didn't enjoy this book. That is simply not the case! I did enjoy it, and if I would have come across it before I was exposed to SOTL, my review would have been much more glowing.

    I didn't love the narrator. He did a fabulous job for the most part, but some of his voices seemed to get quite whiny for my taste. Again, that is personal preference, and you may feel completely differently! All in all, this was well worth a read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Edmond, OK, United States 08-06-14
    Amazon Customer Edmond, OK, United States 08-06-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Probably good, but hard to follow"
    Any additional comments?

    Though I know the story itself is good, this book is hard to keep up with. Alan Sklar has a deep, hypnotizing voice that is easy on the ears, but unfortunately, this detracts for his narration. His voices for each character are difficult to distinguish from one another, so if you get distracted for even a moment, you're lost.

    That said, I adore listening to his voice. It is smooth and magnetic (which is a boon when he's reading as the antagonist). I will probably buy a copy of the book as well so that when I listen again, I'll have a frame of reference to use when I get lost in Mr. Sklar's voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jayson Olson Rancho Santa Margarita, ca, United States 06-23-14
    Jayson Olson Rancho Santa Margarita, ca, United States 06-23-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Holds up in 2014, but sadly, little Lecter."

    The first thing I want to address right off the bat,(and no disrespect meant), is that narrator Alan Sklar sounds exactly like Stacy Keach. The whole time I was listening, I couldn't get Stacy Keach out of my mind. Needless to say, Mr. Sklar did a fantastic job and was a pleasure to 'listen' to.

    Okay, so the story itself: If the few times that the date was mentioned (mid 70's) within was actually witheld, there is no reason why the reader/listener couldn't accept that the story didn't take place today. That in essence is a key aspect as to how decent a book can be, that it's main premise can withstand a time gap of 40+ years and still feel as if it is current.

    Although most people today probably picked this up as a background to Silence of the Lambs (like me), you will find that the gold that is Hannibal Lecter is somewhat shorter than one would expect. His few chapters are indeed riveting, and the few notions in which Thomas Harris plants the seeds of how Hannibals mind and machinations work sadly have very little payoff in the novel as a whole. Hannibals insertions within seem like an overall tease with Harris alluding to events between Will and Lecter, but the full background is never realized piquing the interest of the listener...but never really delivering.

    The first few chapters in which the crime scenes are reconstructed are very well done, walking us step by detailed (and gruesome) step and sets up the overall story on Will's quest to apprehend the "Tooth Fairy" (aka Red Dragon). In this aspect the first 1/3rd of the book was phenominal, but then the story seems to downshift a bit and take on more of a formulaic detective procedural which seemed to be lacking the physcolgical and twisted elements I was hoping for. The brief backstory (or pehaps 'origin', if you will) of the Red Dragon in his youth was interesting and forming, but when brought forward to his present day events, the Red Dragon himself seemed to lose some of his own mystique in my opinion and seemed rather ordinary other than the mandatory anti-social quirk and physical issues....but really nothing out of the ordinary (maybe I'm not being fair...perhaps I'm just de-sensitized from watching too much 48 Hours or other police procedurals).

    Towards the end, chapters are slightly shorter and take on a slightly faster pace and the payoff was somewhat predictable but at least satisfying, although not great. And of course, there is the obligatory Lecter reference in the end which is nothing more than brief 'fan-service', but doesn't matter one way or another. That being said, still one of the better crime-stories I've read/heard in a long time and is a nice introcudtion to the Lecter universe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 06-18-14
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 06-18-14 Member Since 2012

    I just achieved App Scholar!! 1000 hours in 1 yr 7 mo and 10 days!!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "RED DRAGON ROCKS!!!!"

    I loved the movie!!! and the book was spot on.Will Graham is the Sherlock Holmes of the FBI..I see Anthony Hopkins every time Alan Sklar talks about DR. HANNIBAL LECTER!!! The Tooth Fairy aka "The Red Dragon" has a lot of problems and the book goes into every part of his life from his mom to his beast of a grandma.. Dollarhad wants to do the right thing but the Dragon will not let him go. The one common denominator is Special Agent Graham the one advantage he has on Lecter and Dollarhad is they're both insane!!!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Van Boening 05-13-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Good story, Narrator just ok"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, definitely. After getting hooked on Hannibal on NBC, I went back to start reading/listening to the book series. The writing and plot are excellent, but the narrator's voice was a little too smarmy for me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story lines shift between Will Graham and Francis Dolarhyde, building the plot from two directions, keeping the reader interested.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Alan Sklar?

    No.


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

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 04-17-14
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 04-17-14 Member Since 2009

    Hi, I'm an alumi of NYU and I'm also huge into MMA. I love books I read a lot and review the stand outs. I'll give you guys the goods.

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    "What an amazing book"

    This is the first Thomas Harris book I have very read, and I have to admit it was amazing. I saw the movie Red Dragon years ago, but as usual the book was really so much better. I had no idea how much the show Hannibal, pulls from this one novel. The characters are deep and the author brings them to life. The work is full of insight and intellect. In short, this is a must read for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bunny Mama 06-13-13
    Bunny Mama 06-13-13

    Bunny Mama

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    "Interesting and creepy"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about serial killers. If you can't handle the dark side of the human psyche, don't read this book.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I was not enthralled with the narration. I've listened to quite a few audio books, and the best narrators are those who are able to create distinct voices for the various characters. Mr. Sklar has a wonderful voice, but I sometimes found it difficult to follow dialogue-heavy sections because he did not always alter his voice enough for me to distinguish between speakers. I will give him props for the serial killer part; his voice was truly creepy and made my skin crawl!


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

    I saw the movie adaptation of this book, so I was familiar with the story. It's twisted and suspenseful, for sure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Skaggs United States 05-24-13
    B. Skaggs United States 05-24-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More in depth than the movie"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Red Dragon to be better than the print version?

    No


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    William Graham...very purposeful looking..


    What about Alan Sklar’s performance did you like?

    He did very well with all of his characters.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Before Buffalo Bill...they had to deal with THE RED DRAGON.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tylor United States 02-12-13
    Tylor United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing"
    Any additional comments?

    The story was perfect. His writing is impeccable. It's not too gory, just a couple graphic spots. The character development was superb. It's an amazing story. I highly recommend it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 01-13-13
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 01-13-13 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "greatbook!"
    Would you listen to Red Dragon again? Why?

    oh yes, i have read the book and seen the movie (manhunter). i love the audiobook the best. because i don't see well and anyway, i enjoy someone reading to me. that way i don't miss a thing. i find my eyes tire too quickly and i end up skipping half the book.

    it is a good story. i will listen to again and again.


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

    silence of the lambs by the same author. maybe because the y were written by the same author.


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

    a clear crisp voice. easy on the ears.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    when reba was with frances and he was watching those movies of his next victim. i remember that when i read the book and saw the movie. again that moment struck me as very very scary.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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