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Publisher's Summary

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.

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.

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  • Overall


I liked the idea of hearing about what made Hannibal the sociopath, it was interesting how Thomas Harris portrayed him as a severely damaged child. The book was a bit disjointed, and it was difficult sometimes to keep track of all the names (being a visual person, I have a much easier time reading when there are lots of characters). The one major downfall was actually the narrator, and while I know it was the author himself, his southern accent really threw me off when I was trying to get into a Eastern European story, and his French and German accents were even more distracting. I appreciate his involvement, but I think another narrator would have served better. It is a good book, however, and I recommend it.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Needs Professional Voice

This is a remarkably well written story of a very dark character. Laying the foundation that gives a deeper in-site into Hannibal that will add a meaningful depth to the later stories. Not just a "hole filler" or "gore fest" but a good story that also stands by it self. A must for Hannibal Fans.
Having the author narrate is a mistake. He is flat and emotionless in voice and his Southern American accent gets in the way of the European backdrop of the story. Persons of like accent or a more familiar ear to this accent may get past this poor choice in narrative. A trained voice would have made the telling of this story more spellbinding as the story itself is of that quality.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • User33
  • Sacramento, CA
  • 12-25-06

Good book, good narration

I thought the book was..quite good. The author is well read, and does very thorough research. This book, like Hannibal, has multiple levels. You can listen to the story, the words and verse, or the imagery. I know I get a good feeling knowing that despite paying close attention, there is no way I will be able to hear everything the first time around and will be able to listen to it again and get the same enjoyment as the first time.
There were some reviews complaining about the author’s narration of the book. I fell in love with Harris’s unbiased, eloquent drawl in Hannibal even after listening to it many times. In this book Harris knows exactly how to read each character and performs as good as any other professional narrator I have heard, and better than some.
If you are new to Hannibal, I would suggest reading the ‘silence of the lambs’, and ‘Hannibal’ first.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bev
  • Alton, IL, USA
  • 10-13-08


After reading a few of the other reviews I was a little apprehensive regarding the narrator. While he does read a story of an Eastern European family with a strong Southern accent, I wasn't in the least bothered. Great story, ingrossing and thought provoking. I expected a horror story, and I got a something much deeper and disturbing.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Steven
  • North Charleston, SC, USA
  • 10-08-08

Rarely does an Author read their own work well...

...and this is no exception. I read this book and loved it, but Thomas Harris does an average (at best) reading. Always beware of an audio-book that is read by the author.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I can't say that I liked this book. I definitely wasn't enthralled. The book left much to be desired and I kept finding myself asking "But Why?" and "What???" and "Well, what about...?" I <b>have</b> to compliment Harris' narrating performance though. As an avid audible listener, I've found that most books whose narrator also happens to be the author are rather disappointing in the narrating area. That wasn't the case here. Harris did a great job putting you in the story with his accurate voices and proper inflections. It was the <i>content</i> that wasn't fulfilling. To qualify all of this, I should say that I'm a huge Hannibal Lector fan, and have read (and loved) the first several books on his character. This short read, however (as I've already insinuated), was a bit disappointing in the way of Thomas Harris magic. So, really, even if you're a huge Hannibal fan, don't expect too much out of this book. You'll only be disappointed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The genesis of Hannibal Lecter

A look at the beginning of Hannibal's grim story. Like the saying goes monsters are not born but created. Well narrated and rounds off the epic of a madman. Thomas Harris sure researched World War 2 on the Eastern Front and the horror of that time.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Well Written, Nicely Read

Having read some other books in the Hannibal Lecter series, I doubted I could feel empathy for a cannibalistic serial killer. However, this book presents young Hannibal as a sensitive, artistic child shaped by a series of brutal, historically plausible events. I found the story moving and tragic. It is also very well written. Engaging plot, nicely expressed and paced, with an interesting and diverse cast of characters.

The author, as reader of this book, tells the story expressively. He has a pleasing voice. Presumably much of the dialog in the book would have been in languages other than English, and having this account read in English with a southern accent is appropriate, consistent with the book's presentation. I enjoyed hearing the author read his own work.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Harris is a horrible narrator

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.

16 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting but took away from the character

It was well done and believable. However i feel that part of Hannibals allure is his mysterious and almost mythical presence. This made him "human" and honestly took away from the character. The TV show is also a prequel of sorts but he is still already Hannibal. Digging into the past makes the now less intense. He is less of a monster and more of a ... result of his circumstance. i am forever grateful that i read this book LAST.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful