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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

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Michelle
  • Rahway, NJ United States
  • 02-27-15

Needed a better narrator

Would you try another book from Thomas Harris and/or Alan Sklar?

I bought this book because I loved Silence of the Lambs. Red Dragon was good, but the narrator was terrible.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator often lapsed into whiny tone, which made it really hard to like the characters or care about them. He also at times sounded very flippant, which again detracted from the story.

Was Red Dragon worth the listening time?

Red Dragon is mostly worth the listening time. It's a good story, but unless you love the narrator (and I did not) sometimes it's hard to stay with it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The Best Police Procedural of Our Time

Stephen King claimed Red Dragon the best American novel since The Godfather. It was that quote that persuaded be to purchase the paperpack some 30 odd years ago. It was the first book I ever read that highlighted the brilliance of the FBI, rather than making them out to be egotistical boobs.

Of course it introduces Hannible to the world, adding dark humor into a very serious manhunt. But like Silence of the Lambs, the killer is not some evil genius, but rather a severely abused, mentally ill man convinced he is beoming something that will overcome the world. There is a overwhelmingly human aspect to the monstrous violonce he reigns on his victims.

The element of terror this book induces is like no other book I have ever read, except perhaps, Silence of the Lambs. Yet through it all we are introduced to the real FBI, efficient, brave, persistent and genius.

The narrator has a professional voice, but I found it to be soulless.

If you've never read either Red Dragon or Silence of the Lambs, you're in for a real treat. Unfortunately, I feel Harris completely lost his way after those two novels.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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SERIAL Killer ~ how does he choose his victims?

PLOT: 2 Families are killed and slaughter by the same serial killer~ how DOES he find his victims?~

Will Graham is the "FBI agent" who helped capture Hannibal the cannibal~ is retired in Florida. He is drawn back into service when the "Tooth Fairy" a serial killer who bites his victims ..having killed 2 families ~ HOW DID HE CHOOSE HIS VICTIMS? The Red Dragon aka the Tooth Fairy carefully chooses his victims by a clever means and stalks on the full moon. Now Will Graham is busy discovering clues to help "prevent" the death of a third family. ADDED fun is a cheap sheet reporter for the National Tattler used by both the Tooth Fairy and Will Graham. The Red Dragon is busy communicating with Hannibal Lecter and is a FAN. This is a first rate horror thriller. WE go inside the mind of Will Graham the agent left barely alive by Lecter after his capture. the details of both the crimes and solving it keep you glued from the begining. WE tie The RED DRAGON who we find has a very abused child hood and we understand how a MONSTER CAN BE CREATED. This READER is especially good and his excellent VOICE and story come together for a 5 STAR audio book that is first rate. I am off to listen to Silence of the Lambs.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • aaron
  • los angeles, CA, United States
  • 03-15-12

The Movie Plus A Little Bit Extra...

Whoever adapted the screenplay from this book really nailed it. If you've seen the movie, and liked it, then this should be a good weekend read for you. There aren't many sotries out there with darker, more deranged villains than this guy, and Harris manages to show quite a bit of the story from his sickly twisted perspective. I would've liked to have seen more of Hannibal Lector, and less of the Detective, but no book is perfect. Lector is (obviously) a classic villain, and there just isn't enough of him in here.

Be warned, this book does date itself. If you're not familiar with technology of the 80's (i.e. video tapes, home movie projectors, etc), you may find some of this irritating. Also, the lack of forensic (DNA) evidence procedures took a while for me to fully accept. You find saliva and semen at a crime scene, but have no idea who this criminal could be? Unheard of these days...

The narrarator is very good. Hits all the marks and keeps it moving.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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I had forgotten how good Red Dragon was...

Firstly, don't pay any attention to those nattering nabobs of negativity that dissed Alan Sklar's performance. I thought he did a fine job. Too many of my fellow Audible's are like teenage Beatle groupies, don't EVEN mention the Monkee's to them...they don't wanna hear anything else but... Now onto the story... I really enjoyed both film versions of Red Dragon/Mindhunter and also enjoyed reading it back in the day. But it always surprises me how much I have forgotten about a previously read book. Couple that with the unique experience of listening to the same book and I found myself completely enjoying the experience, again. This is a dark, dark listen and not for the faint of heart. The last chapter was just flat out great writing...and listening. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Would love to see (hear) this book re-recorded

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would probably recommend the print version to a friend. I would be hard pressed to recommend the audible version due to the narration.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Though the narrator has a good voice for audible books; he failed to give each character some definition in order to tell when each character was speaking; or if they were actually speaking out loud, or voicing a thought in their head. And he failed miserably at any attempts at southern accents. It was if the narrator wasn't really sure how he wanted to approach the performance.

Could you see Red Dragon being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I think Anthony Hopkins has established his superiority as Hannibal Lecter.

Any additional comments?

As mentioned in the subject line; would love it if this book was re-recorded with a more skilled narrator. I would certainly buy it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
  • 09-01-15

Hungry for more.

Great read, yet hungry for more Lecter! Strong characters + twisted villain with detailed past.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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ReRead/First Listen = LOVE

Read/Listened for Fun (Kindle/Audible)
Overall Rating: 5.00
Story Rating: 5.00
Character Rating: 5.00

Audio Rating: 3.50 (not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: This is probably my 5th reread of Red Dragon by Thomas Harris and it still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up!

Overall Thoughts: (Quick Review) Red Dragon is one of those books that even though you know exactly how it is going to end, it still gets to you. Very seldom is there two dynamic "bad" guys that are so brilliantly crafted. Hannibal is of course his dastardly self (I often forget this is the first book he appears in) and his level of evil is off the charts. It is also very different than Red Dragon/The Tooth Fairy evil. In fact, it is Francis that is fascinating to puzzle out. His back story is as twisted as his crimes. Will Graham has always been my favorite profiler. Sorry Clarice fans but Will is just more fascinating all around. The way his mind works is as interesting as the criminals he chases. This book is twisted and scary. Just how I like my serial killers!

Audio Thoughts:

Narrated By Alan Sklar / Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins


I thought Alan did a great job with Will and Francis but his Hannibal was a little off. That being said, overall I loved his pacing and deliverance of the story. I would listen to this again!

Final Thoughts: If you like scary (in a human not paranormal type of way) then read Red Dragon!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A contemporary classic

Great performance for a great rich dark book. Harris creates phenomenal characters and quite varied, just wished the last chapter was as intense in feelings as the rest ofcthe book that had memorable dialogs and quotes.

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Lived Up to the Hype

I have always heard great things about the iconic Hannibal story but had never experienced much aside from the show Hannibal (which is also amazing). Decided to read this and was not disappointed. Harris does a great job at helping the reader really understand what characters are feeling. Especially Dolarhyde who despite his terrible acts is able to be sympathized with.