Red Dragon was a game-changer for me, and probably remains the best serial killer novel of all time. Silence of the Lambs was just as good. Hannibal was definitely not in the same class, and then Hannibal Rising came out. I couldn't get through it. It was hard to imagine this was the same writer who did Red Dragon.

I'd like to think Harris has some more quality work in him, but I doubt he could do another Hannibal book that's anything but a shadow of the first two.

Is this just a case of going to the well too often, or did he hack out the last two books for money, or are these works underrated gems?

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I will always cherish the memories I have of "Red Dragon." It was the novel that broke my losing streak deer hunting. I tend to fidget in the stand, and I needed something to hold my attention. "Red Dragon" was the perfect remedy. It kept me glued to the pages and quiet as a librarian.

Which is to say, a librarian who successfully hunted deer that season.

I haven't read the other two in the Lector series. There's still plenty of time left this season, though.
I also greatly love Red Dragon. Silence of the Lambs was also very good, but I like Red Dragon a little better. I read Hannibal, but didn't want to read the following book OR see the movie. The ending was such a letdown... particularly when the segment in Italy was so... well, perfectly fiendish.

Harris may have written the last two books for money, or to please fans who kept begging for more Hannibal... or both.
Red Dragon was it for me. I was disappointed by Silence, couldn't get through Hannibal and didn't bother with Hannibal Rising.

But Red Dragon. Wow. I could NOT put that book down.
I kinda share the same feelings. But, I am a pig lover...
Red Dragon remains the finest serial killer book. Silence was very different as the Lecter / Starling chemistry offers . The last two were clearly books written to be made into films... which meant they suffered from a form of cinematic writing that isn't Harris's forte. In truth Lecters mystery came from really undertsanding his background...
Red Dragon was a magnificent book, maybe one of my all-time favorites. I liked Silence of the Lambs a lot, but not as much. Harris wrote one about a terrorist attack (was it Black Sunday?) that I also enjoyed pretty well. It was well-paced, but not as riveting as the other two.

Hannibal was a terrible disappointment. I felt that Harris had completely betrayed Clarice Starling, the protagonist of Silence of the Lambs. I can't imagine doing that to a character I'd established as honorable and decent. I haven't read Hannibal Rising. I think I saw the movie on late-night TV. Gory, but it had its moments. I may try the book, since it seemed like it might be better than Hannibal. In my opinion, it would be hard for it to be worse.

I keep hoping he'll come up with something wonderful again, because his writing style is brilliant. I just get a very ugly feeling from the books, like he has the utmost contempt for people, especially anyone who would actually read his work. I read someplace that he didn't want to write the last two Hannibal books but felt pressured into it. Maybe that's why they come across the way they do.

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