2018 | Adult Fiction | Books read (2018) | Horror (adult) | Mystery (adult) | Thriller (adult)

Review: Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris (#4 Hannibal Lecter)

3. January 2019



Hannibal Lecter emerges from the nightmare of the Eastern Front of World War II, a boy in the snow, mute, with a chain around his neck. He will not speak of what happened to him and his family. 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. There, Hannibal lives with his uncle and his uncle’s beautiful and exotic wife, Lady Murasaki, who helps him to heal – and flourish.

But Hannibal’s demons are not so easily defeated. Throughout his young life, they visit him and torment him. When he is old enough, he visits them in turn – and in the fog of traumatic memory, he discovers that he has gifts far beyond what he imagined…



I jumped into this with little expectations knowing that a lot of people don’t like it at all. People say it’s a waste of money and space, but when I’d already read the first three books I just needed to finish it one way or another. So I got this and read it, and all though my interest was peaked at the beginning, I couldn’t really understand how Harris, who had written three amazing books on Hannibal, could end up with this conclusion to why Hannibal became the person he is.

Let me just start and say that I fell in love with Hannibal Lecter and his creepiness and all that followed him throughout the three first books. I love to read about morally grey people, who you can’t just simply point out to be good nor bad. Hannibal seems like a throughly bad person, but he’s also very smart and hard to read. So, when I realized that this book was about Hannibal’s childhood and how he became the grizzly Hannibal the cannibal, I didn’t realize that it would literally fuck up the conclusion I had to his persona.

The book has little content other than a lot of different names connected to the war, that Hannibal wanted to kill. With his Japanese aunt/love-interest and what felt like far fetched medical studies and re-illustrations for anatomy texts, I was so disappointed at how this whole thing ended. Throughout the first three books we always wonder what happened to his sister Misha, and we have always known that something happened to her, that made Hannibal become who he is, and all though it is disturbing, it isn’t what I really thought it would be.

So, I’m giving this three stars, because it caught my interest from the beginning, and it held throughout the book, but I was never really that surprised?

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