One-Minute Book Reviews

February 28, 2007

Delete Key Awards Finalist #10: ‘Hannibal Rising’ by Thomas Harris

Filed under: Book Awards,Book Reviews,Books,Delete Key Awards,Reading,Writing — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 11:07 am

“Our family, we are somewhat unusual people, Hannibal.”

Nobody sold out his fans more ruthlessly in 2006 than did Thomas Harris, author of The Silence of the Lambs and other books about the cannibalistic sociopath Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal’s depravity has always defied explanation. And Harris’s attempt to rationalize it in Hannibal Rising (Delacorte) was like trying to explain the actions King Kong by describing what happened to him when he was a baby gorilla.

Writing sample:
An uncle tells young Hannibal: “Our family, we are somewhat unusual people, Hannibal.” So that explains why Hannibal cut off a human face and used it to escape in The Silence of the Lambs. Better call your Uncle Ed – fast! — and find about the “unusual people” in your family before your cousin in med school makes a shish kabob of human flesh the way Hannibal does in Hannibal Rising. Another example of the ludicrously stilted prose turns up when Harris writes, “Hannibal walked Lady Murasaki to her very chamber door …” As opposed to her “not very” chamber door?

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

[Hannibal Rising is the first of 10 Delete Key Awards finalists being announced today. The finalists are being posted in random order and numbered only for convenience.]



  1. Again, I love your commentary on these. It really does make me laugh, though I’m now worried about where my Aunt Bernice got that Howdy Doody face mask she keeps behind her very closet door.

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — February 28, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  2. Bless you. These are probably much more time-consuming to write than it appears, so I appreciate knowing that they sometimes hit the mark …

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — February 28, 2008 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

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