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Book Beat: Hannibal Rising

Book Beat: Hannibal Rising

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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Oh - what made me read this book? I guess it had been just enough years since I read Silence of the Lambs and later Hannibal that I had forgotten just how repulsive they were and remembered only the thriller qualities. I know that many of you may enjoy a twisted character in movies and novels, and I have been one who has too, but this book just hurt to read.

It's the child abuse. That's what I personally couldn't handle. Hannibal Rising is a prequel, the story of how Hannibal Lecter came to be such a monster. This is the story of how he and his beloved little sister were tortured and his sister killed during World War II. It is horrifying, and in its horror sometimes irresistible. Reading Thomas Harris reminds me of staring at a car accident. You don't want to see it but you can't look away.

My only literary criticism of the book is that Harris makes Hannibal almost too sympathetic. I preferred him in Silence of the Lambs where he is still terrifying, even if captivating. Here he is so pitiful that I cannot feel the fear of his actions, only of what he endured.

I can't recommend this book to anyone who is squeamish in the slightest, but I kept reading to the end. Does that make me a bad person? No. Just a book worm. Read at your own risk. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio, I'm Amanda Dickson.

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