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Dissecting Hannibal Lecter: Essays on the Novels of Thomas Harris [Paperback]

Daniel O'Brien , Benjamin Szumskyj

Price: CDN$ 39.47 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Jan. 8 2008 0786432756 978-0786432752
This comprehensive study of author, Thomas Harris' popular works focuses particularly on Harris' internationally known antihero Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter in the classic novels "Red Dragon", "Silence of the Lambs", and "Hannibal". In 12 scholarly essays, the work examines several themes within Harris' trilogy, including the author's artistic exploration of repressed desires, his refinement of neo-noir themes and the serial killer motif, and his developing perceptions of feminine gender roles.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub (Jan. 8 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786432756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786432752
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,120,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book on Dr. Lecter July 16 2008
By Christopher Caldwell - Published on Amazon.com
I found this book a fascinating read. I am a criminal Justice student who loves criminal pathology. I've always have been enamored with Hannibal lecter how can he be so smart and read people so well yet kill. This book answers alot of those questions. Anybody who loves Thomas Harris novels and who wants to learn what made Hanibal lecter and why he is the way he is this book would be a wise investment. Great book :)
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ok, I'm a little biased, but....it's stonking! amazing! Jan. 28 2008
By Scott D. Briggs - Published on Amazon.com
Well, this book was delayed a few extra months for various reasons, and it was just published a few weeks ago, and, as I say, I might be somewhat biased since I'm a contributor to this book: I wrote the essay in here (all 38 pp. of it)on Black Sunday, Thomas Harris's first groundbreaking novel from 1975, and I'm rather proud of it (even passed it on to actor Bruce Dern, and I do hope HE enjoys it) but I'm even MORE proud
to finally see what a fantastic collection of work this
is, and being in the company of some real heavyweights like S. T.
Joshi, Tony Magistrale and Professor Robert Waugh of SUNY New Paltz, who ALWAYS delivers a thought-provoking piece and does not disappoint here, and I believe our editor Ben Szumskyj has put together
a truly groundbreaking book on a critically-neglected
(but no less important) author. I think this book will have fans
of the Harris novels and films based upon them going back to the sources to discover things they might've missed the first few times,
and I believe the book will prove thought-provoking and
fascinating to even the most casual Harris reader. I believe it's a pity
that the independent and specialty bookstore is an endangered species in these Internet times, and I wish there were more brick and mortar
stores that would stock this book, but I guess I should be
content that it's available all over the world online and
I hope and pray that the real Thomas Harris fans will find
this book somehow, and get something out of it. Time was one
could venture into NYC and buy a book like this at the once-great
bookstore Forbidden Planet (now a total comic book joke), but those times have long since gone. I didn't write this review to promote my own work, I wrote it to get the word out to the fans of Harris's novels
(and of course, the films based on his work) that finally,
there's a volume of critical essays out worth reading.
Even as a reader I can't recommend this book highly enough,
and I truly hope it finds the audience it so richly deserves
(and here I'm talking about the other contributors' works!)
online and off. I wasn't even going to review a book I had a hand
in writing, but I feel in this case I must make an exception:
I can't recommend it any more highly, if you're a Thomas
Harris fan at all, I think you'll enjoy this book immensely.
If you don't, I'll be glad to buy you a nice Chianti for your
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant analysis June 25 2012
By Monika K. - Published on Amazon.com
This collection of essays was an enjoyable read if you wish to learn more about the series. There were countless amounts of symbolism and parallels that I had failed to pick up while reading Harris' novels and this book certainly served its purpose for me. Don't expect this to be an easy read. They are indeed essays, some harder to read than others. I loved it for the fact I felt I was learning; made plenty of notes and highlighted a lot of the text that I wanted to keep in mind for the next time I read through any of Harris' novels.

The forward, preface, introduction and afterward all played their parts in brief summaries, bringing up some more generalized facts to the forefront. The collection of essays are as follows (with a brief definition of the topic conveniently provided, the stars indicate my favorites):
- American Gothic: Liminality and the Gothic in the Hannibal Lecter Novels
- * Hannibal at the Lectern: A Textual Analysis of Dr. Hannibal Lecter's Character and Motivations in Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs
- Gothic Romance and Killer Couples in Black Sunday and Hannibal
- The Butterfly and the Beast: The Imprisoned Soul in the Lecter Trilogy
- This is the Blind Leading the Blind: Noir, Horror and Reality in Red Dragon
- From Red Dragon to Manhunter
- Suspense vs Horror: The Case of Thomas Harris
- * Transmogrified Gothic: The Novels of Thomas Harris
- Hannibal Rising: Look Back in Anger
- * Before Her Lambs Were Silent: Reading Gender and the Feminine in Red Dragon
- Black Sunday, Black September: Thomas Harris's Thriller, from Novel to Film
- *Morbidity of the Soul: An Appreciation of Hannibal

I would invite anyone who had disagreements or found disappointment in Hannibal to read "Gothic Romance and Killer Couples..." and "Morbidity of the Soul" first and foremost. It's so adequately illustrates what so many readers did miss. There were some more difficult reads than others, and admittedly I did get weary reading so much about Red Dragon (though that may be because I was never a huge fan of Will Graham). There are some typos here or there that irritated me and even a handful of incorrect summaries in some essays (I nearly threw the book when the "Transmogrified Gothic" essay stated Clarice and Noble indeed shared the same bed together at the end of Silence - that was left entirely to interpretation!)

Regardless of a few flaws here or there in the essays, each one certainly brings to light about the brilliance of Harris's work and has certainly given me a better appreciation for the masterpieces that I just recently read.

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