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Red Dragon Paperback – Jan 6 2009

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Red Dragon + The Silence of the Lambs + Hannibal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (Jan. 6 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425228223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425228227
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (417 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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Lying on a cot in his cell with Alexandre Dumas's Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine open on his chest, Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter makes his debut in this legendary horror novel, which is even better than its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs. As in Silence, the pulse-pounding suspense plot involves a hypersensitive FBI sleuth who consults psycho psychiatrist Lecter for clues to catching a killer on the loose.

The sleuth, Will Graham, actually quit the FBI after nearly getting killed by Lecter while nabbing him, but fear isn't what bugs him about crime busting. It's just too creepy to get inside a killer's twisted mind. But he comes back to stop a madman who's been butchering entire families. The FBI needs Graham's insight, and Graham needs Lecter's genius. But Lecter is a clever fiend, and he manipulates both Graham and the killer at large from his cell.

That killer, Francis Dolarhyde, works in a film lab, where he picks his victims by studying their home movies. He's obsessed with William Blake's bizarre painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun, believing there's a red dragon within him, the personification of his demonic drives. Flashbacks to Dolarhyde's terrifying childhood and superb stream-of-consciousness prose get us right there inside his head. When Dolarhyde does weird things, we understand why. We sympathize when the voice of the cruel dead grandma who raised and crazed him urges him to mayhem--she's way scarier than that old bat in Psycho. When he falls in love with a blind girl at the lab, we hope he doesn't give in to Grandma's violent advice.

This book is awesomely detailed, ingeniously plotted, judiciously gory, and fantastically imagined. If you haven't read it, you've never had the creeps. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


Acclaim for the novels of Thomas Harris:

For Black Sunday:

"Frighteningly believable."—Chicago Tribune

"Suspenseful, nightmarish."—Los Angeles Times

"Breathtaking. All forces converge with an apocalyptic bang!"— New York Times

"Fast-paced, all too realistic... with a shattering climax."—Kirkus Reviews

"A spellbinder... The race to save the Super Bowl is hair-raising, one that will keep you rooted to your chair."—Hartford Courant

For Red Dragon:

"Red Dragon is an engine designed for one purpose—to make the pulse pound, the heart palpitate, the fear glands secrete."—New York Times Book Review

"A gruesome, graphic, gripping thriller... Extraordinarily harrowing."—Plain Dealer, Cleveland

"Want to faint with fright? Want to have your hair stand on end? Want to read an unforgettable thriller with equal parts of horror and suspense? Harris was obviously only warming up with his best seller Black Sunday."—Daily News, New York

"Irresistible... A shattering thriller... Readers should buckle themselves in for a long night's read because from the first pages... Harris grabs hold."—Publishers Weekly

"The scariest book of the season."—Washington Post Book World

"Easily the crime novel of the year."—Newsday

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Veronica on April 13 2004
Format: Paperback
Red Dragon is an exciting and grisly crime novel which is brilliantly written in a taught and deceptively simple prose style. We are introduced to Dr. Hannibal Lecter in this book and it is a great introduction, setting up the action which continues in The Silence of the Lambs (a book I also gave a five stared review).
In this book the villain is Francis Dolarhyde, a man with an exceptionally shocking past. I especially liked the inclusion of several chapters about his childhood because they accomplish the seemingly impossible, to make you feel real sympathy for him because the cruelty he suffered as a boy was horrific. The sections of the book where Dolarhyde is alone with Reba McClane really got my pulse racing because Reba's blindness made her extremely vulnerable to him. The plot was excellent and very twisted, involving several shocking and uncomfortable developments which had me biting my nails rather a lot! Will Graham, the FBI investigator, was also a well developed character and I was willing him to succeed throughout.
Overall I would recommend Red Dragon to those who like to read tense and beautifully written crime novels - and can put up with the gruesome and scary parts which are quite disturbing. Like The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon is a superior serial killer novel and a must read for crime fiction fans
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After viewing both film versions, Manhunter (1986), and Red Dragon, (2002) I thought it was necessary to finally read the book. It was fun to juggle all three works in my head but when I wanted to, Harris's gripping prose made it easy for me to tune out such comparisons and simply focus on the novel itself.
The basic plot is typical: retired detective, Will Graham must return from blissful reclusivity for "one last case" to catch Francis Dolarhyde (aka: Tooth Fairy, Red Dragon) before the psycho kills his next victim. The nuanced characters and attention to detail elevate the book from being anything but standard crime fare. Will Graham, Francis Dolarhyde, Freddy Lounds, Hannibal Lecter, Reba McClane, Jack Crawford are each so different in perspective, psychological stability, and motive that the book becomes an interesting blend of contrasting personalities. I especially liked the way the book explored the character of sleazy journalist Freddy Lounds in a series of subtly moving flashbacks. In such passages, the book possesses an uncanny humanity.
That said, I hold a few qualms with some of the choices Harris makes towards the end of the book. Throughout the beginning and middle, Harris focuses much energy on the fascinating Dolarhyde: his deformed apperance, traumatic childhood, desires, fears. Undoubtedly, a believable, compelling vision of strangely sympathetic albeit twisted psychopathy emerges. However, as the book progresses in its later stages, Harris positions Dolarhyde's psychology as a rather simplistic form of schizophrenia. His alter ego, the titular "Dragon" speaks to Dolarhyde and tells him to murder people, while the *real* Dolarhyde helplessly obeys the Dragon.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book in the famous Lecter trilogy. In it, Hannibal does not have a prominent role but rather it focuses on Will Graham, the agent who caught Hannibal. Traumatised to the point of retirement, he's brought back years later to use his "special gift" in investigating another brutal serial killer.
Personally, I'm not very much into crime/horror/serial killer novels but I saw Red Dragon at the movies and loved it and the book certainly didn't disappoint. The characterisation is extremely graphic in terms of the reader really getting to know Graham and the killer intimately. The vividness of their demons is what gives this book it's intended creepiness, not the crimes themselves, brutal as they are.
The one thing I found was that the novel wasn't much better than the movie (in most adaptations I think the book tends to be better and more in depth) - I'm not sure whether it's that the film was made so well that it covered almost all of the book's content or the book's pop-prose style made it less tightly packed (or possibly both). Either way, it's a very good read and Harris deserves the popularity based on this work alone.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Having seen both Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon movies, it was interesting to listen to the book on tape. As movies go, Silence seems the more powerful. But this book is enough to make anyone's skin crawl. And it isn't just the nature of the crimes or the killer that is spooky.
Will Graham, one of the FBI's profilers, is able to get inside the head of killers like Hannibal Lecter, the man he managed to put away, but not before being so badly injured that he nearly died. Because of that experience, he quit the FBI. When Jack Crawford asks for his help with a new serial killer, nicknamed The Tooth Fairy, Will's sense of responsibility makes him accept the assignment. Little does he know that this assignment will endanger him and those he loves.
In many ways, Harris established the basis for this sort of thriller. The one thing that spoils this recording is the narrator. His tone, often when reading the women's dialogue, is whiney and he isn't as able as some narrators to use different voices to differentiate between characters. That was a bit distracting and made it difficult to follow at times, esp when the listener leaves the story and comes back to it. Still, Red Dragon is interesting and powerful, whether in print or on audio.
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