Friday, December 18, 2015

Hannibal by Thomas Harris

Oh man.... oh man, oh man, oh man....I felt like I was forced to climb Mount Everest.

My husband warned me that this would be a rough book, but I didn't realize just how rough it was. Now, I'm sure my view of the book is distorted because I've seen the movie and watched the show before ever touching the book, so like my review of Red Dragon, I feel like at this point, I'm over it.

Also, sidebar... was Thomas Harris going through something when he wrote this book? I feel like he had a rough marriage, or going through a divorce, or realized he had some kinks going on... because there is some weird shit in here. Maybe he played a joke on us? "What can I get readers to buy?" Because again, there is some weird shit in here.

He writes about topics that didn't fit in with 2001 mentality of "normal" with such a fetish that I squirmed during some parts of the book. It was as if he wrote to just shock people, and instead of just shocking them, left them to question if Harris needs to read a few books or see a few people.

His idea of a "villain" is Mason Verger, who praises Jesus but, gasp! still verbally abuses children. He's rich! He abused his sister, Margot! He wants revenge! He's a pig farmer who bribes politicians to vote against bills that promote animal safety and well being! The other villain in the book, Krendler, is laughably sexist and evil that of course you are rooting for Hannibal to eat him, or Clarice to just flat out kill him.

The character of Margot in the book is... definitely written by someone who didn't bother to do any research, and really just fetishizes the idea of a woman who "wants to be a man" and thought, hey, if I was a woman, I would still want to be a man, so let's just write it like that. Also, what could possibly be the reason that anyone would want to be a lesbian or even want to be something other than the gender they are born it? ABUSE. ALSO WALNUTS.

I was pleasantly surprised with a few scenes between Barney and Margot... until we got to read from Margot's perspective. Turns out, she's just as manipulative as her brother! I had dreams of a funny buddy comedy between the two of them... until she fires him because he didn't want to be an accomplice to a murder. There is also another scene at the end of the book just so Barney can keep his life. ugh, Margot. Maybe you should have died as well? The eel turned on you?

Also, who else thinks that Hannibal Lector is the most uninteresting character ever in Hannibal? I'm not talking show Hannibal, which I think they did a good job of using source material and letting Mads Mikkelson do whatever the hell he wanted, but the character in the book is the biggest Gary Stu. Not only is he not the antagonist, but he's actually portrayed as the hero! Instead of preying on innocent people to eat, he only eats the "rude" and kill people that are after him. See? He's practically doing a service to society! He's refined! He's cultured! Oh, there's mention of his sister being cannibalized, so naturally, you should just feel sorry for him!

Now, finally, the relationship between Clarice and Hannibal. Harris, Silence of the Lambs was great. Why did you have to ruin it? How did Clarice take a 180? Did you read some fanfiction and decided, 'wow, that's a great idea, let's put Clarice and Hannibal together!' Because it wasn't.

Seriously, I wonder how many other authors and books were passed up in order for this one to be printed. Who's the agent for Thomas Harris? That person should be fired. Someone either didn't tell Harris No, or someone got the bright idea to make Hannibal into a main character. Not only that, Harris didn't bother to do any sort of research whatsoever in what makes a sociopath, a sociopath and what makes a cannibal into a cannibal. He legit made it all up. This is bad and you should feel bad.

Wish me luck on the final installment of Hannibal Rising.

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