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Paperback Red Dragon Book

ISBN: 0385319673

ISBN13: 9780385319676

Red Dragon

(Book #1 in the Hannibal Lecter Series)

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Book Overview

Will Graham stands in a silent, empty house communing with a killer. An FBI instructor with a gift for hunting madmen, Graham knows what his murderer looks like, how he thinks, and what he did to his victims after they died. Now Graham must try to catch him. But to do it, he must feel the heat of a killer's brain, draw on the macabre advice of a dangerous mental patient, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and follow a trail of microscopic clues to the place where...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Did Not Let Me Down!

I have seen both Silence and Hannibal, but I have read neither. I believe in reading series boks in order, so I picked up Red Dragon two days ago. Wow!If you only liked Silence because you loved Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter, you may be a little dissapointed. He is not really a main character, even though he is now being played up to be because of his notoriety after its predecessors.This book is about a serial murderer who the police have jokingly dubbed "Tooth Fairy" because of the bite marks he leaves on housewives after killing their whole family. The killer knows himself as the "Red Dragon" because he feels he has the Dragon from William Blake's painting "The Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in The Sun" inside of him, helping him "Become".Will Graham, a retired cop who captured Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter and was almost slain by him, is called upon by the FBI to help capture this mass murderer before he strikes again at the next full moon. Graham has a great memory and imagination but a bad case of recurring fear. he must overcome this fear and talk to Dr. Lecter, who may know something about The Dragon.Lecter manages to manipulate the killer and Graham from his cell, through a tabloid called "The National Tattler". He communicates with the Dragon through codes in the personals section and manages to get the FBI into a frenzy over the ads, getting a sleezy reporter named Freddy Lounds involved in the picture.The killer is also tormented by his past. He has a cleft palate and sound funny when speaking, causing him to slash his victims with broken mirrors from the house. He also hears the voice of his dead nasty grandmother, who had total control of the killer as a youth.This book is not the conventional horror story. It is more a psychological thriller than a blood and gore fest. If you are looking for a good way to have nightmares for months, this book is highly recommended. Enjoy!

unsettling

Harris first rocketed up the bestseller lists with his excellent terrorism thriller Black Sunday. His antihero Hannibal the Cannibal exploded into the public consciousness after Jonathan Demme's excellent movie version of Silence of the Lambs (1991) came out, with Anthony Hopkins brilliant creepy performance as Lecter. And, of course, fans and Hollywood have had an anxious 11 year wait for Harris to finally publish a sequel. But many people may not realize that Hannibal Lecter first appeared, albeit in a cameo role, in the novel Red Dragon and in Michael Mann's capable movie version, Manhunter (1986). If you've missed this book, I urge you to try it; in many ways it is Harris's best work. FBI Special Will Graham has retired to Sugar Loaf Key, FL with his new wife Molly and her son Willie. Retired because of his nearly fatal encounter with a linoleum knife wielding Hannibal Lecter, whose capture he was responsible for, and because of the emotional troubles that have accompanied his ability to develop an almost extrasensory empathy for such killers, such that he has trouble purging their feelings from his own psyche. His peaceful idyll is disrupted when his old boss, Jack Crawford, shows up and asks for his help in catching The Tooth Fairy, a serial killer who is notorious for the tooth marks he leaves and for dicing his victims with shards of broken mirrors. Reluctantly agreeing to join the chase, Graham decides, in order to recapture the mindset that has made him so eerily effective in prior cases, to visit Hannibal Lecter in the Chesapeake State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. There the administrator, Dr. Frederick Chilton, shares an anecdote about Hannibal that demonstrates just how horrible he is: "On the afternoon of July 8, 1976, Dr. Lecter complained of chest pain. His restraints were removed in the examining room to make it easier to give him an electrocardiogram. One of his attendants left the room to smoke, and the other turned away for a second. The nurse was very quick and strong. She managed to save one of her eyes." "You may find this curious." He took a strip of EKG tape from a drawer and unrolled it on his desk. He traced the spiky line with his forefinger. "Here, he's resting on the examining table. Pulse seventy-two. Here, he grabs the nurse's head and pulls her down to him. Here, he is subdued by the attendant. He didn't resist, by the way, though the attendant dislocated his shoulder. Do you notice the strange thing? His pulse never got over eighty-five. Even when he tore out her tongue. I don't think we're any closer to understanding him than the day he came in.'' After tabloid reporter Freddie Lowndes splashes this visit all over the pages of The Tattler, the killer too contacts Lecter who urges him to attack Graham. Thus begins a suspenseful, violent minuet as Graham develops increasing insight into the killer's methodology and psychoses, the killer plans h

An overlooked gem

I read Hannibal first. That was probably a mistake, but if you did the same thing, make sure you pick up a copy of Red Dragon. This novel by Thomas Harris is the best, in my opinion, of the three "Hannibal Lecter" books. Will Graham is a profiler that is brought on the case of the Tooth Fairy, a serial murderer killing entire families. This is what makes the book so good. Even though the murders in Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal are gruesome, it isn't as though most of us really worry about a death like that. But the fear of someone breaking into your home, which is supposed to be a haven, and murdering not only you but also the people you love the most--that is a real fear that many share. One of the great things in this book, as opposed to SotL, is how we get in the head of the killer. We learn about his childhood not in a dossier or a debriefing but from his own memories. In the end, the killer is conflicted, torn between fulfilling what he believes is his destiny and doing what he knows is right, and I was actually able to empathize with him because of the suberb characterization.I am a stickler for research. This book is well researched. Nothing sticks out as wrong, everything advances the plot, and the subplots, like the relationship between Will and his wife Molly, only enhance the read. I guarantee you will not be able to put this book down, this is not a leisurely read. I thought the movies of Red Dragon (called Manhunter) and Silence of the Lambs were excellent, and I'm looking forward to Hannibal, but the books can't be beat.

Great book only slightly flawed

Through other reviews the plot of Red Dragon is pretty well spelled out. So I'll skip a synopsis. Red Dragon is one of the finest thrillers I've read in many years. The book is very well plotted, the characters are fleshed out, the pace is brisk, and the tension is kept up through most of the book and of course, as mentioned numerous times, this book marks Hannibal Lecter's first (albeit small) appearance. A surprise to the book is the way so much time and back story is given to the antagonist/killer. We spend a great deal of time with Francis Dolarhyde, experiencing the childhood and early adult life that led to his present condition. This brought back very pleasant memories of some of author Robert Bloch's earliest novels, in which most, if not all the story was told from the antagonist/killer's point-of-view. Francis is not your typical serial killer of many of today's novels, where the killer basically is unsympathetic and whose motives are of your typical, done-too-many-times revenge variety. Francis, although a vicious killer, is also quite sympathetic in his way. Three quibbles. First, although a pleasant surprise on one hand, I feel that a little TOO much time was spent on Dolarhyde's background. We get the idea very early on, and the rest feels like excessive overkill. Second, the ending (don't worry, I'm not going to give it away), can easily be seen coming and is not a surprise. Lastly, (and this is not a fault of the book itself) I'd seen the movie that this book was based on, MANHUNTER, before I read this book. Because the movie follows the book very closely, much of the additional delicious suspense that would have been there for me was missed. I knew what was coming. But not to discourage people in the same shoes as I, be heartened by the fact that the ending of the movie does NOT follow the book! Despite this pre-knowledge of events, I must say Red Dragon kept me turning the pages. I didn't stay up all night and read this book, but I DID look forward to getting to it each day that I was reading it. It's that good.

A great horror book

The Red Dragon by Thomas Harris is probably one of the scariest, graphic books ever written. It's a thriller through all 454 pages of it. The setting is modern day in Virginia. The Red Dragon is the prequal to The Silence of the Lambs and the detec tive, Will Graham, is asked to come back to the F.B.I for this special case. This book is about a retired F.B.I investigator, Graham, who is asked to come back to the F.B.I for this case. In this case, the killer, who works in a film developing lab, stalks out his victims after he watches their home videos. His name is Francis Dolarhyde and he feels that he has a Red Dragon inside of him that makes him do the horrible things he does. He is influenced by a famous painting called "The Great Red Dragon". Once you see the cover, which has a picture of a red dragon, you will realize how scary this book actually is. I had to rate this book 5 stars, and I would definately recommend it to someone. So, if you want to read, in my opinion, the scariest book ever written, The Red Dragon is the book for you.
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