Monday, October 11, 2010

Red Dragon

About a million years ago I read a book called "The Silence of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris. Of course now everyone is familiar with the book and the award winning movie that made Hannibal Lecter a household name. When "Hannibal" was released I read it as well and actually liked the book more than "The Silence of the Lambs." All these years later I finally got around to reading Thomas Harris' second novel, "Red Dragon." A hardback edition of the book has been on my shelf for a long time but I was reluctant to read it as I had seen the 2002 movie. From the website:

"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 another family has already been chosen to die—and where an innocent woman has found the Dragon first."

If you've seen the movie version of the "Red Dragon," there isn't a whole lot the book will add to the experience. The movie is extremely faithful to the novel much like "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal." Though I knew the story fairly well I did enjoy reading more of the details that the book had to offer, specifically the detective work by Will Graham and the FBI on their hunt for the "Tooth Fairy" killer and Graham's background in the capture of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, which is actually different from the movie. Though Hannibal Lecter makes a couple appearances in the novel and is mentioned a few times, his presence is very limited and could be a disappointment to readers who think he is more involved in the storyline. A novel I recommend in spite of knowing the story already through the movie.

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun by William Blake

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