Book review: Red Dragon (by Thomas Harris)

Title: Red Dragon
Author: Thomas Harris
Page count: 420 pages
Rating: 3/5 stars

*Warning: possible spoilers inside! Read at own risk. They might try to bite. 


I will honestly admit: I mostly read this book because of the recent Bryan Fuller-directed TV-series Hannibal, which was by the way an absolutely amazing show and you should all go and watch it. If you can handle it.

But as I`ve seen the show, it was interesting to see the original canon play out.

As with most books nowadays, I wasn`t really hooked on this one until roughly halfway into the book. it seems to take quite a while nowadays to get into things. Hmm. Too much on my mind? Possibly.

When I did get into this one though, this book got very interesting indeed. It was strangely enough less detailed than the TV series, and the characters seemed less fleshed out. It seemed to be more aimed at entertainment and action. Which I`m fine with, by the way, though I can imagine there are Hannibal fans out there who would be somewhat disappointed.

I did eventually enjoy this book, though it could use some more character development/exploration. I often felt there was so much focus on the Red Dragon himself that none of the other characters really got any proper time. Sure, there was the Will/Molly dilemma constantly going on in the background, showing quite well how much impact cases like these can have on the lives of the people researching the crimes. But other than that? If it wasn`t for the TV show I wonder if I would really have much of an image of the characters now.

(I also may or may not have been slightly disappointed by the tiny, tiny role dr. Hannibal Lecter played in this book. I think I`m spoiled. All the more reason to buy the other books, I suppose?)

Nevertheless, the crimes were gruesome (and scarily creative), there were twists and turns all over the plot, the main antagonist is worked out very well. The ending definitely caught me by surprise. Or should I say all three or so endings? Because wow plot twists.

So I`m going to stick with the same thing I say about the TV show: read this book at your own risk. It`s a good read, it`s interesting and compelling, but you do need to be able to handle it. If you can handle severe mental problems, horrible murders, disturbing sexual fantasies, with the added layers of detective novel, action-packed sequences, and personal drama, then by all means go read it.

Steer clear of it if you think it`s too much for you. I can understand if it is. This type of book isn`t for everyone. But if it is? Go read.



Currently reading:  “A Briefer History of Time” by Stephen Hawking with Leonard Mlodinow. 

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One Response to Book review: Red Dragon (by Thomas Harris)

  1. justjase79 says:

    The small role of Lecter in this book is only to be expected, after all he only had 16 minutes of screen time in The Silence of the Lambs, still enough for a performance everyone remembered and to win an Oscar.

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