Man, was I looking forward to Hannibal Rising. I really enjoyed both Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. I’m not sure what it is about this monster, but he fascinates me.
After I finished this book, I find myself agreeing more and more with what Janet Maslin wrote about the book in her December 8th review. Hannibal Lecter, I think, is a better character when he is an enigma. I think part of what draws people to him is the fact that he that he just doesn’t fit the mold of any baddie we’ve ever seen in a book. He is an absolutely ruthless killer–and yet, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal were written in such a way that you could see why he did what he did. Plus, because we didn’t know about his past, we couldn’t reduce him to a pathology. (Maslin mentions this idea, and I think Hannibal himself brought it up in one of the earlier books. I need to go reread them.) We couldn’t see him as an abused child. He was just an extremely erudite monster.
If you’re interested in a plot synopsis, here’s an excellent one from the Guardian’s Digested Read. Funny and informative. 🙂