Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hannibal deflated

I've never liked Harris' stuff. He's a good storyteller, but the stories themselves are luridly pretentious and usually completely ludicrous. Even the movies have left me cold; The Silence of the Lambs has its fans but it's never done much for me. One has to wonder when Harris will put the ridiculous Lecter character to bed and move on to something else.
The Lecter family survived in the woods for more than a year, with young Hannibal wiling away his days memorising Euclid, until they were captured by the Nazi collaborators. Only Hannibal was found alive by the Soviets, a chain still attached to his neck.

"The poor boy has been left mute," wept Hannibal's uncle Robert, a noted painter. "Indeed," replied his wife, the impossibly beautiful and exotic Lady Murasaki. "He has suffered unimaginable horrors that readers can all too easily guess. We must take him back to our French chateau."

The fall, as the French don't call autumn, was late that year as Lady Murasaki nursed Hannibal back to speech. First, a farting flubber sound; then fully formed words.

See how Hannibal looks at Lady Murasaki. Hear how he cries out, "Mischa" in his nightmares. Notice how the text switches to italics and the present tense. Recognise the hand of a master storyteller with no editor.

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