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First edition cover
Author Thomas Harris
Country United States
Language English
Series Hannibal Lecter
Genre(s) suspense, thriller, horror
Publisher Delacorte Press
Publication date 8 June 1999
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 484 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN ISBN 0-385-33487-7 (first edition, hardback)
OCLC Number 41315462
Preceded by The Silence of the Lambs
Followed by Hannibal Rising

Hannibal is a suspense novel by Thomas Harris, the third in his series featuring his iconic character Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the cannibalistic sociopath and psychiatrist. The novel takes place seven years after the events of The Silence of the Lambs and deals with the intended revenge of one of Hannibal Lecter's victims. The novel also is the source material for the film Hannibal, directed by Ridley Scott.



Seven years after Hannibal Lecter escaped from secure confinement, Clarice Starling witnesses her career crumble around her when a drug raid goes dreadfully wrong and she shoots and kills Evelda Drumgo, an armed meth dealer who was also carrying her child at the time, in self-defense. However, when Lecter sends her a letter offering condolence and requesting more information about her personal life, the F.B.I. finds a use for her once again.

Meanwhile Mason Verger, a horribly disfigured, crippled child molester and one of Lecter's few surviving victims, has been plotting gruesome revenge against the fugitive serial killer, which involves using Clarice as bait.


Although the ending was controversial, reaction to the novel was generally very positive. Robert McCrum, writing in The Guardian, called it "the exquisite satisfaction of a truly great melodrama". Martin Amis writing in Talk (in an essay later reprinted in The War Against Cliche) said that Hannibal was a work of "profound and virtuoso vulgarity", stating Harris "has become a serial murderer of English sentences and Hannibal is a necropolis of prose".

Author Stephen King, an admitted fan of the series, has said that he considers Hannibal to be one of the two greatest popular horror novels of all time, the other being The Exorcist[1].

Characters in Hannibal


  1. ^ [1]


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