Rainy days, Hannibal (television), and Silence of The Lambs (book)





I’m kind of procrastinating, writing this post. See, I don’t want to work. I like my work; I get to read civil court complaints and summarize them into one-three sentences. Sometimes the cases are routine and mundane (Joe Doe owes XYC, Inc. some money), but about once a day there is a fascinating case that piques my interest and creates a whole backstory in my mind. But today, I don’t want to work.

I want to sit and read. Under a toasty blanket with my coffee nearby, listening to the rain fall, the thunder rumble, and my dogs’ snores. BUT, since that can’t happen, I will put off work and write this little piece about what I’d actually like to be doing; reading.


I just finished The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. I don’t know why it is listed as being set in D.C.; Virginia, maybe, but not D.C. I’m gonna have to find a new D.C. book. But it was worth the read.

As I said in early posts, I do believe I have read this before, but I don’t remember. Countless watchings of the movie have erased any memory of the book. And the fact that the movie does follow the book very closely probably increases the loss of the book from the library in my mind. I do remember reading Red Dragon (the prequel to Lambs), as well as Hannibal (the sequel). I think Lambs is the best of the three, with Red following close behind.

I can understand why, after reading the book, this book was optioned for a movie. It falls into the eternal trap;  the book is so much better, with so much more psychological depth, decidedly complex and brimming with intensity and insight that we didn’t get to glimpse in the movie (if they tried, the movie would have been incredibly long and cumbersome).

Naturally, the movie was on my mind while reading the book Clarice looked and sounded like Jodie Foster in my mind, with a few exceptions. But Jodie Foster’s character became more dimensional and interesting in the book; her quest for truth and justice is more interesting.

Hannibal Lechter was more a problem. At the beginning of the book I pictured Anthony Hopkins, and he remained for much of the movie. But I would get flashes of Mads Mikkelsen,the Hannibal from the televHannibal-TV-show-NBC-600x450ision series (seen here). I guess because his character is more relevant (and Clarice hasn’t shown up in the television show yet).

About the show . . .

Naturally my interest in the television show Hannibal is naturally piqued. I watched season 1 a few months ago, and started season 2 along with the actually airing of the show. But then I heard they were going to cancel the show, so I stopped watching, figuring a binge would be in order once the figured out how to finish the show.

But I guess they changed their minds. This week I heard NBC renewed the show. So, as I finished The Silence of the Lambs, I decided it was time to get back to the show.

It’s an interesting show. And it really does take a lot from the book. The book is about Clarice and Hannibal, but there is a lot in the book about Jack Crawford, and the death of his wife, Bella. In the show (which is about early Hannibal and Will Graham, and is really more pre- Red Dragon), we are privy to intimacies of Bella’s cancer and the total love between the two of them. And there are lines taken directly from The Silence of the Lambs, not used in the movie. Again, in the books Bella is dying during Clarice’s days at the academy (with Buffalo Bill), and, in the show, it is much earlier. Hannibal is still a practicing psychiatrist in the show. Both are interesting, both are a take on the story–but the television version has the advantage of more time to give us psychological insight (and television has finally learned to exploit this advantage lately, but I digress . . .).

So much going on in this post, huh? Books, television, movies. So many chances to get to the psyche of Hannibal Lechter as well as the other characters. This presents to many opportunities to dissect them all–it boggles and fascinates! I may have to go back and re-read all the books. Maybe even have to read Hannibal Rising.

I think I’ve rambled enough. Time to get back to work.





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