35. Hannibal Rising – Thomas Harris
Did you know that Hannibal had a sister named Mischa? Did you know that Mischa had star-shaped hands when she spread her chubby child fingers? Those are the main things I took away from this book. Strangely, Mischa and her star shaped hands were already etched into my brain because they were mentioned repeatedly in Hannibal. And then they were back in Hannibal Rising… Anniba! Anyway, I’ve read previously that writing for Thomas Harris is like pulling teeth. Considering that he’s only written five books altogether and a plethora of news articles and the main detail I remember from two of his books is about a cannibalistically eaten child’s hands, I’d say that makes sense. Hannibal Rising also ended up being a movie full of Gaspard Ulliel sneering and having way less presence than Hannibal does in the book – or anything else featuring Hannibal – and Thomas Harris also wrote that screenplay. I assume in an attempt to free himself from having to write anymore. And I guess it’s really because the people responsible for making the film told him they’d write it without him if he didn’t. The ownership of characters is not something I want to understand – I think it blows that you can create a character out of thin air and then someone else can buy the rights and do whatever they want with it. It’s horrible to create sometimes.
The origin of Hannibal Lecter is an interesting story; to me what sticks out about it is that he always had some sort of dark hole where his moral center should be. He’s what people who don’t understand that you can have a moral code without religion think that atheists are like. With no one to answer to, why wouldn’t you track down the war criminals who ate your sister, eat their cheeks, murder them in interesting ways and then return to drawing quietly in your corner room and debating the merits of eating one of those delicate drowned birds? Ugh. I was very happy that no one brutalized Cesar though. He did not deserve it. Draft horses deserve respect.
I decided to read this because I adore the Hannibal TV show. I wanted to know what was being “remixed” from each of the Hannibal books into the show, especially since the one I read is the one they don’t have the rights to remix, yet… Thankfully, Mischa’s star shaped hands have not made it in to the show. She’s been mentioned, and I must admit I was surprised that any mention was not followed up with a comment about her star shaped hands. I suggest they keep it that way and leave that out. Of course, part of the reason that sticks out to me so much is that Pammy also had star-shaped feetsies when she was little. I didn’t eat her. No one will ever eat her. Or any of my pigs.