16. Red Dragon – Thomas Harris
I’ll just start by saying I love Manhunter. It’s super 80s, Tom Noonan is awesome in it (“Do you see?”), Brian Cox does a non-camp and actually intimidating (pre-Mads, that is) Lecter, William Petersen is an angsty but indelicate Will Graham, and there are so many iconic moments. It looks great, it sounds great, it’s just one of my favorite movies. After 2017’s plethora of shit, I sincerely hope that I will not soon find out that making this film was a nightmare of sexual harassment. It probably was. Nothing gold can stay.
Anyway…although I love Manhunter for all its 80s-ness, it did sort of leave quite a few things out that I now know after reading Red Dragon. Red Dragon is a great book.
And I must say, the William Blake print-eating scene bothered me infinitely in the version with Ralph Fiennes. I wanted that archivist to wake up and punch him in his face repeatedly. You are not supposed to eat the priceless pieces of printmaking! Fuck your becoming – you leave that Blake print alone! Bad serial killer. Bad. Very bad. (They’re fictional, which allows me to be mostly bothered by the librariany parts. That print is real. And thankfully uneaten. Don’t hurt the library materials. No touching.) It also bothered me in the Hannibal TV show, which I also love. But I agree with all the people who said Dolarhyde was too attractive and not very menacing in the show. Having Rutina Wesley as Reba was really good though, she was great.
This picture of Finny stretching reminds me of Richard Armitage’s portrayal of Francis Dolarhyde. SO much stretching. This is not Finny’s becoming.
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.
This is the picture of her starfish feet pose. It’s not as star-like as I remembered. Mischa’s probably weren’t either.
20. The Monster of Florence – Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi
If you go to Florence, try not to get accused of murder. They have this guy who likes to throw blame in a sensational manner and he will tap your phone and stick listening devices in your car and accuse you of joining ancient, secret cults, and listen to this lady who runs a conspiracy website over you. And don’t purchase a doorstop. Because Mr. “Satanic Roundtable Cult of Doorstop Owners” will totally try to persecute you…he did it to Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi, and Amanda Knox over two different murder cases. I think he may have seen Suspiria one too many times. And internalized The Exorcist. What’s that noise in the attic? Obviously it’s Satan. Someone was murdered? Obviously Satan, or someone playing ritualized sex games to worship Satan. I have cold. It must be Satan. That cult must have thrown some sort of mucous causing spell at me so that Satan would give me a summer cold. If one is in tune with reality it is possible to see how little Satan has to do with the murders tied to the long-running unsolved case of the Monster of Florence or the murder of Meredith Kercher. Until recently, I could not fathom how people who were so terrible at their jobs were allowed to keep them, now I see it happens all over the world.
On a side note, Thomas Harris (as in Silence of the Lambs Thomas Harris) was present during the trial of one of the accused Monsters of Florence, he was doing research for his novel Hannibal. The film version of Hannibal used the house of a count who spoke to Douglas Preston about the Monster of Florence case… And the film version of Silence of the Lambs uses the song “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazarus and Marcus Garvey during a pivotal scene that everyone remembers for some very serious dancing. My guinea pigs tend toward not liking music of any kind. However, one night after I nearly won a quiz because I knew that “Goodbye Horses” was from Silence of the Lambs I played it in near-triumph and who should pop up out of his cage but – Danger Crumples! He twitched his little head much like the dramatic prairie dog and seemed to be very intrigued… I think we all see how clear the connections are. Danger Crumples is the true Monster of Florence. Guinea pigs. Serial murderers, the lot of ‘em. I should take away his little wooden bridge, it’s obviously a time traveling device…for Satan!
Il mostro? Moi?
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