Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Red Dragon

Thomas Harris is among the top of the list of my favorite writers of all time. Why? It's due to his methodical way of working. To his credit, Thomas works slowly. So slowly, in fact, it seems he only comes out with a book once every ten years. Which is a long stretch for any writer. But this just ensures me that he takes time with his art and heavily researches his material. Case in point: Red Dragon.

Red Dragon is the beginning of an already dark tale. Will Graham, a brilliant FBI profiler is pulled out of his own self-retirement to catch a killer known only as the Tooth Fairy. But the FBI is getting desperate. They beg Will to sign on to the case, in hopes that he could crack this one. But Will still has his own demons to work out, namely, seeking the help of his old nemesis: Hannibal Lecter.

This was the first story that touched on the iconic villain of Lecter. It was later turned into a movie by Michael Mann in the eighties called Manhunter which held great critics reviews but failed miserably in the box office. Years later, Thomas writes The Silence of The Lambs, which I have not read yet and don't intend to read, ever. The reason? The film was all I needed. Going back, I remember reading this in high school, sometimes thumbing through the pages on the way to my next class. The writing draws you in. It's like poetry in motion. There is a reason why this author is a master at prose... because he takes his time.

Sure, I have read the sequel Hannibal and Hannibal Rising, how Hannibal became a cannibal, which I hold both books in high regard. But I always keep coming back to Red Dragon, which was a scary, suspenseful thriller that has left a mark.

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