Hannibal RisingMy personal preference for the title would have been The Lecter Variations, but I do like Hannibal Rising best, over the rest of the title choices. Also, it seems that Thomas Harris has changed Hannibal Lecter's birthdate, as it's always been listed as January 20, 1938, yet in this book it says he is thirteen in 1946, which would now make his birth year 1933. He also fails to mention anything about Dr. Lecter's sixth finger.
The above comments were written by, Kristina, the original owner of this Fanlisting.
WARNING: The text below includes spoilers, so if you haven't read the book yet and don't want to know any details ahead of time, please don't read any further.
Hannibal is eight years old at the beginning of the novel (1941), living in Lecter Castle in Lithuania, when Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union suddenly turns the Baltic region into a part of the bloodiest front line of World War II. Hannibal, his sister Mischa, and his parents, along with some servants, escape to the family's hunting lodge in the woods to escape the advancing German troops. After three years, the Nazis are finally driven out of the countries, occupied by the Soviet Union. During their retreat, however, they destroy a Soviet tank that had stopped at the Lecters' cottage looking for water. The explosion kills everyone but Hannibal and Mischa. They survive in the cottage until six former Lithuanian militiamen led by one Vladis Grutas, on the run from their Nazi masters and dressed as Red Cross agents, storm the cottage and loot it. They run out of food and kill a small deer. Finding no other food, they kill and cannibalize young Mischa. Hannibal blacks out and is found wandering and mute by a Soviet tank that takes him back to Lecter Castle, which is now a Soviet orphanage.
After two years, Hannibal's uncle Robert, a painter living in France, comes to Lithuania and takes the young Hannibal to live with himself and his wife, the Lady Murasaki Shikibu. While in France, Hannibal flourishes as a student. His first murder is of one Paul Momund, a local butcher who offends his aunt, in a series of events leading to his uncle's death. He makes an enemy of sorts, Inspector Popil, a French detective who is suspicious at the least of Hannibal's exploits. Lecter then divides his time between being the youngest person ever admitted to medical school in France, and hunting those who killed and cannibalized his sister. One by one the paths of Grutas' men cross with Hannibal's, leading to bloody and inventive ends. Eventually, Hannibal is arrested by Popil, but freed when the chance arises for him to study abroad. The novel ends with a twist of sorts, and the very last page speaks of Hannibal coming to America to begin his residency at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
Other working titles for the book were Behind the Mask: The Blooding of Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal 4, Hannibal IV, The Lecter Variations, The Lecter Variation: The Story of Young Hannibal Lecter, Young Hannibal, The Adventures of Young Hannibal, and Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask.