Hello Clarice.

October is a time for cozy sweaters and pumpkin-everything.

It’s also a time for for posting creepy, strange books and pictures with blood spatter. I happen to love blood spatter, in case you haven’t noticed. In another life I would love to be a blood spatter analyst, à la Dexter.

Of course all the blood in my pictures is non-toxic paint (just in case *anyone cares).

*I happen to know there are actually a shit-ton of people out there who have some serious opinions about paint. But that’s another story for another day 🎨

Moving on.

If you’ve been following my blog this week then you know I’ve been posting theme weeks throughout the month of October.

The theme this week has been:

He just happens to be my very favorite villain. Tonight’s post is about The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. This is probably the most well-known book in the series and the accompanying movie is nothing short of phenomenal. Scary as hell, but phenomenal.

SOTL was written second, but should be read third-according to me. You can read these books in any order of your choosing. I prefer to read things in an orderly timeline if at all possible, which is why I begin with the book written fourth (Hannibal Rising) because it is about Hannibal as a child.

This story follows another serial killer, Buffalo Bill who is abducting women. An FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, is sent to meet with Dr. Lecter to once again request his help, this time in the Buffalo Bill case.

From the beginning Lecter is very taken with Agent Starling. As she begins to question Lecter, he begins to analyze her. His intrigue with the vast and deep corners of the mind (which he calls his Memory Palace) lead him to ask questions about Sterling’s personal life and childhood, which Starling is hesitant in responding to, especially at first.

As time goes by, Lecter does provide help in profiling what type of person Buffalo Bill is. As he answers Starling’s questions, she begins to open up about herself. Starling is drawn more to Lecter as time goes by. Not in a romantic way necessarily, but in more of a mental stand-off. Although they exist on opposite sides of the law, there is a strong mutual respect of one another. The complexities of their relationship is fascinating. It seems almost unfathomable that a relationship and even a friendship of sorts could even exist.

Tomorrow’s post featuring the fourth Hannibal book concludes this week’s theme. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s posts, because I have enjoyed writing and photographing them for you. It’s always fun to visit old, creepy favorites, especially in the spookiest month of the year 🎃

Like the previous three Hannibal books, the creep factor is high- deliciously high. It’s this factor alone, which should spur you to read it all the more.

“Good-bye Clarice. Will you let me know if ever the lambs stop screaming?” -Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs

Then, That Boy Named Hannibal Lecter Grew Up

When someone is really good at something like playing a sport or instrument they are amazing to watch. Even if you yourself are not in to that particular thing, usually an exceptional talent has the ability to draw you in.

If their skill or talent is up your alley, then at the very least it’s easy to become mesmerized.

And what about when you want to learn about something you aren’t familiar with? Then, you seek out the professional, or someone who is pretty good at the skill set you are interested in, right?

That’s what I would do.

And that very idea leads in to the second book concerning this week’s theme of:

Monday’s book, Hannibal Rising, is about Hannibal’s childhood and although it was written fourth, I feel it should be read first.

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris was written first, but it should be read second. This book is about a serial killer who brutally murders families in their homes. When the police continue to struggle with this case, retired FBI agent, Will Graham who has a special talent for catching serial killers comes out of retirement to help. Graham was almost killed in the process of catching his last serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Although Graham and Lecter have a violent history that put Lecter in prison, Graham reaches out to him for help with this current case.

So, just because someone is good at something doesn’t automatically mean that something is a good thing. But it also doesn’t mean you can not learn from them.

Red Dragon is the first book to explore Lecter not only as an adult, but also as an important, highly intelligent resource. What makes Lecter so dangerous is that he knows how intelligent he is. Due to this, his manipulations and charismatic characteristics flow almost seamlessly in to every conversation and situation almost effortlessly.

Well bookworms, we are now halfway through the Hannibal Lecter quartet. Stick around for the rest of the week, each book only gets better!

“The very air had screams smeared on it. He flinched from the noise in this silent room.” -Thomas Harris, Red Dragon

“Don’t think you can persuade me with appeals to my intellectual vanity.” -Thomas Harris, Red Dragon

Once Upon A Time There Was A Boy Named Hannibal Lecter

It’s been rainy and dreary today, which is perfect for sitting under a blanket with coffee and a book.

But not so perfect for driving to work, running errands, or walking the dog. The first two were done in the rain and the rain had let up when I started walking, so I decided to chance it.

The odds were not in my favor.

By the time we got home we were both soaked. Not exactly the cozy, rainy-day scenario I had mind. More often than not I live vicariously within the scenes I create in my head. I picture myself holed up somewhere amazing (like a huge comfy chair) reading for hours undisturbed. These thoughts alone can be relaxing in their own right, which I guess is the next best thing to actually getting to do them.

So here we are bookworms- in the fourth week of October. Each of the previous weeks of this month have been themed.

Week 1:

American Horror Stories, which featured all of Lisa Genova’s books.

Week 2:

True Crime

Week 3:

Witches

Before I share this week’s theme, I want to tell you something about me. I like villains. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a villain. I just find them fascinating in literature. They are more complex and hands down more interesting than heroes. Like real life criminals, I want to know what makes them tick. What events came together so horribly perfect to create such a being?

That being said, this week’s theme belongs to my favorite villain in literature:

Many years ago I watched the movie, The Silence of the Lambs and was eerily sucked in to the world of Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

When I found out there were books, I devoured them. At the time there were only two books. In all there are four and they are amazing.

This week I am going to post about each of them and I am posting them in the order I think they should be read. Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris was actually written last, but it should be read first.

Each of us is a map. We are where we are because of all of the stops along the way. Each stop has shaped us, some in big ways and others might barely be noticed. I think most people even when going through something bad or sad usually come away from it stronger and have learned something from it (which helps when dealing with other hard things that come along).

The cliched saying, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” does hold truth. However, there is a flip side to this statement. I think people sometimes have experiences so horrible that the mind sort of cracks (for lack of a proper medical word) apart. Those people then walk away with the damaged parts being strengthened rather than being properly helped and repaired.

Often these bad events occur in childhood. What children see and experience, they believe wholeheartedly and indiscernibly Their innocence is easily manipulated and ultimately destroyed.

Hannibal Rising is the story of Hannibal’s childhood. This prequel gives you the starting point as well as the first few stops on the map of Hannibal’s life. That’s really all you need to know going in to this story and in to the story of his life in its entirety.

This book, like the three others that follow are disturbing. But to leave them at that would be an injustice. They are intriguing, intense, intelligent, and Hannibal’s story is one of a kind.

So what do you think, are you ready to take a trip? Let’s get out the map of Hannibal Lecter’s life and get going. But, it’s getting darker earlier these days and I think you’d like some extra light for this journey.

“Just before nightfall, Hannibal approached Lecter castle through the woods. As he looked at his home, his feelings remained curiously flat; it is not healing to see your childhood home, but it helps you measure whether you are broken, and how and why, assuming you want to know.” -Thomas Harris, Hannibal Rising

“Spaces devoted to Hannibal Lecter’s earliest years differ from the other archives in being incomplete. Some are static scenes, fragmentary, like painted attic shards held together by blank plaster. Other rooms hold sound and motion, great snakes wrestling and heaving in the dark and lit in flashes. Pleas and screaming fill some places on the grounds where Hannibal himself cannot go. But the corridors do not echo screaming, and there is music if you like.” -Thomas Harris, Hannibal Rising