Tag: Thomas Harris

Thomas Harris – Black Sunday | Review

Title: Black Sunday

Author: Thomas Harris

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 320

Rating: 2.75/5

I was expecting good things from this, purely because I’ve read the Hannibal novels and so it had a lot to live up to. In fact, as far as I’m aware, this was the only Thomas Harris novel that I hadn’t read other than his most recent one.

This one was actually published way back in 1975 when Harris was in his thirties, and I have to say that it shows. He attempted to write a sort of fast-paced political thriller, but it doesn’t really work so well when you compare it to some of the newer novels to have hit the market in the last twenty years.

There’s also the fact that this deals with terrorism but was written over a quarter of a century before 9/11. Some of the stuff that he wrote is still relevant, but a lot of it has been superseded by events, and it definitely feels like a product of its time. The writing isn’t particularly good either, and nor is the plotting. In fact, it just comes across as a pretty generic book, something pretty forgettable as far as I’m concerned.

There is a saving grace though, and that’s the complex antagonist with his Vietnam flashbacks and his plot to blow up the Superbowl using an explosive-laden blimp. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that it was so dull considering the subject matter. It could have been awesome. It just wasn’t.

I’m not sure that I’d say that it’s a bad novel either, I just think that it’s very much a product of the time it was written and published in. I think it would have been good enough at the time, but I don’t think there’s much point reading it now. I would have given up if I hadn’t already read Harris’ other stuff.

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Thomas Harris – Red Dragon | Review

Title: Red Dragon

Author: Thomas Harris

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 421

Rating: 7/10


Thomas Harris - Red Dragon

Thomas Harris – Red Dragon


Red Dragon is a competent enough novel, but that about sums it up – Thomas Harris was a fine writer back in 1981, but he wasn’t as fine as he is today, and it shows. That said, the novel shows a lot of promise and it’s a decent enough read, professional at any rate – there’s just something about it that failed to excite me, a kind of realisation that the characters are difficult to relate to and the unsuspension of my disbelief.

However, it comes from an interesting background, and you could never accuse Harris of failing to do his research – ahead of writing the book, he learned about serial killers and the role of the F.B.I. from the organisation’s own Behavioral Science Unit. In fact, I’ve said in other reviews that Harris is the only author who’s ever scared me – he knows so much about the way that psychopaths work, that it’s hard to comprehend. Sometimes you start to wonder whether it takes a psychopath to know one.

Let’s face it, there’s got to be something that Harris doesn’t want us to know – after all, he hasn’t given anybody an interview for nearly forty years, and that seems unlikely to change now. And that leaves me feeling like there’s just something about him that compels me to read his work, and I think the feeling is shared by many others.


Thomas Harris

Thomas Harris


As usual, I don’t want to go too deeply in to the story-line, because I don’t want to spoil it if you go on to read it yourself – I will say, though, that I think this is the weakest of Harris’ Hannibal Lecter novels and that if you’re anything like me, you’ll only get round to reading this because you’ve read all of the other novels and you feel like you ought to see where it all started, although if you really want to see that then you should check out Hannibal Rising.

In fact, Lecter isn’t really the primary antagonist here – that honour falls to a disturbed serial killer called “The Tooth Fairy”, and while he is a sinister force throughout the novel, he just doesn’t spread the fear through your veins in the same way that Lecter does, and while he is a well-educated villain, I doubt he could outsmart Lecter. The F.B.I. actually seeks the cannibal’s help to track him down, leading to a battle of wits between the baddies.


Thomas Harris Quote

Thomas Harris Quote


Click here to buy Red Dragon.