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Red Dragon

The Red Dragon is the national flag of Wales Red Dragon is a novel written by Thomas Harris and featuring the brilliant-but-insane psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. It was originally published in 1981, but found a new audience in the early 1990s after the success of its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs. The title refers to a painting by William Blake, The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun.

Red Dragon is, in both publishing chronology and story order, the first book in the Lecter trilogy. It takes place well before the events in The Silence of the Lambs, and relatively soon after Lecter's original capture and imprisonment. That being said, Hannibal plays a relatively small role. Rather, it focuses more on the characters of Will Graham and the tortured serial killer, Francis Dolarhyde.

The story has been filmed twice. The first film, released in 1986 under the title Manhunter, was directed by Michael Mann and focused on FBI Special Agent Will Graham, played by William Petersen. Lecter, a supporting character encountered by Graham, was played by Brian Cox. The second film, which used the original title, appeared in 2002. Directed by Brett Ratner and written by Ted Tally (who also wrote the screenplay for Silence of the Lambs), it starred Edward Norton as Graham and featured Sir Anthony Hopkins as Lecter—a role he had, by then, played twice before in The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal.

To understand the origin of evil, you must go back to the beginning.


Graham, who tracked down and captured Lecter, is called out of retirement to help track down a serial killer known as "The Tooth Fairy." He turns to Lecter for help, but discovers that Lecter is manipulating not only him but also the man he is hunting. The relationship between Lecter and Graham parallels the relationship between Lecter and Clarice Starling in the later books, but has very different overtones. Lecter treats Starling as an unworldly student but Graham as a fellow professional (though not an equal).

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Last updated: 10-13-2005 03:56:37
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