Books: Dessert, Anyone?

Thomas Harris' Hannibal tracks the evil gourmand through a third course

What is there not to like about an evil genius with a taste for human sweetbreads and absolutely no morning-after guilt, or indigestion, about slaking his hunger? Particularly, it must be added, when such a monster is securely incarcerated in the dank basement of a Baltimore, Md., mental institution for the rest of his life.

Hence the eerie popular appeal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a.k.a. Hannibal the Cannibal, who made his first, cameo appearance in Thomas Harris' vivid thriller Red Dragon (1981) and then assumed a more sustained role in the author's The Silence of the Lambs (1988). Anthony Hopkins'...

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