You don't have to get very far into Hannibal
, the novel in which Thomas Harris finally brings back literature's most distinguished cannibal, to be reminded of Star Wars
. You don't have to wait for Harris's made-for-the-movies action sequences, like the abortive opening drug bust that puts FBI agent Clarice Starling on the hot seat, or the grisly set pieces that will keep the special effects people working nights, like the climactic sequence in which the tenth through fourteenth victims die impossibly cinematic deaths. You don't even have to know about the novel's $10 million movie sale to Dino de Laurentiis. No, all you have to recognize is Hannibal
's position as the literary world's answer to Star Wars
, the summer's other pre-sold property, the one title that had bookstores across America opening at midnight so that they could feed customer frenzy the moment it was officially published on June 8.
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