Arts and Entertainment Part of history: Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker star in Lee Daniels's 'The Butler'

The film-makers take a tableau approach to storytelling, whisking us from one melodramatic set-piece to the next

The Hacker: The Hook of Holland could turn out to be thin end of the wedge

At first glance, there is little in common between the game of golf and Operation Market Garden, the failed attempt by the Allies in 1944 to gain control of three key river bridges near Arnhem. Apart, of course, from the rather trite analogy of – in the case of my performances on the course, anyway – incompetence and ill-preparedness.

Simon Carr: When candour is on the menu, it's time for Hannibal Lecter to eat himself

Sketch: He paces his short boundaries reminding the world of Hannibal Lecter

Festival watch

Geoffrey Macnab hands out his alternative awards for the Venice Festival

FILM: FILM CHOICE

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Books: Spoken Word

Hannibal

The Agreeable World Of Wallace Arnold: The good doctor saw every man as the sum of his parts

ow brief are the memories of journalists! I sometimes think that if one were to ask this or that "distinguished commentator" (dread epithet!) for the name of the last Prime Minister they would be flummoxed, failing dismally to recall the sainted name of Margaret Thatcher!

Why Hannibal's fans send a shiver down my spine

ne of the most depressing sentences I read last week fell from the pen of a Cambridge don called Dr Eric Griffiths. Writing in praise of the latest novel by Thomas Harris, the American thriller writer, Dr Griffiths concluded, "What scares us about Lecter is that he is a 'Dr'."

Books: Horrors in the memory palace of Dr Lecter

Hannibal by Thomas Harris Heinemann pounds 16.99

Books: Willing executioners: Hannibal by Thomas Harris Heinemann, pounds 16.99, 486pp

The cultured cannibal's long-awaited comeback signals a move from ghastly glamour to the banality of evil. Mat Coward admires the result

Two men. On the left, Thomas Harris, a portly, bespectacled gent: Father Christmas after a night on the tiles. On the right, his creation: a murderer and connoisseur of human flesh. Are they allies, buddies, alter egos? Or the Jekyll and Hyde of a single self?

Hannibal Lecter first entered the thriller-reading public's aghast consciousness in 1981, when Thomas Harris published his second novel, Red Dragon. Like its sequel, the massively successful, 12m-selling The Silence of the Lambs, it began with a brooding Hannibal discovered in a maximum-security prison, uttering gnomic advice about serial killers to baffled policemen. Now, after 11 years of silence after Silence, Harris has brought Lecter back and the book world is having a collective seizure.
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