Amen. I couldn't even get through Hannibal. Remember all that garbage about his sister and her "place"? When will someone sit this man down and tell him that Steinbeckian impressions should be left for the joke book you do on April 1st?
Someday, I want to be the sort of writer who can laugh all the way to the bank with a fat check, options, and the warm glow of knowing that somebody will pay me to churn out utter drivel 'cos the first book was SO GOOD.
Red Dragon was not that good, honestly. Silence of the Lambs was really that good. Hannibal needs to be buried somewhere. Every last copy of it needs to be unmade. It's just THAT BAD. EVEN DAVID MAMET couldn't salvage the ending: the film of Hannibal is better than the book, because Mamet hacked off the fucking STUPID ending and put something in that made sense.
Red Dragon is well-acted and really, really, just DISTURBING. Fiennes does a good job of making the villain juuuust sympathetic enough that the horrible things are not inexplicable, which makes them therefore all the more horrible.
I know a good amount about how psychopathology works too- and yeah, this isn't how psychopathology works. But it didn't seem completely impossible to me: it was realistic enough to enable me to swallow the disbelief, and creepy enough to scare me. Of course, the Japanese film that the recent Sara Michelle Gellar vehicle 'The Grudge' is based on creeped the shit out of me, so.