Flipping Hannibal Pages

Martyn Daniels pointed us towards the Random House promotion of the new Dr Hannibal Lecter novel from Thomas Harris. Random House have set up a dedicated web site for the book here and after a creeping about in a virtual space you can get a sample of the book. Don't get too excited though. We don't think this is as good as it sounds. Here is Martyn Daniels site, where we first observed this topic.


The book is presented as a 'virtual book' - that is, this is no PDF but a flipping book. This is done with Flash, but this is less than satisfactory for a number of reasons. The text is poorly rendered (Flash doesn't do a very good job at this unless you pay attention to some very specific rules) with a serif font. I guess that there may have been an attempt to get some atmosphere within the Flash movie. The impression is that one is reading this book by flickering candlelight.

There is an audio file available as Thomas Harris reads an extract of the book. Unfortunately, this goes beyond 2 pages but the page does not automatically turn to the second page and when you navigate to it yourself the audio promptly stops!

Putting something like this on the web is, as Martyn Daniels says '... enables them [publishers] to reach and respond to what is a changing marketplace and demanding consumer.' However, it could be done better (much better). Cinema fans have had dedicated film sites for a good long time now and we have become accustomed to very high production values. I am now about to quit my browser because the Hannibal Rising web site won't allow me to exit and the music won't turn off, even when I click the speaker icon.

Anyway, explore the site for yourself. It has extracts from other Thomas Harris books and I admire the attempt at going beyond the usual PDF eBook. I just wish there was more attention to detail.

And what is that music?

Posted on 09 Jan around 10pm


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