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The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
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The Silence of the Lambs (1988)

by Thomas Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hannibal Lecter (2)

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» See also 155 mentions

English (63)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
This well-known book, first published in 1988, was on a list of "8 thrillers you have to read". So I have read it. Of the 8 books listed, I had read Rebecca, In Cold
Blood, Frankenstein, and Jane Eyre. The book is a sequel to other books but I did not know that when I decided to read this. I did know that the book is famous and had been made into a famous movie--which I have not yet seen, but now feel I must. The book is not for the squeamish, and there are pages not enjoyable to read. But it is intensely exciting, especially in the second half of the book. The evil psychiatrist is not hunted in this book and helps, vaguely, to enable the FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, to do some heroic things in regard to the kidnapped daughter of a fictitious Senator. If I had been better prepared, I would have read Harris's prior books on the evil psychiatist. but this book was a thriller indeed. ( )
  Schmerguls | Mar 10, 2014 |
Not bad. Clearly the author did a lot of research; there was solid writing and wonderful characters. Dr. Lecter was a treat. But still, basically a thriller. One of the better ones, but not great literature. ( )
  | Mar 4, 2014 | edit |
I watched the film before I read the book and I loved both in equal measure. Perhaps that's because part of me is a somewhat cruel and sadistic individual or perhaps it's because the book is the work of a true spectator of the sociopathic mind. ( )
  RebeccaClareSmith | Jan 24, 2014 |
Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.75
Character Rating: 4.25

Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: The Silence of the Lambs was a reread for me. However it was the first time I have listened to it--EXCELLENT!

Story Thoughts: I love the Hannibal Lecter series though it has been a long time since I originally read this series. These are still probably some of my favorite thrillers. I wasn't worried about them losing magic on the reread because this is probably my 6th or 7th time reading them. However, listening to them on audiobook was a new experience and I enjoyed it. I had forgotten how creepy, brilliant, and downright spooky Harris' writing could make me feel. From the methodical way that Starling tracked down the killer to the brilliant way Lecter manipulated the situation--I was enthralled even though I knew how it played out. You just can't beat good rhythm in a thriller and Harris has it! LOVED IT!

Character Thoughts: I know you are looking at my character rating and wondering why it isn't higher. To be honest, if I was basing it on Lecter and Starling it would be a 5 straight across the board. However, I usually base part of the character rating in thrillers on the "bad" guy. Buffalo Bill was only interesting because Lecter made him interesting. He just wasn't all that compelling to me and I felt so much more could have been done to give him a personality. He kind of got lost in the brilliance that was Starling and Lecter but I felt he could have been so much more!

Audio Thoughts:

Narrated By Frank Muller/ Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins

I was worried about picking this up in audio after having read it so many times and seeing the movie. However, Frank did an EXCELLENT job bringing the characters of The Silence of the Lambs to life through his narration. His pacing, timing, and creepy factor were just right for this series. The only voice that took awhile to get used to was Starling but after I got there, it was excellent.

Final Thoughts: This is on my series reread list for this year! ( )
  thehistorychic | Jan 15, 2014 |
FBI Academy student Clarice Starling forms a relationship with the chilling Dr. Lecter in order to catch a serial killer.

This is one of those cases where it is difficult to say which is better, the book or the movie. The book is actually written very cinematically. The prose is sparse but the images are vivid, and the focus is on dialogue and action rather than internal narrative. For this type of taut narrative it works. This will always be a classic of crime fiction in my mind, although I do think seeing the movie first dampens its effect.

Read in the 1990s because I loved the movie. Reviewed based on memory. ( )
  sturlington | Sep 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Harrisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rambelli, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? --1 Corinthians
Need I look upon a death's head in a ring, that have one in my face? -- John Donne, "Devotions"
Dedication
To the memory of my father.
First words
Behavioral Science, the FBI section that deals with serial murder, is on the bottom floor of the Academy building at Quantico, half-buried in the earth.
Quotations
A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Nur einer kann der jungen FBI-Agentin Clarice Starling bei der Jagd auf einen fürchterlichen Serienkiller helfen: Der. Hannibal Lector - selbst Massenmörder - hochintelligent und eiskalt. Doch Lector beginnt, ein grausames Spiel mit Clarice zu spielen ...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312924585, Mass Market Paperback)

The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris, is even better than the successful movie. Like his earlier Red Dragon, the book takes us inside the world of professional criminal investigation. All the elements of a well-executed thriller are working here--driving suspense, compelling characters, inside information, publicity-hungry bureaucrats thwarting the search, and the clock ticking relentlessly down toward the death of another young woman. What enriches this well-told tale is the opportunity to live inside the minds of both the crime fighters and the criminals as each struggles in a prison of pain and seeks, sometimes violently, relief.

Clarice Starling, a precociously self-disciplined FBI trainee, is dispatched by her boss, Section Chief Jack Crawford, the FBI's most successful tracker of serial killers, to see whether she can learn anything useful from Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Lecter's a gifted psychopath whose nickname is "The Cannibal" because he likes to eat parts of his victims. Isolated by his crimes from all physical contact with the human race, he plays an enigmatic game of "Clue" with Starling, providing her with snippets of data that, if she is smart enough, will lead her to the criminal. Undaunted, she goes where the data takes her. As the tension mounts and the bureaucracy thwarts Starling at every turn, Crawford tells her, "Keep the information and freeze the feelings." Insulted, betrayed, and humiliated, Starling struggles to focus. If she can understand Lecter's final, ambiguous scrawl, she can find the killer. But can she figure it out in time? --Barbara Schlieper

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:51 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

She is Clarice Starling, young, vulnerable FBI trainee. He is Hannibal Lecter, brilliant, evil genius. Theirs is a mesmerizing struggle between good and evil- designed to stop a killer, and guaranteed to chill your blood.

» see all 9 descriptions

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