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The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

The Silence of the Lambs (1988)

by Thomas Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hannibal Lecter (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,69276438 (4.06)172
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  5. 20
    The Red Scream by Mary Willis Walker (myshelves)
    myshelves: I found this Edgar-winning novel about a serial killer more chilling than Harris's novels.
  6. 21
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  7. 10
    The Letter of the Law by Tim Green (dara85)
    dara85: The creepy nature of the killer and the sexual tension between he and Casey.
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  10. 22
    The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy (WildMaggie)

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» See also 172 mentions

English (70)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
awful...salacious...sick...couldn't finish it...movie much better...
  clarkland | Dec 17, 2014 |
Even better than the movie! I loved the movie--LOVED the book! It went so quickly. I felt there was a little more depth to it--more character development--than the movie, which is understandable. I really enjoyed it. Not sure if I'll be able to stomach Red Dragon or Hannibal, though.... I always felt, based on the movies, that this one was far more psychological, and the other two really focused on the gore-factor..... ( )
  trayceetee | Nov 15, 2014 |
The movie was remarkably true to this well-written book --- fast moving, believable (if sinister) characters, likable protagonist -- all around good novel. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
It's really hard to separate my review of this book with my feelings about the movie (which I see as a contemporary masterpiece of sorts). The writing is solid and the story inventive. Despite knowing "what happens" in the story, I did not get bored with this novel. I was thoroughly engaged. I enjoyed the narration that meandered into the heads of the principle characters, but not so much as to spoil the mysteries of essential character motivation.

This is one of the few instances where "the movie was better," but that does not mean the book was bad by any stretch. It was a great read! I feel that SotL is a better novel that its predecessor _Red Dragon_ (which I enjoyed too), with richer subtext and narrative construction. I kept asking myself, what made Harris change heroes? Why a young female? It was a smart move (when he could have just brought Will Graham back like most crime novelists do) that brought a lot of questions to the table, questions about gender that underscored the killer's motives. ( )
  dulcinea14 | Sep 18, 2014 |
Even though I still have not seen the film, I thought I'd explore Harris' world when I discovered a paperback very cheap at a local book swap. Though the book is marketed as all about Hannibal Lecter "the ultimate villain," it's really about the minds of criminals and the people who wish to stop them.

It's interesting that each side is set in pairs -- the criminal side and the justice side of the equation.

At one end of the spectrum we have Clarice Starling, an FBI agent who is learning the ropes. I mean, she hasn't even finished school yet! She runs into prejudice all the time -- "how long have you been at the FBI Ms. Starling?" to which she quickly changes the subject. Her mentor and confidant Jack Crawford is in his own world. Struggling with his wife's terminal illness, he yet makes an effort to teach Starling the ropes -- and an ulterior motive to use her to get into Lecter's mind -- the only man who may have the clue to find Buffalo Bill -- the mad serial killer who is skinning women and leaving them floating in rivers.

The other end of the spectrum is Dr. Lecter, an expert of the mind and behavior, but also rather insane -- he literally will bite the hands that feeds him! His sense of smell is startling. His ability to see deep into Starling's core is also a bit unsettling -- for Starling as well as the reader! Lecter's pair is Buffalo Bill himself whom we meet as he prepares to skin a senator's daughter!

Will Clarice find the killer in time, despite the arrogance of bureaucrats and the curtains everyone of the characters seems to hide behind? And is she willing to give up a bit of herself to Lecter in return for some information?

**Spoiler - Fascinating pace of story, especially at the climax when she actually meets the killer and has no idea who this guy is -- but then does and man, you can't turn the page fast enough! ** End Spoiler

I am mighty impressed with Thomas Harris bit of crime fiction here. I may pick up his earlier work, Red Dragon [Red Dragon.

Recommended! ( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
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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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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"
To the memory of my father.
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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.
A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone.
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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)

FBI Academy trainee Clarice Starling hopes that Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a criminally insane psychiatrist imprisoned in a Boston hospital, can lead her to the serial killer known only as Buffalo Bill.

» see all 11 descriptions

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