The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

Book - 1988
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A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname-Buffalo Bill-is stalking women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the Bureau's Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter-Hannibal the Cannibal-who is kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
Dr. Lecter is a former psychiatrist with a grisly history, unusual tastes, and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of "The Silence of the Lambs-"and ingenious, masterfully written book and an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c1988.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780312022822
Characteristics: 367 p. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

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Jun 25, 2019

This book is written pretty darn well, I love how a subtle paragraph, just one paragraph gave the audience a bit of an answer as to why Lecter only talks to Starling. I won't spoil it. And yeah, the Buffalo Bill thing is a bit weird for some people, but I think the main goal was to make the character deranged and unique. There are many, many, many times where Lecter says that Buffalo Bill isn't a real or normal crossdresser or transvestite. The villain just isn't satisfied with who and what he is period, plus it's implied that his sexuality may have been picked up in prison and because of trauma, not because "he's a regular old crossdresser, just little crazy"; he's an insane person. That's all. Plus, I'm not sure how else the author would have incorporated a guy's motivations to make a skin suit. Ew.

While not the first book Harris has written, or even the first in his series of Lecter novels, The Silence of the Lambs is without doubt his masterpiece. Highly recommended in general, whether you like thrillers or not.

Dec 14, 2017

I thought this was much better written than the first book. And there is a lot more time spent with the equivocal Dr. Lecter. I like the development of the authors style. You can feel the characters have a force of their own. Their story needs to be told. Even though this is a thriller I laughed out loud a few times also. If you think moth's are creepy too this is part of the gruesomeness. And a happy ending for everyone. It's so addictive too. Finished in three days.

Nov 17, 2017

Not as good as Red Dragon, Buffalo Bill isn't a believable character. Found myself rooting for Buffalo Belle to finish her girl suit. Buffalo Bill's backstory is poorly developed, not believable, I wasn't motivated to dislike him and the character's "scary value" relied solely on "scary crossdresser". Only read for Hannibal Lecter, the end was boring, contrive and unfulfilling except for Hannibal's part

Mar 24, 2017

Scariest book about a killer I ever read. Thomas Harris wrote a classic.

Jan 15, 2017

Harris is an amazing writer! This book will be remembered as one of the greatest thrillers ever created! It is hard to get Hannibal Lector out of your mind once you "meet" him.

Jun 23, 2016

After watching the movie I had quite high expectations for this book. I found the writing itself a little disappointing, but the overall storyline was excellent, as I knew it would be.

Mar 21, 2015

It's really weird, reading this book again, so long after the movie has become a classic. It's hard to separate the film performances from the characters in the book, and little things leap out at you - Clarice has no cell phone. It seems insane now, but you have people searching for a murderer, a serial killer, and they're having to ask to borrow people's landlines to call in.
For all that, it's still a tense thriller, and one of the few books to actually make me jump - it's a moment they recreated accurately in the movie, with agents poised to break in the door, the killer pacing, unsure whether to answer the bell or not, and Clarice, supposedly miles away, calling in on a witness.... Brilliant stuff. I'll go back and read "Red Dragon" soon, but I'll skip the later books. Once the film came out, things went a little wobbly.

athompson10 Feb 04, 2015

Saw the movie ages ago but wanted more of the back story. Excellent thriller, well paced; much of the gore is left to the reader's imagination which makes the book creepier.

JasonAT Dec 17, 2014

THE BEST Crime Thriller Book ever written.

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Mar 08, 2016

The quote from Dec 10, 2015 is from the film, not the book.
The quote from the book goes "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone."
Liver is an oily meat and would not pair well with a chianti. Lecter would have known this. The film dumbed it down.

Dec 24, 2008

A census taker tried to test me once, so I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.-- Hanibal Lecter


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Jun 30, 2008

Violence: Contains some killing scenes and disturbing description of corpses.


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