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The Silence of the Lambs

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Hannibal Lecter. The ultimate villain of modern fiction. Read the five-million-copy bestseller that scared the world silent. The Silence of the Lambs. A young FBI trainee. An evil genius locked away for unspeakable crimes. A plunge into the darkest chambers of a psychopath's mind--in the deadly search for a serial killer. - back cover


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Hannibal Lecter. The ultimate villain of modern fiction. Read the five-million-copy bestseller that scared the world silent. The Silence of the Lambs. A young FBI trainee. An evil genius locked away for unspeakable crimes. A plunge into the darkest chambers of a psychopath's mind--in the deadly search for a serial killer. - back cover

30 review for The Silence of the Lambs

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mort

    Why? Many years from now, historians will look back on this story and wonder why it was so important. And believe me, my friends, important it was. Today, most thrillers and police procedurals gets measured against it. For this review, I will refer to TSOTL as the story, because I'm going to talk about the book, movie, facts, fiction and some of my own opinions. TSOTL was the second Dr. Hannibal Lector story. It was also the second movie adaptation - wait just a damn moment, you might be saying to Why? Many years from now, historians will look back on this story and wonder why it was so important. And believe me, my friends, important it was. Today, most thrillers and police procedurals gets measured against it. For this review, I will refer to TSOTL as the story, because I'm going to talk about the book, movie, facts, fiction and some of my own opinions. TSOTL was the second Dr. Hannibal Lector story. It was also the second movie adaptation - wait just a damn moment, you might be saying to me, Red Dragon was the first book but it was made after the TSOTL movie was so successful... Correct. However, there was an attempt at a screen adaptation of Red Dragon a few years before TSOTL, called MANHUNTER. It was directed by Michael Mann. To the best of my knowledge, it was a flop at the box office. There are a few things TSOTL had going for it that counted in its favor. By all means, Thomas Harris is a brilliant writer - if you've read any of the books you will know this. But most movie freaks and geeks will agree with me that the story is probably one of the best adaptations from book to screen ever. Then you look at the cast - Jody Foster managed to play a vulnerable yet strong female (IMPORTANT) lead. You know she is intelligent, yet she knows that she has no chance against the superior intellect of Dr. Hannibal Lector. In comes Anthony Hopkins, whose portrayal of the psychopathic genius is so convincing, it catapults him to one of the biggest super villains of all time, yet he is so charming that the audience can't help but like him. And, of course, Buffalo Bill is played by Ted Levine, who is utterly convincing, even if you've seen him as the cop in MONK. With a strong cast and story, this movie became an unlikely contender at the Academy Awards. And they won a few! Right, lets take a step back, to the research phase of this story. Thomas Harris, in the early 80's, were doing research and was fortunate enough to get involved with criminal profiling, which at that time had been an unproven and highly speculative science. It was during the time when they were on the trail of one Ted Bundy. If you know a bit about this famous serial killer, you will probably know that he used to fake injuries by wearing a cast and asking victims for their help - Do you remember how Buffalo Bill got that girl in the back of the van? And while Bundy was incarcerated on death row, he was willing to help the police do a profile on another serial killer of the time, The Green River Killer. I believe Bundy told them not to remove a body when they discover it, because the killer will go back to his treasure - something that was later confirmed to have happened. Remember that agent Sterling asked Dr. Lector for his help? And then there was the killer Ed Gein, many decades before, who robbed graves and ultimately killed people to make himself a female skin, which was apparently hard to sow without tearing. Need I explain this one? The fact of the matter is, while some things may have seemed preposterous to us in the early eighties, like they could only happen in the movies, there were some truly messed up people out there who were doing some truly messed up things - wow, it's been a while since I've kept a sentence PG like that...I will accept your applause humbly. Also, there was and, unfortunately, still are some stereo types about women in the FBI. Harris took the opportunity to make a statement, maybe very subtly, but still very important, about power vs. emotion. At no time does this story feel like a Hollywood blockbuster, where the star is cocky and always has a way out of a sticky situation, where it's all guns and fire and explosions, etc. No, this story was meant to cut close to home, to show the possibilities, for we are all vulnerable in this world. Agent Clarice is scared, she fears for her life, she doesn't know if she will survive, but she fights the big, bad (Goliath) killer. And she wins. This story is also important from a psychological point of view. Whatever your feelings about profiling may be, they have discovered so much and found impossible connections through their research, and we will never know how many lives it has saved. It's a kind of Paying-it-forward thing: By doing what they do, they prevent things that may have been inevitable in a different world. I once saw something (I can't remember exactly where) about some research they were doing on inmates. They took brain scans of a number of them, and noted that those who were certified as psychopathic, had an underdeveloped area in a certain part of their brains. If I can remember correctly, it had something to do with the mother producing too much serotonin during pregnancy, or some such scientific thing. How is this helpful, you may ask? Well, this is my personal opinion, so if it offends you, stop reading: Casey Anthony... Is she a psychopath who got away with murder? Yes, when I look at the facts of the case, and the things her attorney's did to get her free, I'm sickened to think the jurors couldn't believe a mother would do that to her child. Nobody LIKES to believe it, but I wish I could have seen a brain scan of her compared to those other psychopaths. I wish there was a psychologist who could have explained it to them. But enough about that. This book is, was and always will be important, because it brought certain realities home to the world we find ourselves in. If you haven't read it - but managed to get through this long review - what's the matter with you? But I am not trying to convince anybody of my point of view, so feel free to disagree.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    CONTENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Out of respect for Thomas Harris’s superb novel, I have decided that no pictures of ANTHONY HOPKINS will appear in this review. Thank you for your understanding. 4.0 to 4.5 stars. Another one of those terrific situations where I saw the movie first (and loved it) and then eventually decided to read the book... and loved it too. Score!!! Now assuming that most people not suffering from the after-effects of severe head trauma know the basic plot concerning FBI trainee “Hello.. CONTENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Out of respect for Thomas Harris’s superb novel, I have decided that no pictures of ANTHONY HOPKINS will appear in this review. Thank you for your understanding. 4.0 to 4.5 stars. Another one of those terrific situations where I saw the movie first (and loved it) and then eventually decided to read the book... and loved it too. Score!!! Now assuming that most people not suffering from the after-effects of severe head trauma know the basic plot concerning FBI trainee “Hello...Clariiiiiice” Starling, while trying to kibosh a Psychotic Vera Wang wannabe named Buffalo Bill, starts an unconventional relationship with extreme culinary expert Dr. Hannibalicious Lecter, I thought I would give you my take on the whole movie wins/book wins debate. Please note that I am going to feel completely free to drop spoilers without warning from here on out so....recognize. MOVIE GLORY 1. First, I thought the movie’s treatment of Starling’s time on the Sheep and Horse farm was much better, probably in large part due to Jodie Foster really nailing the angst factor as she describes trying to save a spring lamb from slaughter (in the book it was horses being slaughtered that she was tripping about). Here the movie wins and I can still close my eyes and here Foster/Starling saying “the lambs were screaming” and “it was cold, so cold.” She made that scene her chew toy and it is a wonderful example of taking more and condensing it into a more powerful less. 2. The End of the movie, Lecter stalking Dr. Chilton and ending his phone conversation with Starling by saying, “I’m going to have an old friend for dinner.” YUM!!! One of my favorite lines/ideas from the movie and I was very bitter that it did not have an analog in the book. The Booest of Hoos on that. AND SURPRISINGLY...that is it for the movies clear superiority. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie and think they did much EXCEPTIONALLY well. However, I was shocked in reading the book that most the best parts in the movie (including Lecter, which shocked me) were handled equally effectively in the book. Thus, where I think it was a tie or too close to call, I have decided not to put it in one camp or another. With that said....on to the book. BOOK DOMINANCE 1. Need to start with Lector and this is a surprise because Sir Anthony made this role his like few people on movie history. However, I am not talking about what was in both the movie and the book as I think it is a push, to a slight edge to Mr. Hopkins. No, I am talking about the one AMAZING insight the book provides to the character. Namely, Lecter’s motivation is about “amusing himself.” This single thread running through the book makes Lecter a far darker, far more sinister character (which also explains why hollywood downplayed it to land Hopkins in the role). Walking away from the book, the reader has a much better sense of Lector as a conscience-lacking entity of pure evil, than we get from the movie. Kudos to Mr. Harris on that point. 2. As good as Scott Glenn is in the movie, his character found way too much time on the editing room floor and the book truly develops well. His scene with the head of John Hopkins university is one that truly should have found a way on screen as I thought it was perfect. 3. James Gumb (aka Buffalo Bill). As wonderfully icky as Ted Levine is in the movie, he comes across as just a nutso on screen with the naked “tuck” dance an the lotion commercials. Meanwhile, in lit land, Gumby is shown to be so....SAVAGE and calculating that all of the nutso stuff takes on a far more sinister aspect. I was deeply disturbed by the depiction of Gumb’s craft skills and the movie never hammered that home enough. PUTTING IT IN THE NUT’S SHELL’S Overall, I was deeply impressed with both the movie and book, but the book really gets the gold star for being able to work with my love of the movie and still blow me away. In closing, if you have only seen the movie, you should read the book and if you have only read the book, you should see the movie as it is deeply respectful of the source material. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! P.S. I listened to the audio version read by Frank Muller and he was his usual perfection. P.P.S. I was fairly insulted that the movie makers felt the need to change Amarone to Chianti (in the famous fava beans scene) presumably because they didn't think the "audience" would get it. OUCH!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Martine

    Call me a freak, but I have a bit of a crush on Hannibal Lecter. He may be the scariest fuck out there (certainly scarier than the supposed monster of the book, Buffalo Bill), but he just oozes style and knowledge. In fact, he has so much style and knowledge that he doesn't come off as a ridiculous prick when he says things like, 'A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone'* or 'Can you smell his sweat? That peculiar goatish odour is trans-3- Call me a freak, but I have a bit of a crush on Hannibal Lecter. He may be the scariest fuck out there (certainly scarier than the supposed monster of the book, Buffalo Bill), but he just oozes style and knowledge. In fact, he has so much style and knowledge that he doesn't come off as a ridiculous prick when he says things like, 'A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone'* or 'Can you smell his sweat? That peculiar goatish odour is trans-3-methyl-2 hexenoic acid. Remember it, it's the smell of schizophrenia.' Quite the contrary -- he sounds cool saying these things. Sophisticated, even. In this and many other ways, Dr Lecter is so utterly fascinating that you'll still find yourself rooting for him after he has committed several heinous (but brilliant!) murders, hoping he'll stay out of the hands of the police and live out his life in freedom. Now that's quality writing for you. As you can probably tell from the above, I like The Silence of the Lambs, which is to say the book on which the movie was based. Except for the fact that Harris makes Clarice rather stupid** and that the dialogue in the book is a bit too clever and masculine for its own good***, it's a solid and exciting will-they-find-him-in-time-to-save-the-girl story -- a page-turner if ever there was one. The characters aren't terribly easy to identify with, but that's all right, because for one thing, they're cool (had I mentioned that yet?), and for another, they all have a clearly defined quest. They don't necessarily have the same quest, but hey, that only serves to increase the tension. In some regards the book is better than the film. Remember those stupid anagrams from the movie? They're not in the book (except for the bilirubin one, which I actually quite like). The book makes its connections in a much more logical, less what-the-fuck?-ish way. It also has a more realistic romance, though not necessarily a better one. On the down side, I think Thomas Harris must have kicked himself for not having come up with the closing line of the film ('I'm having an old friend for dinner') himself. In my opinion, it's the best closing line in cinematic history, unmatched by the ending of the book. Still, it's a satisfying read. Very satisfying. As satisfying as the movie, and that's saying a fair bit. ...................... * Yes, that's what he says in the book. Not 'a nice Chianti'. I've been reliably informed by those in the know (I myself do not actually drink wine) that Amarone and Chianti are not in fact the same thing. 'Chianti' does sound better than 'Amarone' in this line, doesn't it? ** In the book, Dr Lecter tells Clarice in one of their first interviews that Billy has kidnapped large-chested Catherine Martin because 'he wants a vest with tits on it'. He then goes on to say in their next meeting that 'Billy is making a girl suit out of real girls'. And despite these incredibly obvious clues (which cannot be rude jokes on Lecter's part as he's far too sophisticated to make such rude jokes) it takes Clarice, who is supposed to be really intelligent, the entire rest of the book to figure out what it is that Billy wants from his victims. They wisely changed that in the movie, where Clarice doesn't have her entire quest spelled out for her right at the beginning. *** I've never met any women who speak to each other the way Clarice and Ardelia do. Then again, I've never met any brilliant FBI trainees, so what do I know? Perhaps they do speak to each other like that at Quantico. I guess I'll never find out. (Anyone out there have FBI-trained friends? Anyone? Bueller?)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    3.5 STARS "Be very careful with Hannibal Lector. Dr. Chilton, the head of the mental hospital, will go over the physical procedure you use to deal with him. Don't deviate from it. Do not deviate from it one iota for any reason... We both know you have to back-and-forth a little in interviews, but you tell him no specifics about yourself. You don't want any of your personal facts in his head." Bet you thought I was never going to write this review, huh? ;) Well, it turns out I just needed a good lo 3.5 STARS "Be very careful with Hannibal Lector. Dr. Chilton, the head of the mental hospital, will go over the physical procedure you use to deal with him. Don't deviate from it. Do not deviate from it one iota for any reason... We both know you have to back-and-forth a little in interviews, but you tell him no specifics about yourself. You don't want any of your personal facts in his head." Bet you thought I was never going to write this review, huh? ;) Well, it turns out I just needed a good long pause to toss around my thoughts before attempting to wrangle them on paper. There's a lot of pressure diving into a book that has been deemed a modern classic, and you never know what side of the spectrum you'll fall on once you've experienced such, but I'm pleased that overall, this was a really enjoyable experience for me. While I've seen the movie over the years more times than I can count, somehow it didn't ruin my experience or opinion of the book. Below, there will be quite a few spoilers and discussion pertaining to specific plot points and comparisons from the book-to-film adaptation, so if you haven't read the book or seen the movie and desire to know no specifics, please stop here. I'm going to start with all the things that I loved. Obviously, the book is way better than the movie, due to the amount of detail and characterization that is lost in translation when you must condense a 400+ page novel into a 2 hour film production. The characters are richly developed, flawed, and their decision making process and solving of the cases in general are quite progressive considering this book was published in the 1980s. The Silence of the Lambs is a wonderful example of how, we can see glimpses of the villain throughout the book, and still garner the compulsive pacing of a whodunnit. One thing that felt odd to me was reconciling the fact that, for the time this book was published, the story is so progressive in some aspects and terribly disappointing in others. If you've seen the movie, then you probably are aware of how, at best, the movie is borderline transphobic, and this is due to the fact that they left out some crucial scenes from the book. While the movie implies maybe once or twice that Jame Gumb is not really transgender, they don't do a full job of explaining the why or how behind his choices; in fact, the movie leaves out his backstory entirely, as well as a scene that was filmed but cut from the final production portraying the investigation into the transgender clinic. In the book, it is clearly shown how transgender people are a peaceful group, and how our villain is someone who IS NOT transgender, and was rejected for reassignment surgery based on multiple red flags that occurred during the initial application. Also, the doctor that the FBI initially tries to coerce into giving up personal information regarding his patients not only defends his patients, but goes on the offensive to protect the minority group. I really loved how the book handled this SO much better than the movie. The one thing that REALLY bugged me though, is how you can have a novel written in the '80s that was LGBT forward, but unrealistically fat shaming women from start to finish. I figured I'll be ripped a new one for this and deemed a sensitive snowflake, so I decided to mark specific passages for reference. One particular example is in chapter 34, where Starling is poking around in Catherine's apartment after she's been abducted. On page 242 (in my copy), there's an internal monologue where Clarice is flipping through her closet, and notes that at almost 6 ft tall, Catherine has sets of clothes in 2 sizes-large and "crisis fat". It's stated that the first set are when she is 145lbs and the second at 165lbs. For reference, I have a friend who is 6ft tall and was constantly asked if she was anorexic, and she weighed 185lbs. I understand that point is that Buffalo Bill is kidnapping full figured women to fit his long term outcome, but I had a hard time stomaching that we are told somewhere between 15-20 times throughout the book how OMG THESE GIRLS ARE SO FAT SO FAT SO FAT UGH DISGUSTING DON'T THEY HAVE ANY SELF RESPECT AGAIN SO FAT, and yet, according to the specific height and weight details we're given, they are medically and even socially NOT FAT. We even get a few inner monologues where Catherine knows her full figured body is attractive, but we're immediately reminded afterwards to NOT FORGET SHE'S FAT AND UGH SO GROSS!!!! *deep breath* Alright, I'm done beating that to death. Lastly, aside from Jack Crawford's character, I felt the movie was mostly cast well, with the best being Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill. Jody Foster as Clarice was a bit of stretch for me, as the Clarice in the book isn't quite the pushover we see on screen, but still not a bad choice. I can wholly see why this is the book most refer to that initiated the mainstream craze for forensic crime scene novels, as it is a really well written procedural, and manages to feel realistic but not lose the page turning quality of suspense that it carries. Overall, I'm so glad I read this one and look forward to circling back around to Red Dragon.

  5. 4 out of 5

    RedemptionDenied

    4.5★ Loved the movie. Loved the book. The Kindle edition is slightly, tainted, with numbers, sporadically-interweaved into the text - which I assume, judging by the percentage I was currently on (when the numbers appeared) - is the actual page number. No biggie. Just a bit jarring, as my edition of the novel had location numbering at the bottom. Don't know why they do that - but, whatever. I'm impressed by how close the movie is to the source material, just like Manhunter was to the Red Dragon bo 4.5★ Loved the movie. Loved the book. The Kindle edition is slightly, tainted, with numbers, sporadically-interweaved into the text - which I assume, judging by the percentage I was currently on (when the numbers appeared) - is the actual page number. No biggie. Just a bit jarring, as my edition of the novel had location numbering at the bottom. Don't know why they do that - but, whatever. I'm impressed by how close the movie is to the source material, just like Manhunter was to the Red Dragon book - including some of the dialogue being verbatim. I noticed one, glaring difference: when Starling first meets Lecter and is walking down the hallway to his cell; which is on the left in the film; the right in the book. I'm also impressed by each actors' performance, in their respective roles. Jodie Foster was interested in playing the part, after reading the novel. And George A. Romero (Feb 4th, 1940 - July 16th, 2017) had a cameo role, as an FBI Agent in Memphis (unaccredited). I'll have to keep an eye-out for that, next time I watch the film, which had 66 cast members, and took $272.7 million at the box office, on a $19 million budget. Movie cast: Jodie Foster (Clarice Starling). Anthony Hopkins ('Hannibal the Cannibal,' Lecter) Ted Levine (Buffalo Bill). Scott Glenn (Jack Crawford). Brooke Smith (Catherine Martin). Anthony Heald (Frederick Chilton). Kasi Lemmons (Ardelia Mapp) Stuart Rudin (I.J. Miggs). Maria Skorobogatov (young Clarice) - Masha. Darla (Precious). Chris McGinn (autopsy victim). A young trainee FBI-agent, Clarice Starling, is pulled from training and given an assignment: to interview Hannibal Lecter, at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. A questionnaire has been developed; which applies to all-known serial-murderers in modern times. They've tried to interview and examine all thirty-two known serial-killers that they have in custody: to build a database for psychological-profiling cases, unsolved. Most were willing to cooperate; except the one they want to speak to the most - who isn't cooperative. Lecter. Starling, sniffs an opportunity, and is glad of the chance - though Crawford doesn't expect Lecter to say anything. When she gets to the hospital, Dr. Chilton (who isn't a real doctor) - explains the rules: "Do not reach through the bars, do not touch the bars. You pass him nothing but soft paper. No pens, no pencils. He has his own felt-tipped pens some of the time. The paper you pass him must be free of staples, paper clips, or pins. Items come back through the sliding food carrier. No exceptions. Do not accept anything he attempts to hold out to you through the barrier. Do you understand me?" I think he forgot to mention another rule: that you shouldn't stand-still outside a particular cell, for any amount of time; especially if the person in the cell is making groaning, sounds. Ah. The infamous flying missile scene, courtesy of Miggs. I think that was the most disturbing scene in the movie (and probably the book, too). Miggs' indiscretions. In the book, Lecter is polydactyl: he has six-fingers on his left hand. On a more positive note: it's the catalyst for Lecter giving Starling a chance and sending her to seek-out: Raspail's car for her Valentines. Yep.If you want something from Lecter, you have to take one for the team. Lecter thinks she's there to ask if he can help in the Buffalo Bill case - which he has an interest in. He says he's willing to help, if he gets something in return. Quid Pro Quo. He wants know more about Starling. She gives him something about herself, he'll give something in return. He wants to play a game - and the stakes are high, when the daughter of Sen. Ruth Martin is abducted, believed to have been taken by Buffalo Bill. Will she be saved in time? Or will the felon have her hide? Clarice has a few obstacles in her way, so it won't be easy. I really enjoyed this novel. Disappointed I didn't read it, sooner. There's a lot of creepy/unsettling and intense scenes. I liked the conversations, between Lecter and Starling, as she tries to extract information from him. He's too smart to outwit, so she has to play-along. He's got nothing to lose.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    5 STARS!! Full review up. This was fantastic!! I went into The Silence of the Lambs hesitant that this book would not be as great as the movie, OR I wouldn't be able to get the movie characters out of my head. You see, I’ve seen The Silence of the Lambs 3 to 4 times in my life and I know the plot too well. I've loved the movie since the first time I watched it! The movie came out in 1991 but I didn't watch it until I was 17, in 1995. I'm glad I waited because the nightmares would have sucked at age 5 STARS!! Full review up. This was fantastic!! I went into The Silence of the Lambs hesitant that this book would not be as great as the movie, OR I wouldn't be able to get the movie characters out of my head. You see, I’ve seen The Silence of the Lambs 3 to 4 times in my life and I know the plot too well. I've loved the movie since the first time I watched it! The movie came out in 1991 but I didn't watch it until I was 17, in 1995. I'm glad I waited because the nightmares would have sucked at age 13!! Ha, who am I kidding. I still had nightmares after seeing this movie for the 1st time! Getting back to the book, I was shocked with how much I enjoyed it! The writing by Thomas Harris is well done along with more detail about the serial killer, Buffalo Bill and the women he killed. The case was more detailed, the characters were more fleshed out (heh, funny I would use that term! haha) and the ending was dynamite. The character of Clarice Starling was great in this book! She’s more fierce and cunning then what Jodie Foster does with the character in the movie. Jodie Foster still does a damn fine job with this character but it’s hard to be exactly like a character in a book. You can’t see what she thinks or how she interprets the Buffalo Bill case and the prisoner, Hannibal Lecter. Speaking of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, he’s a monster, sadistic, way too intelligent, and will scare the pants off you. Anthony Hopkins does such a great job with this character. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how he took Thomas Harris’ creation and made Lecter unforgettable! Besides the great characterization, the police procedural and research of serial killers that Harris does in this series is fantastic! You’ve got to realize that this is wrote in the 80’s and he likely has influenced the crime detective book genre more than anyone out there! Kudos Thomas Harris!! If you have been living under a rock for the last 30 something years and have not seen this movie, go read the book first!! You won't be disappointed. And if you love this movie and you're worried about not getting anything from the book, take it from me. I felt the same and I just gave this 5 stars!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Silence of the lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2), Thomas Harris (1940) The Silence of the Lambs is a novel by Thomas Harris. First published in 1988, it is the sequel to Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon. Both novels feature the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, this time pitted against FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling. Its film adaptation directed by Jonathan Demme was released in 1991 to box office success and critical acclaim. Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, is asked to carry ‎The Silence of the lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2), Thomas Harris (1940) The Silence of the Lambs is a novel by Thomas Harris. First published in 1988, it is the sequel to Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon. Both novels feature the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, this time pitted against FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling. Its film adaptation directed by Jonathan Demme was released in 1991 to box office success and critical acclaim. Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, is asked to carry out an errand by Jack Crawford, the head of the FBI division that draws up psychological profiles of serial killers. Starling is to present a questionnaire to the brilliant forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, Hannibal Lecter. Lecter is serving nine consecutive life sentences in a Maryland mental institution for a series of murders. فیلم را دیده ام سپس کتاب را خوانده ام. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1993 میلادی عنوان: سکوت بره ها؛ اثر: توماس (تامس) هریس؛ مترجمها: اصغر اندرودی، مجتبی مینائی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، چاپ نخست، 1371، در 492 ص، چاپ های بعدی، نشر خاتون، 1373، پارسیان، 1374، نشر اوحدی، سال 1377، شابک: 964637633؛ نشر دایره، 1379، شابک: 9646839215؛ با ترجمه علیرضا انصاری، نشر چکاوک 1390، شابک: 9789648957259؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی سده 20 م کلاریس استارلینگ (جودی فاستر) توسط جک کرافورد (اسکات گلن) از آکادمی آموزشی اف‌.بی‌.آی. در کوانتیکوو ویرجینیا انتخاب می‌شود. کرافورد به استارلینگ مأموریت می‌دهد، که با هانیبال لکتر (آنتونی هاپکینز)، که یک روانشناس و قاتل زنجیره‌ ای است، گفتگو نماید، چرا که اعتقاد دارد که «لکتر» ممکن است بتواند به آنها در پیدا کردن «بیل بوفالو» (قاتلی زنجیره‌ ای که پوست قربانیانش را از تنشان جدا می‌کند) یاری نماید. استارلینگ به بیمارستان روانی در بالتیمور می‌رود، و در آنجا دکتر فردریک چیلتون (آنتونی هیلد) او را به سلول دکتر لکتر راهنمایی می‌کند. در ابتدا دکتر لکتر آرام است، اما به ناگهان عصبانی می‌شود، چرا که استارلینگ سعی دارد از او، اطلاعات بیرون بکشد. در حالیکه استارلینگ، با ترس، در حال ترک سلول است، یکی از بیماران، به کلاریس توهین بدی می‌کند، که لکتر این عمل را بسیار زشت می‌پندارد، و استارلینگ را صدا می‌کند، که برگردد، تا به او بگوید که به دنبال یکی از بیماران سابقش بگردد. این راهنمایی، استارلینگ را به یک زیرزمین سوق می‌دهد، که در آنجا جسد یکی از بیماران سابق لکتر را پیدا می‌کند. استارلینگ به پیش لکتر برمی‌گردد، و لکتر به او می‌گوید، که این جسد به بیل بوفالو مرتبط است. استارلینگ، به لکتر پیشنهاد می‌دهد، در صورتیکه به او در این زمینه کمک کند، از کلینیک دکتر چیلتون به جایی دیگر منتقل شود. و ....؛ ا. شربیانی

  8. 4 out of 5

    Darth J

    So, I read these books out of order. I started with Hannibal (which gives better background and fleshes out the character of Lecter much more than the mess that was Hannibal Rising), then read Red Dragon and finally this one. Can I just say that I love Clarice Starling? I just have such a deep respect and admiration for her (also, Jodie why didn't you come back for the sequel?? I mean, Moore was great but I don't like a break in continuity, nor do I like how they changed the ending of Hannibal w So, I read these books out of order. I started with Hannibal (which gives better background and fleshes out the character of Lecter much more than the mess that was Hannibal Rising), then read Red Dragon and finally this one. Can I just say that I love Clarice Starling? I just have such a deep respect and admiration for her (also, Jodie why didn't you come back for the sequel?? I mean, Moore was great but I don't like a break in continuity, nor do I like how they changed the ending of Hannibal where (view spoiler)[ Clarice eats the brains, sans fava beans or a nice Chianti, sighhhhhhhh... (hide spoiler)] . I was about 12 when I read these books and what really resonated with me, more than the tête-à-têtes, was the sheer intelligence of both Starling and Lecter. Both equally formidable characters (view spoiler)[ Damn you, Hannibal movie adaptation for not allowing that 'ship to happen like it does in the book *shakes angry fist at sky* (hide spoiler)] , Clarice and Hannibal are some of the most interesting characters that I've ever read about. Please, dear writers, learn from them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jess☺️

    The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris is book 2 of the Hannibal Lector series this time with another twisted psychopath Buffalo Bill and let's not forget Dr Chilton (he's just as bad as these two 😒) This book is more disturbing than the first,moths and skin suit is all that needs to be said.😬 It doesn't matter how many times you've seen this film this book is always going to be 10X better it gives you that nervous anticipation feeling whilst your hanging off the edge of your seat screaming 'co The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris is book 2 of the Hannibal Lector series this time with another twisted psychopath Buffalo Bill and let's not forget Dr Chilton (he's just as bad as these two 😒) This book is more disturbing than the first,moths and skin suit is all that needs to be said.😬 It doesn't matter how many times you've seen this film this book is always going to be 10X better it gives you that nervous anticipation feeling whilst your hanging off the edge of your seat screaming 'come on come go go go!!' Hannibal Lector is that character that we love to hate even if he does chill me to the bones. If you read the first book then you definitely need to read this one next.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro

    One of my favorite books and film too! This is the second novel in the "Hannibal Lecter" book series. GAME CHANGER Back then, in 1991, I didn't know that Silence of the Lambs had been first a book, and even less that it was actually the second book in the literary series, but... ...I knew that the film adaptation became, in an instant, one of my all-time favorite films. A game changer indeed that swept away with the 5 most respected awards by the Academy (best film, best script, best director, b One of my favorite books and film too! This is the second novel in the "Hannibal Lecter" book series. GAME CHANGER Back then, in 1991, I didn't know that Silence of the Lambs had been first a book, and even less that it was actually the second book in the literary series, but... ...I knew that the film adaptation became, in an instant, one of my all-time favorite films. A game changer indeed that swept away with the 5 most respected awards by the Academy (best film, best script, best director, best actor and best actress) that you can't diminish since this particular combination of these 5 Oscars, had been only accomplished three times in the history of the Oscars, It Happened One Night (1934) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), along with the said film. A curious thing is that while Dr. Hannibal Lecter became the lead character of the book series generating adaptations of each book along with a TV series inspired in the said character... ...for me, my attachment to Silence of the Lambs was the young FBI trainee Clarice Starling, since she was a formidable character facing overwhelming challenges: dealing with disturbing interviews with the insidious Dr. Hannibal Lecter, an unwilling pawn of FBI Special Agent Jack Crawford, and having to face the insanely dangerous "Buffalo Bill". Clarice Starling is a beacon of light in the middle of a hopeless world of darkness. She is smart, intuitive, resourceful and brave. THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS... Hardly, anyone thinks himself as the villain, each character (real or fiction) thinks that they are doing the right thing and that the end justifies the means... ...and young FBI trainee Clarice Starling is "the means" for Special Agent Jack Crawford to get the insight of Dr. Hannibal Lecter about the case of the criminally insane one known as "Buffalo Bill", so exposing an unexperienced Starling to the wicked cunning Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is justified if that can accomplish the arrest of the wanted serial killer. This kind of "justified manipulation" isn't strange to Crawford since he has done it before with Special Investigator Will Graham, that not matter his natural talent to get to know how the serial killers think, Graham was already a fragile character looking for peace of mind when he was "persuaded" to become involved once again in a serial killer case and getting inside the world of Dr. Hannibal Lecter again with disastrous outcome. Now, it's turn for young Clarice to become a "pawn" of Jack Crawford that while his intentions are "good" in the angle that he genuinely wants to arrest criminals, he's leaving collateral damage in the path of those manhunting crusades. Clarice may not fall now... ...but she's already in the watch of Dr. Hannibal Lecter and it was Crawford who put her there. SERIAL KILLERS' WORLD IS SO SMALL It seems that the serial killers world, at least in the literary universe created by Thomas Harris, is so small that a character like Dr. Hannibal Lecter, where you have to take in mind that he was a renown psychiatrist too, well, it isn't that hard to notice the particular M.O.s of each criminally insane murderers, and soon enough knowing who in the middle of that twisted club is the designer on each killing spree. And Dr. Lecter knows that. He knows that he is a necessary evil for being able by the forces of the law to catch other menaces of this same kind of wicked breed, And of course, Dr. Lecter has a plan. He is patient. There is not hurry. He already got his payback to his accidental captor. Now, it could be good to get his freedom back. Since after all, the world is just too boring without him there. And that fool Jack Crawford keeps sending him the tools to get what he wants. Dr. Hannibal Lecter is ready to eat the whole world once again. Be afraid. Be very afraid... ...and turn to look if somebody is following you, ready to take you for dinner.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joe Valdez

    Editor's Note: I'm reposting this review because my original posted on May 9 has been infested with fake "likes." Some of you have also accumulated suspicious follows and likes beginning in late April. These are accounts created in April, May or June 2019 and feature western user names, "China" as the location, 0 friends, 0 books (or close to 0) and no profile photo. Goodreads has notified me that these are "real people." Thanks for nothing, Goodreads. I've blocked hundreds of these accounts and Editor's Note: I'm reposting this review because my original posted on May 9 has been infested with fake "likes." Some of you have also accumulated suspicious follows and likes beginning in late April. These are accounts created in April, May or June 2019 and feature western user names, "China" as the location, 0 friends, 0 books (or close to 0) and no profile photo. Goodreads has notified me that these are "real people." Thanks for nothing, Goodreads. I've blocked hundreds of these accounts and noticed too many similarities in their activity to believe these are real people. Please be on the lookout for followers with new accounts and no profile photo claiming to be from China. This user is not up to anything legitimate on this site. It's my thesis that Goodreads can come together and agree that The Silence of the Lambs is a great novel. Published in 1988, this was the third novel by Thomas Harris, his follow-up to Black Sunday and Red Dragon, the latter of which introduced Dr. Hannibal Lecter and put Harris--who takes years to publish--into the FBI Behavioral Science Lab vs. Serial Killer business. I've seen the Oscar winning Best Picture several times but bumped the source material up as Sean Coyne, author of The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know and the next book on my list, uses it to illustrate the application of his many story tips. Other than a handful of scenes and a couple of story threads omitted from the screenplay by Ted Tally for the 1991 film directed by Jonathan Demme, the movie follows the novel very closely, so I won't bother to recount the plot. The Silence of the Lambs is currently streaming on Netflix and really should be in your Blu-Ray/ DVD/ laserdisc/ VHS library if it isn't already. Let's just pick up the 25th anniversary edition and jump right in: -- The iconography of the Death-Head's Hawkmoth is such a brilliant representation of this story. Both beautiful and sinister, the nocturnal moth emerging from its pupa relates to both Clarice Starling and Jame Gumb as these characters grow into something new. If your edition of the book doesn't include the moth on the cover, you're being robbed. It was featured prominently in the movie marketing. -- Opening paragraph. 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. Clarice Starling reached it flushed after a fast walk from Hogan's Alley on the firing range. She had grass in her hair and grass stains on her FBI Academy windbreaker from diving to the ground under fire in an arrest problem on the range. Harris doesn't describe Starling's eyes, hair, build, etc. We know who she is by where she is and what she's doing there. And her name--Clarice Starling--summarizes her beautifully. -- For a novel that's under 100,000 words and very fast-moving (I finished it in two days) I loved how complex it is. Harris doesn't approach things in a straight-forward fashion, but at a slant. Hour-length TV cop shows have given writers the impression that criminal investigations or manhunts can be wrapped up in under an hour. Jack Crawford doesn't send Starling to ask Hannibal Lecter who "Buffalo Bill" is outright. He knows Lecter would rather toy with authority for his own amusement than help. Instead, he sends a young female cadet on a seemingly trivial matter in an attempt to establish rapport with the doctor. -- I'm a fan of master/pupil stories and am struck with how throughout the book, Starling is a consummate student rather than some kind of crime fighting genius. This is established in the book by how hard Starling and her roommate Ardelia Mapp are studying for their exams at the FBI Academy and cramming their heads with knowledge. Starling knows a little about a lot of things--like the difference between a patent and a copyright or what triangles on a dressmaking pattern are for--as well as a lot about her specialties: forensics and psychology. She's acquired her knowledge by reading. What book lover doesn't love a protagonist who loves to read? -- Most horror books and films involve creatures run amok or jumping out from behind corners. The Silence of the Lambs involves a serial killer interned at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane who, as long as you obey the rules and respect what he is, cannot get at you through his cell. Yet Dr. Hannibal Lecter is terrifying because he can't be contained to his cell. He sees through his visitors, reduces them to their weakest natures and takes advantage of them. I like how Dr. Lecter can discuss murdering his former patient and serving the pancreas to unsuspecting dinner guests, but stresses politeness and nice manners at all times. "Raspail's dream of happiness was ruined. He put Klaus' head in a bowling bag and came back East." "What did he do with the rest?" "Buried it in the hills." "He showed you the head in the car?" "Oh yes, in the course of therapy he came to feel he could tell me anything. He went out to sit with Klaus quite often and showed him the Valentines." "And then Raspail himself ... died. Why?" "Frankly, I got sick and tired of his whining. Best thing for him, really. Therapy wasn't going anywhere. I expect most psychiatrists have a patient or two they'd like to refer to me. I've never discussed this before, and now I'm getting bored with it." "And your dinner for the orchestra officials?" "Haven't you ever had people coming over and no time to shop? You have to make do with what's in the fridge, Clarice. May I call you Clarice?" "Yes. I think I'll just call you--" "Dr. Lecter--that seems most appropriate to your age and station," he said. "Yes." "How did you feel when you went into the garage?" "Apprehensive." "Why?" "Mice and insects." "Do you have something you use when you want to get up your nerve?" Dr. Lecter asked. "Nothing I know of that works, except wanting what I'm after." -- If profiling a serial killer and tracking him down--Harris establishes that as of 1988 there was no precedent for a female serial killer--wasn't hard, Starling has to manage the feelings of men she comes into contact with doing her job. Hospital administrator Dr. Chilton hits on Starling within a minute of her entering his office and when rebuffed, goes out of his way to make her work difficult. Noble Pilcher, entomologist at the Smithsonian Institute, asks Starling out while she's trying to determine why Buffalo Bill has inserted an insect pupa into his victims' throats. A sheriff's deputy tries to chat with Starling while she's searching Catherine Martin's apartment and she has to tell the lawman to hush in the sweetest way possible. These are all concerns Will Graham never had to deal with in Red Dragon. -- As thrillers go, the climax is sensational. (view spoiler) I love how Harris shoots through Starling's decision-making process on whether to find Jame Gumb, confirm that he's fled the house or help Catherine Martin out of the well in the basement. It's like an FBI Choose Your Own Adventure. -- Closing paragraph. Far to the east, on the Chesapeake shore, Orion stood high in the clear night, above a big old house, and a room where a fire is banked for the night, its light pulsing gently with the wind above the chimneys. On a large bed there are many quilts and on the quilts and under them are several large dogs. Additional mounds beneath the covers may or may not be Noble Pilcher, it is impossible to determine in the ambient light. But the face on the pillow, rosy in the firelight, is certainly that of Clarice Starling, and she sleeps deeply, sweetly, in the silence of the lambs. Perfect ending to the perfect novel. Length: 94,827 words

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fabian {Councillor}

    “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti." (Or, "a big amarone" as in the novel.) Thomas Harris's story of "The Silence of the Lambs" has always been a fascinating one for me, and I believe wholeheartedly that this is one of the most unique, most fascinating and most enthralling crime novels ever written (and rarely has any mystery/thriller been adapted to film so successfully). The 1991 film is one of my favorite films of all time, even though much of the praise must belong to “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti." (Or, "a big amarone" as in the novel.) Thomas Harris's story of "The Silence of the Lambs" has always been a fascinating one for me, and I believe wholeheartedly that this is one of the most unique, most fascinating and most enthralling crime novels ever written (and rarely has any mystery/thriller been adapted to film so successfully). The 1991 film is one of my favorite films of all time, even though much of the praise must belong to Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, both of whom commited dedicated and convincing performances to Jonathan Demme's adaptation. It has been more than half a year since I finally read this novel, but I don't think anything has had a similar impact on me ever since finishing the book. In general, one of the biggest problems I have with crime novels is that it is so easy for them to become procedural, to feel as if they were written according to a guide on how to write a crime novel. I have a lot of trouble relating to many of these novels, and even if the mystery is intriguing and keeps you turning the pages, it often comes at a disadvantages as characters, especially investigating ones, are in constant danger of remaining too shallow, too detached for the reader to really care about what ultimately happens to them. In Thomas Harris' novel, however, we have Clarice Starling, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Jack Crawford, Dr. Frederick Chilton, Buffalo Bill - all of them iconic and unforgettable characters in their own right. They become real persons between the binding holding together this book, and that's something many crime authors should always keep in mind while writing their novels, at least in my opinion. Of course, it's hard to judge this book on its own. Stories surrounding Hannibal Lecter have been covered through five films (Manhunter, The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising) and a very successful three-season TV series, and everyone has formed a different mindset about Hannibal. We may see him in the form of Brian Cox from Manhunter, Mads Mikkelsen from the TV series or Gaspard Ulliel from Hannibal Rising, but undoubtedly the man who shaped this character and made him the icon he is nowadays was Anthony Hopkins, so much that the American Film Institute even selected him as the Number One Villain of All Time. Reading a novel after seeing one or even several treatments of the source material by filmmakers has always been quite a challenge for me, as it generally became quite difficult to see the book in its own right without being overruled by images from the adaptations which have burned themselves into my mind, but in the case of Thomas Harris' novel, for me it just added to the pleasure of getting to know these characters and their unique fates. You may have realized that I don't even know what to write about the book anymore, to an extent that I started rambling about the different actors who portrayed this iconic character. That's simply because it left me speechless, even now, quite a long time after watching the movie and the TV show and just a few months after reading the novel. There is no doubt I will read "Red Dragon" and "Hannibal" as well (they are already resting on my shelves): just as there is no doubt that I can only assure everyone who hasn't read this yet that "The Silence of the Lambs" is the crime/thriller/mystery novel you were waiting for.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rahul Matthew

    Not many books to movie adaptations do justice, but this is definitely how you go about it.Love the slow build up of characters and although saw movie first. I am just going slow as I marvel at a well-written book.When a book asks you to take your time, you are absolutely thrilled. Not many books can command that kind of respect.The book is daring me to read another book, it quite confident that I will come back and remember it!!! Alright so I finished the thriller and it just made me so happy.No Not many books to movie adaptations do justice, but this is definitely how you go about it.Love the slow build up of characters and although saw movie first. I am just going slow as I marvel at a well-written book.When a book asks you to take your time, you are absolutely thrilled. Not many books can command that kind of respect.The book is daring me to read another book, it quite confident that I will come back and remember it!!! Alright so I finished the thriller and it just made me so happy.Now I am a tough cookie when it comes to movie adaptions and so many have failed either bookwise or as a movie.You have to give credit to the author for creating a villain you actually rooting for Hannibal Lector is half beauty(Intelligence, civility, his cussing doesn't irk you) and half beast(Cannibalistic in nature, psychopath).Clarisse Starling is strong female character yet Hannibal plays with her emotions and compliments him. I did not want to give any spoilers, rather you enjoy the thriller for yourself.But what makes a really good book-Well if it has the ability to make the movie in your head right!!So the book is asking me to rather than stay happy with the book.Who in your opinion can match this amazing individual?Well someone who can take him on an emotional ride.Well, none other than Sherlock Holmes. Now some people might disagree with me, but I will state my points.Sherlock(Loves a challenge, takes his opponent head on, not emotionally involved, mostly solves crimes and has a keen eye for detail).So an author who creates on these two characters would have a tough task.Both are strong characters in their respective fields of expertise!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    J. Kent Messum

    Unquestionably one of the best books ever written in the thriller genre. I'd call this required reading for anyone who enjoys, or wishes to write, popular fiction. I'm incredibly hesitant to call anything contemporary a "modern day masterpiece", but there are a handful of exceptions, and this offering from Thomas Harris is undoubtedly one of them. 'The Silence Of The Lambs' is one of the novels I teach in my ‘Writing Popular Fiction’ course at the University of Toronto, and for good reason: Well Unquestionably one of the best books ever written in the thriller genre. I'd call this required reading for anyone who enjoys, or wishes to write, popular fiction. I'm incredibly hesitant to call anything contemporary a "modern day masterpiece", but there are a handful of exceptions, and this offering from Thomas Harris is undoubtedly one of them. 'The Silence Of The Lambs' is one of the novels I teach in my ‘Writing Popular Fiction’ course at the University of Toronto, and for good reason: Well written, great plotting/pacing, fantastic complex characters, in-depth research, and excellent dialogue. Clarice Starling is one hell of a protagonist, and Hannibal Lecter is one of the greatest fictional villains in the history of literature (not to mention his pages run parallel to serial killer Buffalo Bill, yet another high-ranking antagonist in the catalogue of men who have become monsters). Harris' writing hits you in the heart, spears you in the gut, and raises the hairs on the back of your neck all too often. The insatiable hunger of human predators goes several shades darker in this masterpiece, pushing the envelope at all four corners until they tear. There is so much to experience, digest, and unpack in this novel that it is worth reading more than once. Personally, I've read it about half a dozen times. For an extra treat, listen to the audiobook narrated by none other than the great Kathy Bates. Her rendition of Hannibal The Cannibal will chill your blood.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    A serial killer called Buffalo Bill is abducting and skinning young women. When his latest victim turns out to be the daughter of a US Senator, the pressure’s on for the authorities to find her as there’s mere days until she’ll be killed. As a desperate last measure, FBI agent-in-training Clarice Starling is sent to speak with the one man who could lead them to Buffalo Bill in time to save the girl: the imprisoned serial killer Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter… I don’t know why I waited so lon A serial killer called Buffalo Bill is abducting and skinning young women. When his latest victim turns out to be the daughter of a US Senator, the pressure’s on for the authorities to find her as there’s mere days until she’ll be killed. As a desperate last measure, FBI agent-in-training Clarice Starling is sent to speak with the one man who could lead them to Buffalo Bill in time to save the girl: the imprisoned serial killer Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter… I don’t know why I waited so long to read anything by Thomas Harris as I’ve seen the movie adaptation of this book at least twice now and loved it each time. Likewise, Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs is fantastic! The characters are absolutely amazing. Hannibal is the star of course and every scene this dude was in was utterly electrifying to read. As immortal as Anthony Hopkins’ performance is, I like the literary Hannibal much more as I feel that there’s more time to really get to know the character’s depth and insidiousness in the book than in the snippets we get in the film. His cultured voice is striking, subtle and terrifying all at once, with a nuanced, unknowable personality to match - he’s undoubtedly a monster but so strangely likeable at the same time! Harris has created a character for the ages with Lecter - bravo, sir! Clarice is also a compelling and unique protagonist and I loved the silly side character of Dr Frederick Chilton too - his shallow and prideful personality made him an amusing foil for the likes of Starling and Lecter to rile against. Buffalo Bill was a remarkable villain - as disturbing and disturbed as someone who does what he does should be. Starling’s boss Jack Crawford was also a decent character though he got more space in the book than he really needed - his storyline about his dying wife didn’t really add anything and felt superfluous. Harris couples his brilliant characters with an equally-inspired cat-and-mouse story as Starling hunts Bill with Lecter watching on the sidelines. It’s an exciting, well-developed and gripping narrative that builds steadily and enjoyably. I didn’t like the more police-procedural aspects of the story - like when Clarice is autopsying one of Bill’s victims, or the discussion on moth varieties - as they felt very dry and boring, but I was mostly always entertained. The Silence of the Lambs is a superb crime thriller. First-rate writing, an imaginative story and a fascinating cast of characters - Thomas Harris’ novel is an instant classic.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    4.5 Stars I've seen the movie The Silence of the Lambs more times than I can count. I'd read this book back in High School and I like it but it didn't have real impact. Sometimes you have to read something more than once or be in a particular frame of mind. Upon my second reading of this book I loved it. Maybe its because I'm older or maybe its because I'm reading the series in order. I liked this book more than Red Dragon and I really liked that one. I still prefer Will Graham to Clarice Starlin 4.5 Stars I've seen the movie The Silence of the Lambs more times than I can count. I'd read this book back in High School and I like it but it didn't have real impact. Sometimes you have to read something more than once or be in a particular frame of mind. Upon my second reading of this book I loved it. Maybe its because I'm older or maybe its because I'm reading the series in order. I liked this book more than Red Dragon and I really liked that one. I still prefer Will Graham to Clarice Starling and I need more background on Jack Crawford. Maybe I'll get more Jack Crawford in the next book Hannibal. I'd say the main reason reason I liked this book more than Red Dragon was simple Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In Red Dragon he was a scene stealing B-Character but in this book he gets bumped up to second lead. Dr. Lecter is maybe in a 1/3 of the book but he makes his presence felt on every page. I have to admit I don't really get Buffalo Bill, I find him hilarious and I couldn't stop saying "It puts the lotion in the basket" a phrase from the movie not the book. I don't know if I need to recommend this book. I think everyone has heard of the movie and either you're interested or not. I'd say read it and then watch the movie or vice/versa. Popsugar 2018: A book made into a movie you've already seen.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    Retro review time! Loved the movie, so I read the book. Liked the book enough to look into other Thomas Harris books. Read Red Dragon. Fucking loved it. And then it was all downhill after that. Hannibal was okay. Never read Hannibal Rising, and it still holds zero draw for me. What I remember the most about Silence of the Lambs is Clarice catching some spunk to the eye. That, above all else, is my most striking memory from this book. What's worse than a surprise money shot? A surprise money shot f Retro review time! Loved the movie, so I read the book. Liked the book enough to look into other Thomas Harris books. Read Red Dragon. Fucking loved it. And then it was all downhill after that. Hannibal was okay. Never read Hannibal Rising, and it still holds zero draw for me. What I remember the most about Silence of the Lambs is Clarice catching some spunk to the eye. That, above all else, is my most striking memory from this book. What's worse than a surprise money shot? A surprise money shot from a psycho. Bleck! The ending is probably the best part. Nerve-shattering fun. Thomas Harris is so good he takes seven years to write a book. Donna Tartt and Marisha Pessl do the same. Stephen King said in On Writing that he (the next quote is paraphrased) couldn't understand why someone would only do something every seven years when they were so damn good at it. This has no bearing on this book, but I like purposeless trivia, so there you have it. In summation: I figured I'd go back and review all these titles I read before I joined Goodreads (or before Goodreads even existed) because I wanna. Truly, that's the only reason. Because I wanna. Final Judgment: Better than spunk in the eye.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    There’s a very good reason that this is the Hannibal Lecter novel that put Thomas Harris on the map. Red Dragon was good. The Silence of the Lambs is better. Harris takes everything he did well in the previous novel and fine-tunes it – we have a better killer, a more dramatic race against time, a more compelling protagonist, and of course, much more time with dear Dr. Lecter, who finally gets to take center stage after being little more than a cameo in Red Dragon. Unlike Francis Dolarhryde, Thom There’s a very good reason that this is the Hannibal Lecter novel that put Thomas Harris on the map. Red Dragon was good. The Silence of the Lambs is better. Harris takes everything he did well in the previous novel and fine-tunes it – we have a better killer, a more dramatic race against time, a more compelling protagonist, and of course, much more time with dear Dr. Lecter, who finally gets to take center stage after being little more than a cameo in Red Dragon. Unlike Francis Dolarhryde, Thomas Harris is not particularly concerned with the tragic backstory of Buffalo Bill, or interested in exploring his motivations. We get satisfying answers to both of those questions, of course, but this is not a book about Buffalo Bill. This is a story about Clarice Starling, and the dangerous quasi-partnership she cultivates with a serial killer in order to catch another serial killer. It’s also, brilliantly, a revealing look at how much of a daily struggle it is to be a woman in a male-dominated field. There’s a great moment early in the movie adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs where Starling gets into an elevator filled with her fellow FBI trainees, and we see Jodie Foster in a tight space surrounded by men who are all at least six inches taller than her. It’s a brief shot, and isn’t over-emphasized, but it tells us everything we need to know about what Starling’s daily routine is like. And the best part is that we don’t even get any obvious scenes of outright gender discrimination – just constant little things, in every single interaction Starling has with other characters. (Starling can’t escape even when she’s performing everyday, unexciting tasks – an errand to the Smithsonian ends with one of the scientists asking her out, and what’s especially funny is that Starling isn’t even mad that this guy couldn’t see her as an FBI agent first and a woman second, she’s just annoyed that he asked her out and not his cuter coworker) I’ll have to track down Hannibal soon, because I definitely need more Clarice Starling in my life. “We rarely get to prepare ourselves in meadows or on graveled walks; we do it on short notice in places without windows, hospital corridors, rooms like this lounge with its cracked plastic sofa and Cinzano ashtrays, where the café curtains cover blank concrete. In rooms like this, with so little time, we prepare our gestures, get them by heart so we can do them when we’re frightened in the face of Doom. Starling was old enough to know that; she didn’t let the room affect her. Starling walked up and down. She gestured to the air. ‘Hold on, girl,’ she said aloud. She said it to Catherine Martin and she said it to herself. ‘We’re better than this room. We’re better than this fucking place,’ she said aloud. ‘We’re better than wherever he’s got you. Help me. Help me. Help me.’ She thought for an instant of her late parents. She wondered if they would be ashamed of her now – just that question, not its pertinence, no qualifications – the way we always ask it. The answer was no, they would not be ashamed of her. She washed her face and went out into the hall.”

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    I need to get round reading this, whats put me off is that the movie has been played on the TV so many times now Clarice and Lecter are quite vivid in my mind. I am sure the book has lot more to offer as Harris is one of my high ranking thriller writers. Some trivia on the movie... Like "Casablanca", this movie contains a famous misquoted line: most people quote Lecter's famous "Good evening, Clarice" as "Hello, Clarice." This is not a misquote from the first movie but an actual quote from the s I need to get round reading this, whats put me off is that the movie has been played on the TV so many times now Clarice and Lecter are quite vivid in my mind. I am sure the book has lot more to offer as Harris is one of my high ranking thriller writers. Some trivia on the movie... Like "Casablanca", this movie contains a famous misquoted line: most people quote Lecter's famous "Good evening, Clarice" as "Hello, Clarice." This is not a misquote from the first movie but an actual quote from the sequel Hannibal. In Hannibal, when Dr. Lecter and Clarice (now played by Julianne Moore) speak on the phone for the first time, he does in fact say "Hello Clarice". This is the origin for the correctly quoted movie line. Buffalo Bill is the combination of three real life serial killers: Ed Gein, who skinned his victims; Ted Bundy, who used the cast on his hand as bait to make women get into his van; and Gary Heidnick, who kept women he kidnapped in a pit in his basement. Gein was only positively linked to two murders and suspected of two others. He gathered most of his materials not through murder, but grave-robbing. In the popular imagination, however, he remains a serial killer with uncounted victims.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

    What more is there to say about this wonderful book that spawned an amazing movie? Hannibal Lecter is the absolute monster: ruthless, above morals, and charming at the same time. The way he acts, the way he talks, he truly is a predator. He traps you in his web and there's nothing you can do about it. He's not beautiful, mind you. No body perfection, no sparkling in the sun, yet he's irresistible.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tristan

    “I collect church collapses, recreationally. Did you see the recent one in Sicily? Marvelous! The facade fell on sixty-five grandmothers at a special mass. Was that evil? If so, who did it? If he's up there, he just loves it, Officer Starling. Typhoid and swans - it all comes from the same place." - Hannibal Lecter There always lies a certain degree of tragedy in reading the source material after having seen (multiple times) its expertly executed film adaptation. Besides the revelation of the plot “I collect church collapses, recreationally. Did you see the recent one in Sicily? Marvelous! The facade fell on sixty-five grandmothers at a special mass. Was that evil? If so, who did it? If he's up there, he just loves it, Officer Starling. Typhoid and swans - it all comes from the same place." - Hannibal Lecter There always lies a certain degree of tragedy in reading the source material after having seen (multiple times) its expertly executed film adaptation. Besides the revelation of the plot, the resulting contamination makes it mighty difficult to come up with one's own, unique interpretations of the characters. It slightly spoils the reading experience, since the element of surprise, the freshness is all but gone. This is especially true for Thomas Harris' Silence of the Lambs, with its now iconic portrayals of Clarice Starling and Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter. As a thriller, it is by definition very much plot driven. For this reason, reading the book became more of a clinical procedure to me, trying to detect where there is a deviation in dialogue, which scenes were cut/expanded, which characters were more or less fleshed out, etc.. The viscerality which a novel of this type often aims to provoke, wasn't quite there as a result. I see why it's a very well-written thriller, but the emotional response just never quite managed to materialize. There was however a theme I spotted in this, which I strangely didn't pick up on before. After thinking it through, I found it's really a tale about parentship. More specifically, about which of the primary (almost archetypal) males in Starling's life at that time can claim her (an orphan) as his, which one has influenced, moulded her the most. First there is Crawford, the respectable, protective mentor figure, who tries to guide her through the pitfalls of her fledgling career in the FBI. Then we have Chilton. A rather sleazy, intellectually inferior asylum ward, who makes thinly veiled sexual advances towards Starling, and doesn't quite respect her in an official capacity. And finally, the fiendish Lecter, who seeks to corrupt (metaphorically devirginize?) her, to impart to her an esoteric knowledge about the inescapable darkness of the world and the human psyche. The dialogues between him and Starling are for that reason alone utterly fantastic. If this was my first encounter with Harris' world and characters, it most definitely would have been awarded a four or even five star rating. It truly is a great piece of crime thriller writing, and deserves all its praise. Unfortunately, it suffers from my early, intense exposure to the film adaptation, bringing the rating down a notch.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lightreads

    I'm assuming this book was once shocking and groundbreaking. And okay, yes, eww with the eating people and the skinning. But also? Shut the fuck up, Thomas Harris. There are few things more obnoxious than a male author with a hard-on for his female protagonist. Worth reading for Hannibal the Cannibal, because I dig that abnormal psychology stuff, but did I mention the objectification? The sexism? The way the reader is never allowed to forget about gender? How every male she meets falls for the he I'm assuming this book was once shocking and groundbreaking. And okay, yes, eww with the eating people and the skinning. But also? Shut the fuck up, Thomas Harris. There are few things more obnoxious than a male author with a hard-on for his female protagonist. Worth reading for Hannibal the Cannibal, because I dig that abnormal psychology stuff, but did I mention the objectification? The sexism? The way the reader is never allowed to forget about gender? How every male she meets falls for the heroin? Yeah, as it turns out, the unnamed and hovering Harris narrator is by far the most hateful and creepy personality around, and that's including the aforementioned cannibal.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: 'Be very careful with Hannibal Lecter. Dr Chilton, the head of the mental hospital, will go over the physical procedure you use to deal with him. Don't deviate from it. Do not deviate from it one iota for any reason. If Lecter talks to you at all, he'll just be trying to find out about you. It's the kind of curiosity that makes a snake look in a bird's nest. We both know you have to back-and-forth a little in interviews, but you tell him no specifics about yourself. You don’t want any o EXCERPT: 'Be very careful with Hannibal Lecter. Dr Chilton, the head of the mental hospital, will go over the physical procedure you use to deal with him. Don't deviate from it. Do not deviate from it one iota for any reason. If Lecter talks to you at all, he'll just be trying to find out about you. It's the kind of curiosity that makes a snake look in a bird's nest. We both know you have to back-and-forth a little in interviews, but you tell him no specifics about yourself. You don’t want any of your personal facts in his head. You know what he did to Will Graham.' 'I read about it when it happened.' 'He gutted Will with a linoleum knife when Will caught up with him. It's a wonder Will didn't die. Remember the Red Dragon? Lecter turned Francis Dolarhyde onto Will and his family. Will's face looks like a damned Picasso drew him, thanks to Lecter. He tore a nurse up in the Asylum. Do your job, just don't ever forget what he is.' 'And what's that? Do you know?' ABOUT THIS BOOK: There's a killer on the loose who knows that beauty is only skin deep, and a trainee investigator who's trying to save her own hide. The only man that can help is locked in an asylum. But he's willing to put a brave face on — if it will help him escape. MY THOUGHTS: This was a re-read for me. I have lost count of how many times I have read and enjoyed this book. Every so often I take it off the shelf, put it on my bedside table and dip into it, savouring each bite. The movie is good, damned good, but the book is better. If you haven’t read this yet, I recommend you start with Red Dragon. If you have, pick it up for a re-read. Enjoy. . . All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    Click the above image to check out the lamb-related commercial that's ignited a worldwide firestorm of controversy. Poles, Danes and vegans are just three of the most outraged groups. Don't miss YOUR chance to post a few angry tweets and maybe sign an online petition complaining about those insensitive, inappropriate, politically incorrect Australians!

  25. 5 out of 5

    F

    Loved

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    Another re-read of Silence of the Lambs, this time my favorite. Maybe it's because I'm more into the story and read them in the order of sequence and not popularity, I'm not sure, but this time around I found it even more fascinating than the first meet. Clarice is a likeable character. Her background melding with who she wants to be is an admirable one. She's given the chance of a lifetime, handed out by a man she admires, to step her foot firmly into the FBI. Without meaning to, she's sucked in Another re-read of Silence of the Lambs, this time my favorite. Maybe it's because I'm more into the story and read them in the order of sequence and not popularity, I'm not sure, but this time around I found it even more fascinating than the first meet. Clarice is a likeable character. Her background melding with who she wants to be is an admirable one. She's given the chance of a lifetime, handed out by a man she admires, to step her foot firmly into the FBI. Without meaning to, she's sucked into the world of Hannibal Lecter, who spurs her on to uncover clues and solve the mystery of the serial killer the media calls Buffalo Bill. Her determination mixed with fragile ego was a realistic blend, and her internal backward insults when talking to people who don't give her enough credit was downright amusing. The character of Hannibal Lecter is larger than life, written so well on the pages I can see him clearly as the writer takes him through the motions. With class and culture, manners but enjoying cruelty with his words, the madman is interesting as he both torments Clarice and forces her to self-reveal. The heart of the book is their verbal warplay, the cautious pauses on her behalf, the strategic maneuvering on his. I'm surprised how much I felt for Crawford in this one; I think before he fell in the shadows and I didn't pay as much notice. He's an intriguing character from his haunting moments with his ailing wife, his detached involvement with Hannibal, to his almost paternal bond of Clarice. As a serial killer, Jame Gumb is twisted. Monstrous in mind and disgusting with actions, he absorbs just enough page time to be interesting but not enough to make it too much about him, to take the focus off the more fascinating areas of this book. And the escape with Hannibal is a tense, intelligently created one. With books like Hannibal Rising, I sometimes found Harris too dry and to the point, but here in Silence he shines, obviously having a lot of enthusiasm to make a multi-layered, psychologically twisted work - the combining of such different people already in various forms of power to those just coming into their own. I tried watching the movie again recently but turned it off after about 20 minutes. Too soon and I already missed some of the depth in dialogue the book held.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    The book is so, so much better than the movie, but I didn't like the direction this story line went after this. Yes, have compassion for Hannibal, and the trauma of his childhood, but he is a vile murderer. He did not limit his killing spree to equally vile people. Sorry, I just couldn't buy the twist. Still, an engrossing read, and I still give it 4 stars. (I read this years and years ago, when I still read this genre. Now, I avoid them as much as I can. Stay on the light side. These serial kil The book is so, so much better than the movie, but I didn't like the direction this story line went after this. Yes, have compassion for Hannibal, and the trauma of his childhood, but he is a vile murderer. He did not limit his killing spree to equally vile people. Sorry, I just couldn't buy the twist. Still, an engrossing read, and I still give it 4 stars. (I read this years and years ago, when I still read this genre. Now, I avoid them as much as I can. Stay on the light side. These serial killer books are way too dark for me now.)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    After reading The Silence of the Lambs it’s easy to see why it became so imbedded into popular culture. There must be very few people around that haven’t heard of Hannibal Lecter. From Clarice Starling’s fragile inexperience to Hannibal Lacter’s suave superior demonic intellect and fragile, but driven, Jack Crawford. This makes Silence of The Lambs an unbelievable experience. A sociopathic maniac is abducting young women, of a larger size, and skinning them. Hannibal Lecter seems to have the answer After reading The Silence of the Lambs it’s easy to see why it became so imbedded into popular culture. There must be very few people around that haven’t heard of Hannibal Lecter. From Clarice Starling’s fragile inexperience to Hannibal Lacter’s suave superior demonic intellect and fragile, but driven, Jack Crawford. This makes Silence of The Lambs an unbelievable experience. A sociopathic maniac is abducting young women, of a larger size, and skinning them. Hannibal Lecter seems to have the answers to his apprehension. Hannibal is incarcerated in prison for the criminally insane and if he is going to help he wants something in return. Clarice Starling, young, inexperienced and fragile is sent, by Jack Crawford, to negotiate with Lecter. But instead of Clarice interviewing Lecter, Lecter interviews Clarice. The interview is enough to make your skin crawl, let alone Clarice’s. The madman, dubbed Buffalo Bill, has just taken a new victim, a senator’s daughter, and this is the last straw for the FBI, this has to end now. In an effort to get information from Lecter the senator promises to give Lecter what ever he wants. Big mistake. Lecter uses this opportunity to escape, mutilating a few people in the process. Clarice and Jack have to make do with the little they got from Lecter before his escape. They have four days to find Buffalo Bill or it will be too late for the senator’s daughter. This is high tension reading, though not for the squeamish. 5/5 Highly recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Book Riot Community

    I re-watched the movie early this month and decided to take a look at the book that spawned what is possible the most perfect crime movie of all time. The book did not disappoint. If anything, it’s even better than the movie. There is very little difference beteen the two plot-wise, though there are simplifications. The book’s prose is as haunting and eerie as the movie. This is one of those books that I can’t imagine people giving less than five stars, it’s just pure quality through and through I re-watched the movie early this month and decided to take a look at the book that spawned what is possible the most perfect crime movie of all time. The book did not disappoint. If anything, it’s even better than the movie. There is very little difference beteen the two plot-wise, though there are simplifications. The book’s prose is as haunting and eerie as the movie. This is one of those books that I can’t imagine people giving less than five stars, it’s just pure quality through and through. The version of the book I have begins with an interesting look at how the character of Hannibal Lecter came to be, and provides an interesting look at where writers’ ideas come from. Amazing movie, amazing book. — Johann Thorsson from The Best Books We Read In April 2017: http://bookriot.com/2017/05/01/riot-r...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    After reading Red Dragon - the first in the Hannibal Lecter series - a few months ago, I've been dying to sink my teeth into (no pun intended) The Silence of the Lambs for a good while now. The film adaptation starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins is one of my favourite films of all time, and so I was already familiar with the storyline, but that didn't stop me becoming absolutely hooked with this novel. Harris's prose is incredibly readable, even more so I would say in this particular book - After reading Red Dragon - the first in the Hannibal Lecter series - a few months ago, I've been dying to sink my teeth into (no pun intended) The Silence of the Lambs for a good while now. The film adaptation starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins is one of my favourite films of all time, and so I was already familiar with the storyline, but that didn't stop me becoming absolutely hooked with this novel. Harris's prose is incredibly readable, even more so I would say in this particular book - unlike Red Dragon, I didn't have any issues getting used to the writing style and the characters with this one. This is probably because I've now already read one Harris book, and also because I was already familiar with Jack Crawford (from the previous book) and had prior knowledge of Clarice Starling from the film. I also found that this book was much faster in its pacing than its predecessor, and there was less exposition as a result. Within around 10 chapters we were already at an autopsy, and I loved seeing the investigation into Buffalo Bill and his victims unfold through Clarice's eyes. Not only was it great reading about a female protagonist, but it was great to have those lighter moments throughout the novel when Clarice interacts with another female friend who she is studying and living with. I also much prefer the antagonist of this book, Jame Gumb/Buffalo Bill, to Francis Dolarhyde from Red Dragon. Although Dolarhyde was an interesting character to read about, and we did get a lot more from him, I find Gumb to be a far more bizarre and fascinating serial killer to read about. The comparisons that can be drawn between Gumb and other real-life serial killers like Ed Gein is incredibly fascinating to me, and the kills are a great deal more theatrical - maybe not great for those with a weak stomach, but much more interesting to read about for me. I will say that Harris's writing is great up until the conclusions - in the same way that the ending to Red Dragon was rushed and a little anticlimactic, this one felt a bit like that too. Although I can't fault it too much for this - it's definitely not as easy to build tension on a page as it is in a movie with the help of visuals and music, but at the same time, the book winds up quite quickly and not as well as I felt it was portrayed in the movie. The ending however does slightly more satisfying closing chapters than the previous book, especially in relation to certain characters, which is fun to read. I think I prefer this book mainly because I prefer Clarice Starling as a protagonist to Will Graham. I also love that we see a lot more of Hannibal Lecter himself in this book, and he feels like much more of a central character than just a creepy, interesting aside. I look forward to getting my hands on Hannibal, where I can spend a lot more time with his character and hopefully delve deeper into his psyche as he's a brilliant creation. Overall though, Silence of the Lambs was a thoroughly entertaining and fast-paced read, and one I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of crime fiction, whether you've seen the film or not.

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