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The Silence of the Lambs Paperback – 5 Apr 1990

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Paperback, 5 Apr 1990
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New edition edition (5 April 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074930054X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749300548
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.4 x 11.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 928,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

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

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


‘A snapshot from hell’ -- Rolling Stone

‘The best book I’ve read in a very long time… subtle, horrific and splendid’ -- Roald Dahl

‘Thrillers don’t come any better than this… razor-sharp entertainment, beautifully constructed and brilliantly written’ -- Clive Barker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
Ok, before I write my opinion on this book, I have to admit something slightly embarrassing first. Deep breath….I love trashy psychological thrillers! However, this is certainly not a trashy book, whatsoever. As a young reader (I was about 14 when I first read this), I was in the lucky position of not seeing the film first. Yes, it is a great movie. Yes, Jodie Foster makes a great Clarice Starling, and yes, it does not deviate from the book too much. However, there is so much more information included in the novel that simply cannot be materialised into a film (do you know the chemical formula for bilirubin?).
I will not bore everybody with the plot, I’m sure the world and his dog has seen the famous ‘liver and Chianti’ scene, and many more besides, but if you have not read this book yet – read it now! Thomas Harris is the most superb, underrated author of modern times, and I find it difficult to choose which of his novels is the greatest. For those of you who have seen the movie adaptations of ‘Red Dragon’ and, more depressingly, ‘Hannibal’; do not be put off from reading these works of art.
I realise I am gushing far too much about Harris’ brilliance, but that is how reading his novels make me feel! Although my view is slightly biased, ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ offers everything required for a great book – thrilling, page-turning suspense that leaves you hungry for more and feeling like you have actually learned something when you finally put it down. I am now waiting with baited breath in the hope that Thomas Harris will write more about Hannibal’s past ‘meals’, and satisfy my hunger!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Daniel T. on 4 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
We all know about Hannibal Lecter, the infamous antagonist of Harris' trilogy due to the success of the movie adaptation of this book. Our introduction to the leads is short and precise. Harris knew exactly what he wanted to create when he sat in front of his word processor and began writing this terrificly terrifying novel about serial killers. There is no time nor pages wasted running around just to fill space. I have undertaken a writing course and the main lesson that I learned was that every word should earn its space on the page, and Harris definitely uses every word to its maximum. He sets the pace from the off and we join Clarice Starling as she is introduced to the most infamous serial killer of all time in a high security prison for the insane. From there the ride begins!
If you are fortunate enough to not know anything about this book order it now and enjoy as I did and many millions of others have. If you have only seen the equally outstanding film, buy this book and read an author at the pinicle of his career. Mr Harris, I salute you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Thomas Harris's "The Silence of the Lambs," a bone-chilling thriller, was an immediate hit upon its 1988 publication. Now, more than twenty years later, most of us inevitably approach, or reapproach, it knowing something about it; with the famous movie based on it firmly in mind. Yet, I, at least, had to fight off the temptation to stay up all night to finish it, although I surely knew where it was going.

Harris, to be sure, writes a great, tense story of suspense. He'd already published Black Sunday, and Red Dragon, where we were first introduced to Dr. Hannibal Lector. LAMBS' story, we know, concerns the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigations to catch a serial killer nicknamed Buffalo Bill. The agency sends trainee Clarice Starling to interview Dr. Hannibal Lector, former psychiatrist, imprisoned in a Baltimore insane asylum, after having been found guilty of nine sadistic, cannibalistic murders. Lector has unusual tastes, and intense curiosity about the darker side of the mind. The formerly eminent medical man's understanding of himself, Starling, and the killer forms the core of the book.

LAMBS benefits from a complex, multi-layered plot. As it proceeds, we realize that Lector knew all along where it had to lead. The author's timing is impeccable: he hits his high notes, then gives us a moment to unwind. We hardly dare breathe during the Lector/Starling Tennessee scenes -- we're waiting with dread for what we know will come; when it does, it's overwhelming. The plot's also titillating, let's be honest about it, sex change operations and all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A reader! on 19 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
I am 15 and after reading this book can think of no other word to describe it other than this-phenomenal. Could hardly put it down, its so exciting with stories and characters that you really get involved with!!! You really REALLY want to know what happens and i could hardly stop myself from turning to the end just to find out what happens. WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!! READ IT-you don't know what you are missing!

Also, i havent seen the film, so.............if that sways your judgement in any happy to help!!!

I really hope there is going to be another one coming out after hannibal rising (that i am reading at the moment!!!!) I love it so much!

ALSO-dont be put off because i said i was 15, because occasionly even i am when i see someone has put that!

In conclusion, find yourself a free few weekends and weekday evening and read all of the hannibal books; you WONT be dissapointed!
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