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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One word... WOW!
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...
Published on 29 Nov 2005

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It's alright
To be perfectly honest, I think I built this book up after hearing so much about it and it being a bestseller and everything. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Red Dragon, so I was very excited to read this, but the killer isn't half as complex and interesting. Hannibal Lecter himself isn't exciting as I was expecting him to be (he wasn't mentioned much in...
Published 9 months ago by Rebekah-May


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One word... WOW!, 29 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars There are thrillers and there are thrillers., 4 Jun 2003
This review is from: The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, But You've Just Got to Read It to Get Some of the Good Stuff, 18 Jan 2012
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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. Furthermore, serial killers were new to us then; the genre is still remarkably popular, judging by the countless rip-offs of it since. Finally, a lot of the story deals with gruesome material, but the forensics are still fresh, and it's always leavened by the author's black humor.

Harris created two of the most memorable characters in modern fiction in Lector and Starling. The author has an acute ear for dialogue: who doesn't believe the Lector/Starling duets? At another point, Harris has Barney, sole knowledgeable orderly in the mental hospital where Lector has been held, say to Starling," Listen, when you get Buffalo Bill -- don't bring him to me just because I got a vacancy, all right?"

The writer's eye and ear serve him well. He describes a character's car as "a black Buick with a De Paul University sticker on the back window. His weight gave the Buick a slight list to the left." He describes Clarice's thoughts: "Sometimes Crawford's (her boss's) tone reminded Starling of the know-it-all caterpillar in Lewis Carroll." Early in the book, he has Starling driving back to FBI headquarters at Quantico, "back to Behavioral Sciences, with its homey brown-checked curtains and its gray files full of hell. She sat there into the evening, after the last secretary had left, cranking through the Lector microfilm. The contrary old viewer glowed like a jack-o'-lantern in the darkened room...." Sorry, but ya just gotta read the book to get this stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 21 Sep 2000
By A Customer
When you read "The Silence of the Lambs" or hear about the book, you probably start immediately to remember some scenes from the movie starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. The movie comes pretty damn close! And it's rare that a movie follows the plot of a novel so closely.
It is difficult to write something about a story that is so well known, basically by its adaptation for the screen, which has been buried under a heap of Academy Awards. Like many others, "The Silence of the Lambs" proves the fact that the book is always better than the movie.
Clarice Starling is an FBI trainee. The FBI's chief of Behavioral Science has called on her to help solve a serial murder case. She must interview Dr. Hannibal ("the Cannibal") Lector, a psychiatrist jailed for killing and eating various patients, to get inside the mind of Buffalo Bill, a serial killer on the loose. Starling becomes close to Lector who helps her discover how to find Buffalo Bill, and how to find closure in her personal life.
"The Silence of the Lambs" is simply a superb, electrifying book. What a writer Thomas Harris is and what a character the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lector is. With Dr. Lector, Harris makes you look at the face of evil, and stare!
This book sets the standard in psychological terror. If you haven't seen the movie yet, read the novel first, then see the characters brought to life brilliantly by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. I thoroughly enjoyed the two principal characters Dr. Hannibal Lector and Clarice Starling. And I look forward to Hannibal. I wish more novels were like this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!, 19 Jan 2007
By 
A reader! (Jersey, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter) (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 way...........im 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense, Fright, Humor, this book has it all!, 31 Dec 1997
By A Customer
This is the first sequel I have ever read, that was better than the predecessor. Harris' portrayl of Clarice Sterling, and the ever-mysterious Hannible Lector kept me up all night. Never before has a book captivated my attention for as long as Silence of the Lambs. Some may be afraid to read the book, fearing it will be too intense. To these readers I say: Hodgeposh! Silence of the Lambs is a masterpiece. With every sentence litereally tying into the next, and every turn of the page a surprise; no reader can say they have read a book, until they have read this. The award-winning film did an excellent job mimicking this book, but the book succeeds in wraping the reader into a hypomotized state, like no other book has before. Pick up this book and prepare for a long night, for it will be hard to go to sleep without finding out what the mysterious Buffalo Bill will do next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secondly, well done, indeed., 2 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I read this book years ago, and was absorbed by it then. I'm about to reread it now because I've recently read Red Dragon and Hannibal, and want to go back with the dual advantages of hindsight and foresight. What a lovely treat this will be.
I remember several things about this book: how cinematic it was, especially the butterfly scene; how fascinating the characters were; and how chilling Lecter's raw violence was when unleashed. Then I saw the movie, and was delighted by the actors' interpretation of the characters, the butterfly scene, and how nicely the movie followed the book in portraying the violence. It can be good to know when to look away.
Do read this if you haven't. Harris manipulates both his words and his readers with rare mastery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book setting the standards, 6 Sep 2001
By A Customer
"Silence" is probably the serial killer book against which all similar novels must be put up (and, sadly, once this is done most fail miserably). An intense story with brilliantly developed characters is intertwined with a vast amount of allegories (probably some accidental) and symbolism as Harris's last good book exerts its fear by stimulating the reader's mind rather than offering it all in a silver platter (Mr. James Patterson, take heed). Not one for those who do not like to think while reading, then. The plot is well-researched and there are enough hints and little details to send you reeling into the psychological chaos of what is essentially one of the masterpieces of modern literature. The only problem I found in there (as in all the other of Harris's books) is that the author is so keen to tell us how much he hates Christianity and Christians in general, that he sacrifices his best character's image: Despite being a genius and extremely well-versed into classical studies and philosophy, Dr. Lecter's arguments against the existence of God are on the level of a five-year old little kid. So, God doesn't exist and Christians are stupid, vile hypocrites because bad things happen in the world. Right.
If you can ignore this little problem (although it lies at the core of Lecter's behaviour and philosophy) that becomes worse in "Hannibal", the book is one you shouldn't miss. Enjoy with or without the wine (Amarone in the book, Chianti in the film. At least they left the fava beans intact. Go figure).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After 3000 books this one is still my favourite, 4 Feb 2014
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A fully realised work of imagination with well rounded characters, a colourful plot that keeps you galloping and a detached writing style that provokes absorption rather than repulsion. After 10 reads over 25 years, it's still the only book I've read more than once, Pride and Prejudice excepted. It's the novel against which all crime thrillers can be measured.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in Show, 24 Sep 2013
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Red Dragon: dull.
Hannibal: disgusting.
Silence of the Lambs: best thriller ever.

Eight more words required. Four more. Two more.
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The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter)
The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter) by Thomas Harris (Paperback - 8 Aug 2002)
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