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The Silence of the Lambs Hardcover – 17 Apr 1989

4.7 out of 5 stars 235 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 17 Apr 1989
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd; First edition edition (17 April 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434313467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434313464
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 468,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘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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By A Customer on 5 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book just after finishing The Silence Of The Lambs. I didn't get what I was expecting, I got something better. I was hoping for a bit more of Hannibal Lecter in this book. He is only in it every now and again. The story does not revolve around him, this is not a bad thing because the story is utter genius. The plot involves an FBI agent who is asked to help catch one more killer before he returns to his family. The killer in question is The Tooth Fairy, he butchers entire families. This is easily the equal of The Silence Of The Lambs. Contrary to most peoples opinions this book has in fact been made into a film already. The fantastic Manhunter was made in the 80's but plans are set to remake it entitled Red Dragon. Get this book, love it, then watch the film.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So, here we have the inevitable paperback re-issue of Thomas Harris' incredible original Hannibal Lecter novel from 1981, Red Dragon.
This particular re-release is of course to coincide with the imminent release of the big budget movie adaptation in the cinema, and Sir Anthony Hopkins' face now adorns the cover (although this will be different on the USA re-issue cover)
The novel itself should need no introduction. Despite the huge success of it's sequels - The Silence of the Lambs (SOTL) and Hannibal, Red Dragon remains Harris' finest book to date, although in fairness I have not read his first novel which was Black Sunday. However, that story did not feature Dr. Hannibal Lecter - he made his debut in this serial killer thriller.
Unlike SOTL and Hannibal, The Good Doctor spends all of his time safely behind bars in Red Dragon. This will be a turn off to fans of the other books I suspect, but the important thing to remember is that Hannibal has only a small part in this story. A crucial role, of course, but nevertheless his "on-screen" time (as it were) is very small indeed. This was accurately reflected by Michael Mann in his 1986 movie adaptation - "Manhunter" (where Brian Cox played Lecter), but I suspect that due to the casting of Hopkins for Red Dragon, this will change for the new movie version. More flashbacks are likely to feature, including Lecter's original capture I suspect.
The strength of Red Dragon is not really the introduction of Dr. Lecter in my opinion. The story has two other characters who are far more interesting, namely retired FBI investigator Will Graham and serial killer lunatic Francis Dolarhyde. Graham was the man who actually managed to put Lecter behind bars (respect!).
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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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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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