The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

Book - 2013
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"A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nick name--Buffalo Bill--is stalking particular women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the bureau's behavioral science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and grisly killer now kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Lecter's insight into the minds of murderers could help track and capture Buffalo Bill"--Page 2 of cover.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : St. Martin's Griffin, 2013
Edition: 2nd St. Martin's Griffin ed
ISBN: 9781250048097
1250048095
9780312022822
0312022824
9780312195267
0312195265
9780312924584
0312924585
9780613280655
0613280652
Branch Call Number: F Harris
Characteristics: xviii, 338 pages ;,21 cm

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gmoney83
Aug 24, 2019

5 stars - great book for people who like psychological thrillers.

I saw the movie first (which is great all around). The book dives more into the drives and back stories of the main characters. Some people will critique the book as boring or the characers as too unrealistic. Most of use will never meet serial killers, they exist to us as what we see on the news or the occasional documentary. I have never meet a serial killer, but Buffalo Bill creeped me out and I can see there being someone that crazy.
What makes this story so great is the relationships between the characters. Buffalo Bill sees women as something to skin so he can make his women suit. Dr. Lector has a fascination with FBI agent Clarice Starling. The cannibal has to be an intellectual, otherwise the conversations between him and an FBI agent would be pointless. There is also a sub plot about how Dr. Lector is abused by one of the staff members at the mental hospital he is at.
I do not remember if this quote is from the book, but I do remember it from the movie
Hannibal Lector is talking to the mother of one of the girls who is a kidnap victim of Buffalo Bill.
"When your little girl is on the slab, where will it tickle you"?

l
lunabookworm55
Jun 25, 2019

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

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

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avocadotree
Dec 14, 2017

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

m
mintyhoof
Nov 17, 2017

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

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seeker472
Mar 24, 2017

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

a
alicat1
Jan 15, 2017

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

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sherlocksmoothie
Jun 23, 2016

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

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Dtrasler
Mar 21, 2015

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

athompson10 Feb 04, 2015

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

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Quotes

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gmoney83
Sep 06, 2019

Dr. Lector, while in restraints is talking to a woman (she is a senator I believe) and the mother of a girl who was kidnapped by Buffalo Bill and still alive.
Dr. Lector - Did you breast feed your daughter?
Woman - what?
Dr. Lector, toughned your nipples didn't it? When a man loses his leg, he can still feel it tickle him. When your little girl is in the slab, where will it tickle you?

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gmoney83
Aug 24, 2019

Dr. Lector speaking to a woman who happens to be both a politician and the mother of a girl who was kidnapped by serial killer Buffalo Bill. (not verbatim, but close to it)
"Did you breast feed your daughter, toughed your nipples didn't it? When a man has his leg cut off, he can still feel it tickle him. When your little girl is on the slab, where will it tickle you?"

s
SpasticGod
Mar 08, 2016

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

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Salemfalls
Dec 24, 2008

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

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icerider
Jun 30, 2008

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

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