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Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter) Paperback – April 1, 2009
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
In this thrillingly effective follow-up to Harris's masterful 1981 suspense novel Red Dragon, the heroine is new, but the villain isn't: Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the evil genius who played a small but crucial role in the earlier novel, returns, to mesmerizing effect. When a serial killer known as Buffalo Bill (he kidnaps, slays and skins young women) begins a crosscountry rampage, FBI trainee Clarice Starling tries to interview Lecter, a psychiatrist whose brilliant insights into the criminally insane are matched only by his bloodlusthe's currently imprisoned for nine murders, and would like nothing more than the chance to kill again. Lecter, a vicious gamesman, will offer clues to the murderer's pattern only in exchange for information about Clarice, analyzing her with horrible accuracy from the barest details. When Bill strikes again, the agent begins to realize that Lecter may know much more, and races against time and two twisted minds. Harris understands the crafting of literary terror as very few writers do; readers who put themselves in his good, coldblooded hands will lose sleep, and demand a sequel. 200,000 first printing; $200,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.75
Character Rating: 4.25
Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: The Silence of the Lambs was a reread for me. However it was the first time I have listened to it--EXCELLENT!
Story Thoughts: I love the Hannibal Lecter series though it has been a long time since I originally read this series. These are still probably some of my favorite thrillers. I wasn't worried about them losing magic on the reread because this is probably my 6th or 7th time reading them. However, listening to them on audiobook was a new experience and I enjoyed it. I had forgotten how creepy, brilliant, and downright spooky Harris' writing could make me feel. From the methodical way that Starling tracked down the killer to the brilliant way Lecter manipulated the situation--I was enthralled even though I knew how it played out. You just can't beat good rhythm in a thriller and Harris has it! LOVED IT!
Character Thoughts: I know you are looking at my character rating and wondering why it isn't higher. To be honest, if I was basing it on Lecter and Starling it would be a 5 straight across the board. However, I usually base part of the character rating in thrillers on the "bad" guy. Buffalo Bill was only interesting because Lecter made him interesting. He just wasn't all that compelling to me and I felt so much more could have been done to give him a personality. He kind of got lost in the brilliance that was Starling and Lecter but I felt he could have been so much more!
Narrated By Frank Muller/ Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
I was worried about picking this up in audio after having read it so many times and seeing the movie. However, Frank did an EXCELLENT job bringing the characters of The Silence of the Lambs to life through his narration. His pacing, timing, and creepy factor were just right for this series. The only voice that took awhile to get used to was Starling but after I got there, it was excellent.
Final Thoughts: This is on my series reread list for this year!
Two families have been murdered in separate cities, drawing the FBI into a manhunt. Will Graham is an investigator who briefly worked with the bureau, until a run-in with the inimitable Hannibal Lecter left him near death and unwilling to pursue America’s monsters any further. Content to spend his days peacefully in Florida, Graham wants to decline to the invitation to track down another psychopath, but the brutality of the killings, and the certainty of future victims, force him to join the task force seeking the killer who soon becomes known as the Red Dragon.
The villain in this story is the best kind - the terrifying, intelligent, and hauntingly human kind. With the stakes mounting and the tension becoming almost unbearable in its knuckle-biting swiftness, the plot hurtles toward an uncertain conclusion. The fact that the novel’s most famous character, Hannibal Lecter, is merely a sideshow in this macabre carnival is a testament to how riveting and excellent RED DRAGON is.
Call my review hyperbole. Call it another bit of overheated cant from a Harris fanboy. But read the book. If your pulse remains at a resting heart rate, seek medical attention immediately.
RED DRAGON is an eloquent, gripping contribution to American Literature (and yes, that is a capital L).