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Silence of the Lambs 1ST Edition Hardcover – 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
What many don't realize is that all good story follows form, and when a good writer breaks form, they do it with intention. I myself initially railed against the idea of studying story structure, fearing this would lead to formulaic writing, however, there is a big difference between form and formula. Form creates the armature around which a work is shaped; anyone who understands the structure of poetry can attest to this. Coyne demonstrates, through the example of Silence of the Lambs, how Harris followed good story form - but in genuinely fresh ways. And that? Is the difference between an artist and a hack.
Such an excellent read, both for pure enjoyment and for studying writing craftsmanship, if you're so inclined.
Two cities of the Deep South – Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia – are shaken to their roots by grisly murders that appear to be the work of a serial killer. In each city, in the middle of a night with a full moon, an unknown intruder breaks into the home of an affluent family and viciously tortures, mutilates, and kills each family member, paying singularly savage attention to the women. He uses mirrors as part of his killing ritual.
Former FBI profiler Will Graham very reluctantly agrees to come out of medical retirement to help solve the cases, before the killer strikes again at next full moon. Previously, Graham had caught the infamous Hannibal Lecter, who had very nearly killed Graham during his arrest. Graham asks Lecter, who is confined to a state institution for the criminally insane, to help him identify clues to the serial killer’s identity. Lecter agrees, but only to further his own sadistically deranged agenda…
Meanwhile, the killer, who has been nicknamed “The Tooth Fairy” by a particularly odious, scandal-mongering tabloid newspaper, continues planning his next crime. He has already identified his next victims from home movies and photos he has seen of them. But he puts his plans on hold – at least for a while – when he becomes intimately involved with Reba McClane, a blind young woman who works in the same place he does…
Those who have seen either of the movies that are based upon this book will notice that Harris’s novel “Red Dragon” is much richer and more detailed than either film. Although both films retain the same basic plot structure, they do alter many characters and plot points for the sake of dramatic effect. As good as the movies are, the book upon which they are based is even better.
Although perhaps not quite as good as Harris’s later “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Red Dragon” is nevertheless an excellent novel that will thrill, horrify, and entertain. Highly recommended.
This one set the standard for the modern serial killer thriller novel and it's a great book. Granted, Silence of the Lambs is a better book, but this one is great.
All that said, Hannibal was so horrid I cannot bring myself to think about it. I never even read the last installment because I was so sad over the loss of good story telling that was foisted upon me with the third installment of the Hannibal series.
Oddly, Harris didn't write Hannibal Lector as a character he meant to repeat, he states in the foreword of this edition of Red Dragon that he didn't even know Dr. Lector would show up in Silence until he'd started writing it.
Amazing, seeing as how popular the character ended up becoming. While part of that can be attributed to the great performance of Anthony Hopkins in the film adaption, it's hardly the only reason. He is a fantastically written character in the first two books.
If you haven't read Silence of the Lambs yet, I'd suggest reading this one first, although it's not necessary to follow and understand the story.
I must say I'm extremely satisfied with the book in all possible ways. Based on how tight it felt it was obvious it had never even been read before, which is a rare sort of luxury that's hard to get even in bookstores. It came in perfect conditions, not even a single stain of any kind, no traceable damage, nothing wrong.
The Silence of the Lambs was a major page-turner and a succulent read, and that's the very least I can say. The pacing is magnificent, the prose is very simple while maintaining a sophisticated vocabulary and being profound like few others have managed. Truly an engrossing story from beginning to end. It is different to some degree to the movie, for example, Dr. Lecter behaves more sophisticated in the novel than in the book and the dialogue is simply exquisite to read over and over again. There was not a single moment I could go without reading it without thinking about it. Thomas Harris really surpassed himself by a lot compared to Red Dragon, though I must say that I liked the killer in Red Dragon a lot more than the one we see in The Silence of the Lambs. However, we get more Dr. Lecter than we do in Red Dragon, which surpasses both killers by plenty.
I very strongly recommend this book from this seller. I am so satisfied I would dare buy it again because truly, this is one rare luxury.