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The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  351,965 Ratings  ·  3,561 Reviews
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 cl ...more
Paperback, 421 pages
Published May 7th 2009 by Arrow (first published 1988)
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Reagan Nelson It's almost as if the novels are separate. There's very little reference to Red Dragon in Silence of the Lambs. I read them in chronological order of…moreIt's almost as if the novels are separate. There's very little reference to Red Dragon in Silence of the Lambs. I read them in chronological order of publication, but you could read either independently. (less)
Margaret A, Boucher I haven't read any of the books. But I don't think it matters if you haven't read the Dragon one. And to the person who said that she liked Julian…moreI haven't read any of the books. But I don't think it matters if you haven't read the Dragon one. And to the person who said that she liked Julian Moore better than Jody Foster you have it all wrong I couldn't watch the second movie because Julian is just Bad I had to stop watching it So boring and slow.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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♕Miss A♕
 photo d217207cbb10582aad8765b8b369d297_zpsovnxbjoh.jpg

It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.

This line will be forever etched in my memory! So creepy. And yet so memorable.

The Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite movies, by the way. It is a movie that I find deeply fascinating (I promise I'm not a serial killer). It never fails to give me chills. It's scary because it's realistic. Some the events of the film actually happened in real life. The novel is no less brilliant than the movie. Thomas Harris spent years res
CONTENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Out of respect for Thomas Harris’s superb novel, I have decided that no pictures of ANTHONY HOPKINS will appear in this review. Thank you for your understanding.

4.0 to 4.5 stars. Another one of those terrific situations where I saw the movie first (and loved it) and then eventually decided to read the book... and loved it too. Score!!! Now assuming that most people not suffering from the after-effects of severe head trauma know the basic plot concerning FBI trainee “Hello..
Call me a freak, but I have a bit of a crush on Hannibal Lecter. He may be the scariest fuck out there (certainly scarier than the supposed monster of the book, Buffalo Bill), but he just oozes style and knowledge. In fact, he has so much style and knowledge that he doesn't come off as a ridiculous prick when he says things like, 'A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone'* or 'Can you smell his sweat? That peculiar goatish odour is trans-3- ...more
Darth J
Oct 29, 2015 Darth J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series

So, I read these books out of order. I started with Hannibal (which gives better background and fleshes out the character of Lecter much more than the mess that was Hannibal Rising), then read Red Dragon and finally this one. Can I just say that I love Clarice Starling? I just have such a deep respect and admiration for her (also, Jodie why didn't you come back for the sequel?? I mean, Moore was great but I don't like a break in continuity, nor do I like how they changed the ending of Hannibal w
I need to get round reading this, whats put me off is that the movie has been played on the TV so many times now Clarice and Lecter are quite vivid in my mind. I am sure the book has lot more to offer as Harris is one of my high ranking thriller writers.
Some trivia on the movie...
Like "Casablanca", this movie contains a famous misquoted line: most people quote Lecter's famous "Good evening, Clarice" as "Hello, Clarice." This is not a misquote from the first movie but an actual quote from the se
Edward Lorn
Retro review time!

Loved the movie, so I read the book. Liked the book enough to look into other Thomas Harris books. Read Red Dragon. Fucking loved it. And then it was all downhill after that. Hannibal was okay. Never read Hannibal Rising, and it still holds zero draw for me.

What I remember the most about Silence of the Lambs is Clarice catching some spunk to the eye. That, above all else, is my most striking memory from this book. What's worse than a surprise money shot? A surprise money shot f
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

What more is there to say about this wonderful book that spawned an amazing movie?

Hannibal Lecter is the absolute monster: ruthless, above morals, and charming at the same time. The way he acts, the way he talks, he truly is a predator. He traps you in his web and there's nothing you can do about it.
He's not beautiful, mind you. No body perfection, no sparkling in the sun, yet he's irresistible.

Dec 27, 2008 Lightreads rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, horror
I'm assuming this book was once shocking and groundbreaking. And okay, yes, eww with the eating people and the skinning. But also? Shut the fuck up, Thomas Harris. There are few things more obnoxious than a male author with a hard-on for his female protagonist. Worth reading for Hannibal the Cannibal, because I dig that abnormal psychology stuff, but did I mention the objectification? The sexism? The way the reader is never allowed to forget
about gender? How every male she meets falls for the he
“I collect church collapses, recreationally. Did you see the recent one in Sicily? Marvelous! The facade fell on sixty-five grandmothers at a special mass. Was that evil? If so, who did it? If he's up there, he just loves it, Officer Starling. Typhoid and swans - it all comes from the same place."
- Hannibal Lecter

There always lies a certain degree of tragedy in reading the source material after having seen (multiple times) its expertly executed film adaptation. Besides the revelation of the plot
Jan 11, 2016 Manny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Click the above image to check out the lamb-related commercial that's ignited a worldwide firestorm of controversy. Poles, Danes and vegans are just three of the most outraged groups. Don't miss YOUR chance to post a few angry tweets and maybe sign an online petition complaining about those insensitive, inappropriate, politically incorrect Australians!
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 23, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can smell your cunt!

Imagine if you are a woman and you are alone walking in a dark hallway of a solitary confinement in a hospital for criminally insane. You are about to meet a serial killer who eats his victims' brain, sweetbreads, liver, etc. Then after meeting that killer, you hear that same man again saying I sliced my wrist so I can bleed, watch me die! and you feel splatters of liquid on your face that you thought to be blood, only to realize that it is semen.

I saw the book's movie ad
Jack Jordan
A great book and a great film. In this instance, I'd actually recommend watching the film first, as Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Dr Lecter is so good that you'll want to think of his performance as you read the book; I certainly did, anyway.
Jul 29, 2016 Willow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG I loved this book! What is wrong with me? Lol

I really did though. What can I say? Yes, it’s grim and grisly. Harris likes to go into creepy detail about skinning people, disturbing bugs, and the ickiness of finding a severed head in a jar. It’s not gore galore though. It more disturbing than a gross, and that’s why I liked it. Buffalo Bill is making this gruesome outfit and he thinks about it like he’s some kind of runway designer. It’s kind of oddly and darkly funny.

I had forgotten a lot of

This book blew my brains away!
Even though I had seen the movie long back before reading the book, it still got to me. I loved it. If there is someone in this world who loves horror/thriller and hasn't read it yet should first, smack them self on the head and then go to their nearest bookstore or order this book online and start reading it the minute they get it. Totally worth it.


I'm out of words, just...just read it, guys!

5 Stars!
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
Another re-read of Silence of the Lambs, this time my favorite. Maybe it's because I'm more into the story and read them in the order of sequence and not popularity, I'm not sure, but this time around I found it even more fascinating than the first meet.

Clarice is a likeable character. Her background melding with who she wants to be is an admirable one. She's given the chance of a lifetime, handed out by a man she admires, to step her foot firmly into the FBI. Without meaning to, she's sucked in
Jan 19, 2016 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, horror

A mixed bag overall with parts that really shine through (those parts all contain Hannibal Lector) and parts which drag. Even though its years since I last saw this movie it still holds quite fresh in the memory but the bits which really come to the forefront of my memory are those with Sir Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Lector. Maybe this is no coincidence as he nailed that performance but also the source material for him to use was pretty damn good. So much so that the rest of the novel sort of
Jonathan Dunsky
Nov 10, 2012 Jonathan Dunsky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best thrillers I've ever read, perhaps the best. This book is exceptionally written and maintains suspense throughout its 400 pages.

There are many reasons why this book is so good:

1. You have two villains, instead of the usual one. Both are intriguing, frightening, inhuman.

2. Hannibal Lecter is one of the greatest villains ever created. The talks he has with the protagonist are mesmerizing.

3. Clarice Starling is a great hero, troubled and flawed, but not in any cliche manner.

4. No lov
Raeden Zen
Jun 18, 2014 Raeden Zen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Addictive, Disgusting, Brilliant Suspense Thriller

The Silence of the Lambs tells the story of FBI student Clarice Starling and her work with Jack Crawford, the head of Behavioral Science, the FBI division that deals with serial murder, to find serial killer "Buffalo Bill." He sends her on what seems a harmless errand, to present a questionnaire to one Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter, and with this the chase for Buffalo Bill is on. The conflict and themes are varied, the dialogue is genuine, t
Val ⚓️ Shameless & Bitchy Skanky ⚓️ Steamy Reads Mrs. Danvers-Tate-Snow
Oct 15, 2014 Val ⚓️ Shameless & Bitchy Skanky ⚓️ Steamy Reads Mrs. Danvers-Tate-Snow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Val ⚓️ Shameless & Bitchy Skanky ⚓️ Steamy Reads by: Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Shelves: horror, 5-stars
Being that this is an older, ridiculously famous book, it doesn't need a review. Especially not from little ole me. This book was part of my challenge my comfort zone list.

I will say that I found it very interesting that it is on both the "The BOOK was better than the MOVIE" and "The MOVIE was better than the BOOK" lists.

I don't know that I preferred either/ was kind of cool to read a book and have faint images of the movie in my head as well. I really enjoyed the psychological aspects
Franco  Santos
Buen libro. En algunos momentos se me hizo un poco pesado, en especial en el inicio, sin embargo, a medida que las páginas pasaban la historia se tornaba más amena y entretenida.

El personaje de Hannibal Lecter es una de las creaciones más interesantes y brillantes de la literatura. Es, creo yo, el mayor atractivo de la novela. Aun así, me hubiera gustado que Harris se centre más en Lecter; en las partes en las que él tenía protagonismo mi atención estaba inherente al relato.
Oct 13, 2016 Haifa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Me being a biased reader is an understatement. The thing is: I saw the movie first, and so, Anthony Hopkins' deep gaze will forever be engraved in my mind as that of Hannibal Lecter's (note my off-the-charts fascination with the character)

In a nutshell:
- The plot line is steady and engaging, yet the build-up of 400 pages is rushed in a downfall of two hurried ones.
- I didn't like the writing style, it was very frustrating, to say the least.
- The sexism in this one, argh *rolls eyes*
- I wishe
Dec 28, 2015 Srividya rated it it was amazing
What can I say about this book that hasn't been already said! I believe I am one of those last ones to have read this book. And before anyone asks, No - I haven't seen the film either! Although, I have been told, multiple times by everyone close to me, including my husband that I should watch it for Sir Anthony Hopkins. Well, maybe another day, when I am not so chicken about watching movies in this genre.

Coming back to the book - it was perfection in complete! I couldn't find fault with it and n
Mike (the Paladin)
A creep fest or gore fest that I read some time ago. I was into "audio books" in my work vehicle at the time, listening to books between jobs and on my commute rather than the radio....I listened to this book. Was I crazy or something?

I've never read anything else by Harris. My wife was the "horror" fan (and no matter what genre this book gets placed in officially it really belongs with horror). She "read, Red Dragon" (read that out loud and it sounds a bit odd...."read Red"? Oh well just a whim
Jul 28, 2016 Shandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 4.5 stars.

Not quite as good as Red Dragon, but it was close!!! I think I have pinpointed why I felt it wasn't as good. In Dragon, you get more character development of the murderer. This book strays from that theme and focuses more on other characters. I get the switch in focus because the series is about Hannibal, after all.
Johann Coetzer
Ok here we go with a decent review.

I have seen the movie itself quite a few times, mostly because of Anthony Hopkins and it is a very good movie to watch.
Now the book, the book was first published in 1988 and the movie did stay quite true to the book and that does not happen quite often.
If you have seen the movie, and most have, you will not miss much by not reading the book.
The book does fill in a few holes that is in the movie but they are so minute.

This book is a really good read, if you can
Apr 16, 2014 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book reminds me that truly excellent and heart-felt works of literature can come out of the mystery field. It was a great deal better than Red Dragon, imho, and it really holds its own in both subtlety and panache. There are many good reasons why the story is iconic, but I'm slowly realizing that the whole anti-hero aspect of it might not be the best part. Perhaps I'm just getting older and less fanboyish, or perhaps I just like to see a well-rounded tale make a full circle in my head. Eith ...more
Aug 01, 2016 Dimitris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Όταν είχα διαβάσει τον Κόκκινο Δράκο δεν είχα ενθουσιαστεί ιδιαίτερα, αν και δε με κούρασε σαν ιστορία, και είχα ελπίσει να έχω καλύτερη χημεία με τη Σιωπή των Αμνών. Πράγματι είχα. Αυτό το βιβλίο το απόλαυσα και με το παραπάνω. Η παρουσίαση των χαρακτήρων ήταν πολύ καλή και η ιστορία είχε ροή χωρίς κοιλιά. Ένα πράγμα που απόλαυσα επίσης πολύ ήταν οι συζητήσεις του δρ. Λέκτερ με την κεντρική χαρακτήρα της ιστορίας, και τέλος το πώς ο τίτλος της ιστορίας βρίσκει τη θέση του μέσα στην ιστορία είνα ...more
Aug 12, 2016 Ona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016reads
I fall in love with the whole story all over again. Also, I loved that Clarice is a great and strong female character. Starling/Lecter dialogue scenes were so powerful (even scary at times).
Truly fantastic.
Samaya Young
The Silence of the Lambs

I found myself a little disappointed when reading this much spoken of story, of which I enjoyed the motion picture. This usually isn’t the case. In the past when, reading the true origin of a movie, The Book, it tended to add to the experience, and at times be even better.
Regretfully this wasn’t the case with this particular novel. I found the writing style lacking a flow that would have allowed me to be swept along with the story, and that is a terrible pity; so many pro
Aug 05, 2015 Axolotl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished Red Dragon a few days before completing this. I found that there are a few retreads for those who--in the wake of the blockbuster movie--didn't read Dragon first. Though these do tend to jar somewhat, I felt that, overall, this novel is an amplification of what Harris managed to achieve in the previous one.
This is crime-writing perfection and Harris is, quite obviously, a perfectionist. The Silence of the Lambs is absolutely riveting from beginning to end and will hold even those who
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Thomas Harris began his writing career covering crime in the United States and Mexico, and was a reporter and editor for the Associated Press in New York City. His first novel, Black Sunday, was printed in 1975, followed by Red Dragon in 1981, The Silence of the Lambs in 1988, Hannibal in 1999, and Hannibal Rising in 2006.
More about Thomas Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Hannibal Lecter (4 books)
  • Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1)
  • Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter #3)
  • Hannibal Rising (Hannibal Lecter, #4)

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“When the Fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin', but not to help.” 395 likes
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