Lorna's Reviews > The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
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Mar 01, 11

Read from February 18 to March 01, 2011

A few gripes with head-hopping and shifting between past and present tense, but otherwise an engrossing novel. Excellent characterization, description of settings, and research into the criminal mind.

Good job on show, not tell. One example: FBI Trainee Clarice Starling visited a home during an investigation. "Everywhere boxes stacked waist high, filling the rooms, passageways among them, cardboard cartons filled with lampshades and canning lids, picnic hampers, back numbers of Reader's Digest and National Geographic, thick old tennis rackets, bed linens, a case of dartboards, fiber car-seat covers in a fifties plaid with the intense smell of mouse pee.". The owner of the home told Starling they were moving soon. The next paragraph simply says: "The stuff near the windows was bleached by the sun, the boxes stacked for years bellied with age, the random rugs worn bare in paths through the rooms."

A less experienced author may have chosen that paragraph to say, "It was obvious to Starling they weren't moving at all, but merely pack-rats." Instead, the author painted a clearer picture in the mind of the reader so the reader knew it wasn't true without being told.

A page turner to the end, though a warning on strong language.
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Reading Progress

02/18/2011 page 5
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