Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Silence of the Lambs” as Want to Read:
The Silence of the Lambs
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Silence of the Lambs

(Hannibal Lecter #2)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  420,176 ratings  ·  5,160 reviews
AT LARGE
A PSYCHOTIC SERIAL KILLER WHO FLAYST THE BODIES OF HIS VICTIMS

LOCKED AWAY
A HOMICIDAL GENIUS IN AN ASYLUM FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE

THE GO-BETWEEN
A YOUNG FBI TRAINEE WHO MUST DEAL WITH ONE TO STOP THE OTHER
--back cover
Paperback, Movie Tie-In Edition (UK/AUST/NZ), 352 pages
Published 1991 by Mandarin (first published 1988)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Silence of the Lambs, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tim It isn't strictly required to understand and enjoy this, but here's my advice: If the reason you want to read Silence of the Lambs first is you plan…moreIt isn't strictly required to understand and enjoy this, but here's my advice: If the reason you want to read Silence of the Lambs first is you plan to skip Red Dragon, don't. Silence of the Lambs does a few things better and is more refined, but Red Dragon is more raw, and all the more interesting for it. They're both roughly on par in terms of pure enjoyment, I liked Red Dragon maybe slightly more but then again there's a reason Silence of the Lambs is more famous, it's more mainstream. So I definitely recommend reading both. You sound like you plan to read both. If that's the case, read Red Dragon first. That way you'll already know a little bit about Hannibal and be accustomed to Harris's slightly unusual but enjoyable style.
So no, I'd never really recommend reading Silence of the Lambs first.(less)
Karl -- Most of the lambs I have encountered are quite noisy and have nothing but baaaad things to discuss. I found the silent ones refreshing. aLso Lamb…more-- Most of the lambs I have encountered are quite noisy and have nothing but baaaad things to discuss. I found the silent ones refreshing. aLso Lamb is tasty with a good Chianti and a side of fava beans when cooked properly. -- (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  420,176 ratings  ·  5,160 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Silence of the Lambs
Mort
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Why?
Many years from now, historians will look back on this story and wonder why it was so important. And believe me, my friends, important it was. Today, most thrillers and police procedurals gets measured against it.
For this review, I will refer to TSOTL as the story, because I'm going to talk about the book, movie, facts, fiction and some of my own opinions.

TSOTL was the second Dr. Hannibal Lector story. It was also the second movie adaptation - wait just a damn moment, you might be saying to
...more
Kat
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
an odd case in which the book is not better than the movie. in fact, it is much worse.
Stephen
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 “
...more
Martine
Jul 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
3.5 STARS

"Be very careful with Hannibal Lector. Dr. Chilton, the head of the mental hospital, will go over the physical procedure you use to deal with him. Don't deviate from it. Do not deviate from it one iota for any reason... We both know you have to back-and-forth a little in interviews, but you tell him no specifics about yourself. You don't want any of your personal facts in his head."

description

Bet you thought I was never going to write this review, huh? ;) Well, it turns out I just needed a good
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Silence of the lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2), Thomas Harris (1940)
The Silence of the Lambs is a novel by Thomas Harris. First published in 1988, it is the sequel to Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon. Both novels feature the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, this time pitted against FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling. Its film adaptation directed by Jonathan Demme was released in 1991 to box office success and critical acclaim. Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, is asked to carry
...more
RedemptionDenied
4.5

Loved the movie. Loved the book. The Kindle edition is slightly, tainted, with numbers, sporadically-interweaved into the text - which I assume, judging by the percentage I was currently on (when the numbers appeared) - is the actual page number. No biggie. Just a bit jarring, as my edition of the novel had location numbering at the bottom. Don't know why they do that - but, whatever.

I'm impressed by how close the movie is to the source material, just like Manhunter was to the Red Dragon
...more
Ginger
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 STARS!! Full review up.
This was fantastic!!


I went into The Silence of the Lambs hesitant that this book would not be as great as the movie, OR I wouldn't be able to get the movie characters out of my head.
You see, I’ve seen The Silence of the Lambs 3 to 4 times in my life and I know the plot too well. I've loved the movie since the first time I watched it!
The movie came out in 1991 but I didn't watch it until I was 17, in 1995. I'm glad I waited because the nightmares would have sucked at age
...more
Darth J
Apr 01, 2013 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
...more
Jess☺️
The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris is book 2 of the Hannibal Lector series this time with another twisted psychopath Buffalo Bill and let's not forget Dr Chilton (he's just as bad as these two )
This book is more disturbing than the first,moths and skin suit is all that needs to be said.
It doesn't matter how many times you've seen this film this book is always going to be 10X better it gives you that nervous anticipation feeling whilst your hanging off the edge of your seat screaming 'come
...more
Alejandro
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books and film too!


This is the second novel in the "Hannibal Lecter" book series.


GAME CHANGER

Back then, in 1991, I didn't know that Silence of the Lambs had been first a book, and even less that it was actually the second book in the literary series, but...

...I knew that the film adaptation became, in an instant, one of my all-time favorite films. A game changer indeed that swept away with the 5 most respected awards by the Academy (best film, best script, best director,
...more
Joe Valdez
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Editor's Note: I'm reposting this review because my original posted on May 9 has been infested with fake "likes." Some of you have also accumulated suspicious follows and likes beginning in late April. These are accounts created in April, May or June 2019 and feature western user names, "China" as the location, 0 friends, 0 books (or close to 0) and no profile photo.

Goodreads has notified me that these are "real people." Thanks for nothing, Goodreads. I've blocked hundreds of these accounts and
...more
Fabian {Councillor}
“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

(Or, "a big amarone" as in the novel.)
Thomas Harris's story of "The Silence of the Lambs" has always been a fascinating one for me, and I believe wholeheartedly that this is one of the most unique, most fascinating and most enthralling crime novels ever written (and rarely has any mystery/thriller been adapted to film so successfully). The 1991 film is one of my favorite films of all time, even though much of the praise must belong to
...more
Rahul Matthew
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Not many books to movie adaptations do justice, but this is definitely how you go about it.Love the slow build up of characters and although saw movie first. I am just going slow as I marvel at a well-written book.When a book asks you to take your time, you are absolutely thrilled. Not many books can command that kind of respect.The book is daring me to read another book, it quite confident that I will come back and remember it!!!
Alright so I finished the thriller and it just made me so
...more
J. Kent Messum
Unquestionably one of the best books ever written in the thriller genre. I'd call this required reading for anyone who enjoys, or wishes to write, popular fiction. I'm incredibly hesitant to call anything contemporary a "modern day masterpiece", but there are a handful of exceptions, and this offering from Thomas Harris is undoubtedly one of them.

'The Silence Of The Lambs' is one of the novels I teach in my ‘Writing Popular Fiction’ course at the University of Toronto, and for good reason: Well
...more
Sam Quixote
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A serial killer called Buffalo Bill is abducting and skinning young women. When his latest victim turns out to be the daughter of a US Senator, the pressure’s on for the authorities to find her as there’s mere days until she’ll be killed. As a desperate last measure, FBI agent-in-training Clarice Starling is sent to speak with the one man who could lead them to Buffalo Bill in time to save the girl: the imprisoned serial killer Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter…

I don’t know why I waited so
...more
Madeline
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s a very good reason that this is the Hannibal Lecter novel that put Thomas Harris on the map. Red Dragon was good. The Silence of the Lambs is better. Harris takes everything he did well in the previous novel and fine-tunes it – we have a better killer, a more dramatic race against time, a more compelling protagonist, and of course, much more time with dear Dr. Lecter, who finally gets to take center stage after being little more than a cameo in Red Dragon. Unlike Francis Dolarhryde, ...more
Erin
4.5 Stars

I've seen the movie The Silence of the Lambs more times than I can count. I'd read this book back in High School and I like it but it didn't have real impact. Sometimes you have to read something more than once or be in a particular frame of mind.

Upon my second reading of this book I loved it. Maybe its because I'm older or maybe its because I'm reading the series in order. I liked this book more than Red Dragon and I really liked that one. I still prefer Will Graham to Clarice
...more
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
...more
Lou
Photobucket
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
...more
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
description

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.

description
Tristan
“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
...more
Lightreads
Dec 27, 2008 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
...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'Be very careful with Hannibal Lecter. Dr Chilton, the head of the mental hospital, will go over the physical procedure you use to deal with him. Don't deviate from it. Do not deviate from it one iota for any reason. If Lecter talks to you at all, he'll just be trying to find out about you. It's the kind of curiosity that makes a snake look in a bird's nest. We both know you have to back-and-forth a little in interviews, but you tell him no specifics about yourself. You don’t want any ...more
F
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, usa, seen-movie
Loved
Manny
Jan 11, 2016 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!
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
...more
Susan's Reviews
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is so, so much better than the movie, but I didn't like the direction this story line went after this. Yes, have compassion for Hannibal, and the trauma of his childhood, but he is a vile murderer. He did not limit his killing spree to equally vile people. Sorry, I just couldn't buy the twist. Still, an engrossing read, and I still give it 4 stars. (I read this years and years ago, when I still read this genre. Now, I avoid them as much as I can. Stay on the light side. These serial ...more
Rob
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-thrillers
After reading The Silence of the Lambs it’s easy to see why it became so imbedded into popular culture.
There must be very few people around that haven’t heard of Hannibal Lecter.
From Clarice Starling’s fragile inexperience to Hannibal Lacter’s suave superior demonic intellect and fragile, but driven, Jack Crawford. This makes Silence of The Lambs an unbelievable experience.

A sociopathic maniac is abducting young women, of a larger size, and skinning them. Hannibal Lecter seems to have the
...more
Book Riot Community
I re-watched the movie early this month and decided to take a look at the book that spawned what is possible the most perfect crime movie of all time. The book did not disappoint. If anything, it’s even better than the movie. There is very little difference beteen the two plot-wise, though there are simplifications. The book’s prose is as haunting and eerie as the movie. This is one of those books that I can’t imagine people giving less than five stars, it’s just pure quality through and ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Underground Knowl...: Real life incidents of cannibalism 7 17 Oct 14, 2019 04:19PM  
Will there be another Hannibal book? 54 1103 Jul 05, 2019 07:40PM  
Discuss the book and Hannibal Lecter 3 9 Mar 17, 2019 12:16PM  
Best ever 3 14 Jan 01, 2019 08:40AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Shining (The Shining, #1)
  • The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1)
  • Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1)
  • It
  • Misery
  • A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1)
  • The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3)
  • The Exorcist
  • The Amityville Horror
  • The Stand: Captain Trips
  • Carrie
  • The Pelican Brief
  • The Firm
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
  • Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)
  • Digital Fortress
  • The Client
  • Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)
See similar books…
5,138 followers
Librarian Note:
There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. This is Thomas^^Harris


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
...more

Other books in the series

Hannibal Lecter (4 books)
  • Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1)
  • Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter, #3)
  • Hannibal Rising (Hannibal Lecter, #4)
“When the Fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin', but not to help.” 475 likes
“Nothing made me happen. I happened.” 321 likes
More quotes…