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The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  387,558 Ratings  ·  4,366 Reviews
A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname—Buffalo Bill—is stalking women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the Bureau's Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannib ...more
Paperback, 421 pages
Published May 7th 2009 by Arrow (first published 1988)
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Popular Answered Questions
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)
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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ana
 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
...more
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 “Hello..
...more
Martine
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
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 w
...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, b
...more
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
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
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 happy.No
...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 se
...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 f
...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 Starlin
...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
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 o ...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 he
...more
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 plot
...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 through ...more
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!
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 19, 2010 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
...more
Jonathan Janz
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like the Coen Brothers were for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, the folks behind the film adaptation of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS were smart enough to recognize genius when they encountered it. And like NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is a movie that lives up to its amazing source material. It's no wonder they are numbers three and two, respectively, on my list of favorite suspense films. If you're wondering about my first, it's JAWS, a movie that far exceeds the novel from which it was ...more
Vanessa
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading Red Dragon - the first in the Hannibal Lecter series - a few months ago, I've been dying to sink my teeth into (no pun intended) The Silence of the Lambs for a good while now. The film adaptation starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins is one of my favourite films of all time, and so I was already familiar with the storyline, but that didn't stop me becoming absolutely hooked with this novel.

Harris's prose is incredibly readable, even more so I would say in this particular book -
...more
Willow
Jun 09, 2012 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
...more
Pablo Aguirre
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excelente estructura atrapante para mostrar esta historia de crimen psicológico
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
...more
*TANYA*
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book!!!
Srividya
Mar 19, 2014 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
...more
Jonathan Dunsky
Nov 10, 2012 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
...more
Anushka
MUST READ.
MUST READ.
MUST FREAKIN' READ.


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.

A-M-A-ZZZZ-I-N-G.

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

5 Stars!
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.
Melissa Chung
Silence of the Lambs is the sequel to Red Dragon in the Hannibal series. I have this book 5 stars because it was just so good.

Growing up I didn't know Silence of the Lambs was a book. I've seen the movie starring Jodi Foster a handful of times and enjoyed it. Anthony Hopkins is a great Hannibal Lector. Now that I've read the book I can say the movie is a great adaptation. I of course will have to rewatch the movie with fresh eyes to spot any differences, especially since I haven't seen the movi
...more
Cody | codysbookshelf
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
As I said in my review of Red Dragon, I’m one of the only people on Goodreads who, until now, hadn’t read Thomas Harris’s novels about that infamous cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. I’ve never seen the movie adaptations, either. Seriously.

So I don’t think it’s prudent I rehash this book’s plot; you know it. I will say I’ve been totally blindsided by how much I’ve fallen in love with Hannibal as a character. I’m obsessed. This dude oozes swagger. He sends ice through my veins. This novel featured h
...more
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Will there be another Hannibal book? 46 1057 Apr 06, 2018 10:03PM  
Do you like Clarice Starling ? (from book) 14 138 Mar 12, 2018 11:38AM  
UCAS English 10 H...: January reading report 1 3 Jan 16, 2018 03:18PM  
Books Like Silence of the Lambs? 4 43 Nov 09, 2017 05:22PM  
Literary License ...: Silence of the Lambs coming in September 2 6 Sep 26, 2017 02:10AM  
Around the Year i...: The Silence of The Lambs, by Thomas Harris 2 11 Sep 15, 2017 01:28PM  
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4,153 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
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.” 443 likes
“Nothing made me happen. I happened.” 302 likes
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