The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter Series #2) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter Series #2) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

by Thomas Harris


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As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames "Buffalo Bill," FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him.

That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of The Silence of the Lambs—an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613280655
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 02/28/1991
Series: Hannibal Lecter Series , #2
Pages: 367
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Thomas Harris is the author of Red Dragon and Black Sunday, both national bestsellers.


Sag Harbor, New York, and Miami Beach, Florida

Date of Birth:

April 11, 1940

Place of Birth:

Jackson, Tennessee


B.A., Baylor University, 1964

What People are Saying About This

Joyce Millman

Clarice Starling has been as imitated within the thriller genre as Lecter. Consider her influence on The X-Files, for example; without Clarice, there'd be no Agent Scully, or at least no Agent Scully so wise or -- and this is the thing -- so good....Thomas Harris, former newspaperman, current recluse/thriller-writing genius, treats Clarice with exquisite tenderness and respect. Take the name, for instance, a piquant blend of clarity and radiance and scrappy little bird. Clarice has survived a childhood of poverty and abandonment, and with economy and grace, Harris shows us her determination to maintain her hard-won confidence in the face of every creep and bureaucratic obstacle that comes her way.

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The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter Series #2) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 244 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Probably the best book i have ever read. Nice and suspensful with a large handful of creepy. It is an interesting way to look at criminal profiling from the view of Agent Clarice Starling. A great book to read in the middle of the night. Highly recommend. The movie is really good also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This tale set the standard, and made Thomas Harris the standard-bearer of a new type of 'genre', if we must catagorize it, the edge-of-your-seat excitement novel which was at once a thriller, horror story, suspense novel, psychological drama, police/crime story, being none and all of these at the same time. Mr. Harris has created for us two of the most memorable characters in all of fiction of any description or from any country. It is this trilogy, and this tale in particular, that makes me sad for the people who have only seen the films, even as good as they are, and as brilliant as the performances of Sir Anthony, Jodie Foster, and Julianne Moore are. What I mean is the incredible three-dimensionality of both characters. They are not just the two-dimensional boogieman and the (generically used term) pure-blooded hero with spotless life and thoughts, and nothing but aye-jay-squared-away in thoughts, words, and deeds. These are two people, both suffering from the mental pain of their past tragedies, who have gone in opposite directions in their lives. Strangely enough (and this is, admittedly, pure opinion on my part) they are both on the same mission. S/A Starling hunts a killer who operates under his own private code; a vigilante hunting down ghosts because those he truly would delight in killing are, in all probability, long gone. Starling is a green but gifted investigator whose talents her senior, SAC Jack Crawford, eagerly makes use of, mostly because he has seen them before. Then there is Starling herself, who seems at first to be determined to feel what society says she should feel - dread, fear, loathing. The Doctor appears to follow his own established path of grab 'em, make applesauce of their minds, and drop them in a convenient gutter. Both of them are taken by surprise; their collaboration works so very well in tracking down the perp of a terrible series of crimes, but their minds also meet on a higher plane neither has experienced before. The doctor learns great respect for this 'kid' and her rapier that is quite capable of meeting his stroke for stroke. The investigator finds an admitted killer, but also what she didn't expect, and which is so perfectly portrayed in that first glimpse of Anthony Hopkins in the film. A soft-spoken, cultured gentleman who can cut you with a word, he is honorable when he realizes that here is another mind sharp enough to parry his most personal slashes at her self-esteem, and her ethics are strong enough to fend off the less-honorable who tempt her to betray a trust because that trust comes from 'the monster.' Ultimately, Starling's greatest sin is to walk away from this encounter intact, memtally and physically, and (horror of horrors!) is actually stronger and more confident for having done so. I will wager any amount or item in one soundly confident prediction: this tale, and these characters will stand the test of time alongside the characters of Jane Ayre, Treasure Island, In Cold Blood and Poe's 'Murders of the Rue Morgue' in the storied history of fictional crime. Paul Krendler's real-life portrayer in 'Hannibal' said in an interview around the tenth anniversary of 'Silence' on the movie screen that he was so amazed that people were doing doctoral dissertations on SOTL and the whole Starling-Lecter phenomenon. I'm not. Not one bit. Hi from Texas and happy reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely amazing. The details are unbelievable, the characters are realistic, and it's a good thriller. I enjoyed it immensly and recomend to any one! This is a must read classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is about a young FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, ¿teaming up¿ with a man in complete isolation who is known best for his psychiatric career, as well as his habit of murdering and ingesting his victims. With advice from this observant criminal, Starling is able to catch a dangerous serial murderer and rescue a young woman from what was sure to be her awful demise. This novel was a great and somewhat challenging read. I give it 5 stars for the outstanding vocabulary that filled my mind with pictures as I read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How could I give this any less than five stars? Read it in just one day because I simply couldn't put it down. Now, I want to read it a second time to savor it. I read this before I read Red Dragon, but it didn't make Red Dragon any less great when I then read it. I don't give five stars to many books, but this one rates it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Silence of the Lambs is as well written as it is grisly and macabre. Harris describes Lecter's character and persona with diligence and madness. Starling's learned but inexperienced character is the equal to Hannibal's cultured and intellectual vanity. A handbook for many for examples of the mind of a true sociopath. His use of symbolism with the Death's Head Moth is also a common example of how many 'complicated' killers use to represent themselves or as their calling card.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
I enjoyed reading this book but I almost think the movie was better on this one. There were some weird parts of the book that seemed to ramble.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book as much as I love the movie. 10/10 will read again and again and again.
hugh_ashton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Re-read this recently - I've had it for a long time. 4 1/2 stars, really. Don't know why not 5, but it's not a perfect book for some reason. The tense shifts from present to past rather disturbingly, but I quite like the God's Eye View ("Hannibal Lecter has six fingers on his left hand") which can add to the realism. There are some very gripping images and metaphors, and the characters are all realistic - hardly a cardboard cutout among them. I liked the trick of giving away the murderer's identity, but not his motive - that's difficult to do without losing the reader's interest.I enjoyed the movie, but the book is definitely better, despite Antony Hopkins' fine performance. I don't like the other Hannibal Lecter books, though, or the movies.
Scaryguy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Who can forget the movie? The book is better!
Woodcat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Still gets five stars but not as good as Red Dragon.
5hrdrive on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The two best crime novels I've ever read are The Day of the Jackal and The Silence of the Lambs. They are both absolutely riveting. I first read this about four years ago and decided to reread it to see if it gave me the same heart-wrenching sense of realism - oh boy does it. The real-time aspects of the chase are what make this stand out - and when the doorbell rings, well the real world just doesn't matter anymore. Wholeheartedly recommended - you won't be able to put it down.
BraveKelso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent novel. Many crime novels with serial killer characters treat the serial killer as a malevolent presence, like something in a horror novel. Harris gives readers something different - an really evil human presence.
Borg-mx5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Simply loved it. Characters were interesting and the mystery was not easily solved. Who could not love Hannibal Lechter?
Chellsway on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having seen the movie adaptation of "The Silence of the Lambs" several times it seemed at times that I could see the action on the pages of the book rather than just reading them. I cannot help but see Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling and it is the voice of Anthony Hopkins I hear when Hannibal Lecter speaks. While this may limit how I view the characters this does not detract at all from the book and I feel that in many ways the novel is superior and is still gripping despite my familiarity with the story.
theeclecticreview on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book you can't put down. Hannibal Lecter is the epitome of an evil presence. Harris is a mastermind in suspense thrillers.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The movie version of this chilling tale is a classic, and Hannibal Lecter a legend among characters. Very few people, however, know about its origins as a bestselling paperback, albeit with just average writing.Clarice Starling is an agent in training at the FBI center in Quantico when her boss, Jack Crawford, enlists her help in profiling Hannibal Lecter, a gifted psychologist who killed nine people and ate their body parts. He¿s been in lockup for nine years now, but even behind a Plexiglas wall he is as observant and disconcerting as ever.Starling doesn¿t realize at first that Crawford wants her to crack Hannibal so that he would help in their most recent serial killer case, a guy nicknamed Buffalo Bill who killed large young women and skinned their bodies. Hannibal just about knows who the killer is and why he is doing it, but he chooses to dole out his knowledge in small amounts, striking a bargain with Starling: she¿d submit to his questions about her childhood in exchange for information on how to capture Buffalo Bill.Meanwhile, Buffalo Bill has captured the daughter of a senator and the clock is ticking as Starling races to piece together the identity and whereabouts of Buffalo Bill using her brains and Hannibal¿s insights. Will she be able to save Catherine Martin in time? And what will happen to Hannibal if he gets the opportunity to escape¿?This is one of the rare cases where I believe the movie is better than the book. Harris¿ writing is direct, with more telling than showing, it seems. It¿s a fascinating plot idea but not one that Harris really makes into a gripping, can¿t-put-the-book-down tale. Still, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS ranks solidly up there with the works of suspense masters Michael Crichton and John Grisham.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book grabbed my attention from the very first page, and I was almost unable to put it down. The immediately obvious complex, meticulously detailed descriptions and plot quality of this book are striking. It is the first of Thomas Harris' writing that I have read, and I was highly impressed.With its strong characters and plot development, suspense, and vivid style of writing, "The Silence of the Lambs" is a thrilling, eerie, and often disturbing work of literature.Harris has a remarkable talent for truly getting inside the heads of his lifelike characters. Clarice Starling is the main narrator, and the other most intricate, memorable character is, of course, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. I am greatly looking forward to reading the other books in the series that focus more on Hannibal, as he is the type of genius mastermind that only an actual real-life genius mastermind author could create.A strong, detailed, suspenseful, and chilling book. A classic of thrillers and suspense.Amazing!
etimme on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed by this novel. I enjoyed Lecter's character immensely, of course, and also found satisfaction in following a young Clarice Starling, but personally felt that Harris's writing was very weak, which took away from the story for me. The way the author rushed the transitions between scenes and skipped from locale to locale left me dizzy and with no emotional attachment or concern for Starling, even as the book reached its climax with Clarice meeting Jame face to face but not knowing him.You know, what really struck me the most reading this book was how great of a job Hopkins did playing Lecter in the film adaptation. I will probably recommend the movie to people over the book going forward.I might revisit this author in the future to read this book's sequel, Hannibal, if only to see the radical change in endings between film and novel, which I just spoiled for myself on Wikipedia.
agnesmack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't say that I had high expectations for this book, which turned out to be a good thing. I felt like I was reading an episode of Law & Order. There was zero in the way of character development. Sure, I knew what school the protagonist was going to and basic information about her room mate and a flashback here and there to her childhood. But overall, I didn't really get to know or care about the characters.I kept waiting for it to get scary but it really didn't do it for me. The tension wasn't built quite well enough for me, nor was the writing particularly interesting. In fact, I noted that there were 3 pages in a row where every single paragraph started with, "Starling..." (which is the main character's name). "Starling went to the bank.." "Starling thought long and hard, " Starling woke up and then walked around for awhile."Everyone was either good or bad, there was just basically no depth at all.Overall, I'm not impressed.
kyragtopgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of the movie, and I wanted to see what the book had in it that the movie left out. Other than a few minor details, (Hanibal actually killed Benjamin Raspel in the book), the movie is very true to the book.
Cats_Critters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a serial killer with taste and manners. It's Dr. Hannibal Lecter, psychologist, chief, serial killer, and cannibal. Interesting combo right? To me he is the thing that holds the book together and makes you crave more. He leads Clarice Starling, a FBI agent to be, on the hunt for a killer who kills and skins his victims.I loved the movie and ended up tracking down all the books Red Dragon,The Silence of the Lambs,Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising. And Silence of the Lambs is the best of them all, but always makes me wonder why didn't we get a book about Hannibal Lecter when he was free and not on the run, as a psychologist and killer?
fothpaul on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really got through this quickly. Gripped me pretty quickly and couldn't wait to read the next part. I really enjoy the style and the story even though I knew what was going to happen having seen the film. Some terrifying parts as well, although I did not find Jame Gumb as disturbing as Francis Dolarhyde. WIll definitely complete the quadrilogy in the future.
es135 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the followup to Red Dragon, Thomas Harris manages to create the perfect serial killer novel. Of course Lecter is a brilliant character, but it is the frightening Buffalo Bill killer who helps to keep the pages turning. Clarice is a very human detective and readers will have no trouble devouring this novel.