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The Silence of the Lambs [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Thomas Harris , Kathy Bates
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 5 2006
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 Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs--an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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 clock ticking relentlessly down toward the death of another young woman. What enriches this well-told tale is the opportunity to live inside the minds of both the crime fighters and the criminals as each struggles in a prison of pain and seeks, sometimes violently, relief.

Clarice Starling, a precociously self-disciplined FBI trainee, is dispatched by her boss, Section Chief Jack Crawford, the FBI's most successful tracker of serial killers, to see whether she can learn anything useful from Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Lecter's a gifted psychopath whose nickname is "The Cannibal" because he likes to eat parts of his victims. Isolated by his crimes from all physical contact with the human race, he plays an enigmatic game of "Clue" with Starling, providing her with snippets of data that, if she is smart enough, will lead her to the criminal. Undaunted, she goes where the data takes her. As the tension mounts and the bureaucracy thwarts Starling at every turn, Crawford tells her, "Keep the information and freeze the feelings." Insulted, betrayed, and humiliated, Starling struggles to focus. If she can understand Lecter's final, ambiguous scrawl, she can find the killer. But can she figure it out in time? --Barbara Schlieper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this thrillingly effective follow-up to Harris's masterful 1981 suspense novel Red Dragon, the heroine is new, but the villain isn't: Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the evil genius who played a small but crucial role in the earlier novel, returns, to mesmerizing effect. When a serial killer known as Buffalo Bill (he kidnaps, slays and skins young women) begins a crosscountry rampage, FBI trainee Clarice Starling tries to interview Lecter, a psychiatrist whose brilliant insights into the criminally insane are matched only by his bloodlusthe's currently imprisoned for nine murders, and would like nothing more than the chance to kill again. Lecter, a vicious gamesman, will offer clues to the murderer's pattern only in exchange for information about Clarice, analyzing her with horrible accuracy from the barest details. When Bill strikes again, the agent begins to realize that Lecter may know much more, and races against time and two twisted minds. Harris understands the crafting of literary terror as very few writers do; readers who put themselves in his good, coldblooded hands will lose sleep, and demand a sequel. 200,000 first printing; $200,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
Behavioral Science, the FBI section that deals with serial murder, is on the bottom floor of the Academy building at Quantico, half-buried in the earth. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Silence of the Lambs Book Report Book Review May 9 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In "Silence of the Lambs", Thomas Harris continues the series of HANNIBAL LECTER, a supersmart villain with a serial killer that kills and skins women that are about his size. This time, the head of the department of Behavioral Science of the FBI Jack Crawford, sends in Clarisse Starling to talk to Hannibal at the Chesapeake State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Everyone at the FBI thinks that Hannibal knows who has been kiiling the women and they send in the beautiful first rate forensicQuantico student to talk to Hannibal. In the midst of our reading ,the killer has ensnared the daughter of a Senator. From there Clarrisse investigates the previous victims of 'Buffalo Bill. Hannibal is transferred to a Tennesssee prison and bribed with more freedom if he tells them who has captured Catherine. Hannibal fools them and ends up escaping from the prison. Catherine is saved and all is well. For now. Read the second book in this trilogy, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. I really liked it and think that it is a very captivating read. Mr. Harris really keeps you on your toes with this one, as he always does. So, yeah, get this book! It's a great suspense novel and it will keep you thinking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking and Gruesome Crime Novel March 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Silence of the Lambs has to be the most gruesome book I've ever read. The good news is that the characters are really well developed and the plot is thrillingly twisted. In other words: there is more to this book than cannibalism and the ability to shock.
I have never seen the film (although I'm definitely going to now) but on it's own the book is still very disturbing. The smallest things that Hannibal Lector said could be construed as threatening - the fact that he was behind bars and locked away did not diminish his scariness. Lector is incredibly intelligent and perceptive, as well as possessing a twisted sense of humour, which makes him a fascinating villain. The matter of fact way that the author retells his horrible crimes only makes them seem more terrifying. The other killer in the story, Buffalo Bill, was equally demented, although in a less intelligent way than Lector.
I really enjoyed reading about Clarice Starling and I felt that she was a great lead character; brave, decent and driven. The insights into her childhood and her fears of inadequacy were very well done. Jack Crawford, Clarice's superior, was described really well too and the parts of the book set around his home life and dying wife Bella made him seem more real and sympathetic. The plot was impeccable and the tension that was built and maintained throughout was extraordinary.
Overall The Silence of The Lambs is a crime novel that will go down in history as something special.
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5.0 out of 5 stars gripping March 4 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
Clarice Starling is in training at the FBI Academy. She is a star student in the Behavioral Sciences Division when the Department Chief, Jack Crawford, calls her into his office and gives her a job. She is to interview one Dr Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter in order to help get into the mind of a serial killer. There is an open case with a serial killer who has been nicknamed "Buffalo Bill", and Dr. Lecter may be the only chance to solve the case without there being many more murders. Starling is only a trainee, and this may be why Lecter is actually willing to speak to Starling about Buffalo Bill, though he is always holding something back.
Lecter is a villain of extreme intellect and this comes through in his dialogue. Like "Red Dragon", Dr. Lecter is not the central villain and the story does not revolve specifically around him (though he has a larger role this time around). Lecter does play a pivotal role because without him, the story cannot move forward. We never truly get into the psyche of Jame Gumb (not as much as we did with Frances Dolorhyde in "Red Dragon"), and it seems as if most of his actions happen off camera.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sensational but not evocative Sept. 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had heard so much about this book for sucha long time that I finally decided to give it a shot...
The book was riveting, the ghastly ideas were original and scary, but the giddy queasiness one should get by reading a book like this was missing. The gruesomeness was absent, the ideas were there, but the descritions were falling short of evoking the very eerie feeling. At no point did I shudder and close the book saying, "Oh! My Gosh! I can go no further". It all sank in well, it was as if such a story could happen in reality. And I must say, I have quite a faint heart!!!
The character of Hannibal Lector was awesome though. He comes across truly as a genius, who cannot be despised for being a criminal, but revered for his fertile and intelligent brain. He embodies all the traits of a thinking mind, deducing, observing, extrapolating facts to comprehend complex mental processes. His character makes the story fashionable and appeals to the intellectual minds. Due to him, the story no longer remains a man-hunting, cruel, bloody saga... it becomes a mind game played by a magnificent brain.
The book makes a good read, but doesnt live up to the hype surrounding it. But I still recommend it becuase it is still one of the best in its genre!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Right on :)
Mere perfect condition and no complaints. I'm very excited to now have the complete series and read this novel after fully enjoying the movie (and can't wait to love the book... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Brooke
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
I loved the movie, but the book is so much better -- Harris is a master craftsman who delivers great plots and characters with a style so understated that the books seem to be... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mad Dog
3.0 out of 5 stars Très bon
Ce livre est très bon, mais je dois avouer que j'ai un peu de difficulté avec le côté noir de se livre.
Published 18 months ago by Anne-Marie
4.0 out of 5 stars The only Thomas Harris book I enjoyed reading
For some reason, I find all of Harris' other books too awkwardly written to enjoy, and yet this book is an eternal favourite. I've read it three times in my life. Read more
Published on July 19 2012 by Gen
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't keep quiet about it
I'm normally one for something a tad more 'fun'-----you know the ones I'm talking about---Sedaris with his 'Me Talk Pretty' or McCrae and his 'Katzenjammer' :both first-rate by the... Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2006 by ManCow
5.0 out of 5 stars Time running out
There are only a handful of books that I've read from cover to cover in just one sitting. Thomas Harris' SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was one of them. Read more
Published on June 26 2004 by Rocco Dormarunno
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly better than the movie
It's certainly a better book than Black Sunday or Red Dragon but it's still so ridiculously improbable. Read more
Published on June 19 2004 by Sarah Sammis
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Terrifying!!
I read this book prior to watching the movie version and it prepared me for a gruesome ride.
While the writing is basic at best, the horror and mystery is spellbinding. Read more
Published on May 18 2004 by V. Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Thriller
I read this before the film
And I can tell you - this book is simply phenomenal
Twisting, turning and unpredictablity is what this is about
Yet... Read more
Published on May 18 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A complex book that doesn't get cluttered.
Clarice Starling is the star of this story. She's an up and coming FBI agent who gives chase to a serial killer named "Buffalo Bill. Read more
Published on May 2 2004 by Max Drapeau
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