5.0 out of 5 stars Silence of the Lambs Book Report Book Review
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...
Published on May 9 2004 by deelightful13
3.0 out of 5 stars Sensational but not evocative
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...
Published on Sept. 10 2003 by deepbits
Most Helpful First | Newest First
5.0 out of 5 stars Silence of the Lambs Book Report Book Review,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking and Gruesome Crime Novel,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping,
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.
While Lecter is a very interesting character, it is Clarice Starling that we get to see grow as a character and become more confident and insistent in her work with Lecter and to catch "Buffalo Bill" even though she is only a trainee. She was put on this case and she intends to see it through.
As creepy as the movie could be, I loved this book. It had a very fast pace and stayed interesting throughout the story and it didn't matter that I had seen the movie multiple times. I was interested in the story Thomas Harris was telling. While Harris goes into detail about crimes, it doesn't feel very gory or unnecessary. It seems that this novel was a best seller in the late 80's and it is easy to see why. "The Silence of the Lambs" is a well told thriller and any fans of James Patterson and that genre should definitely give this one a look.
3.0 out of 5 stars Sensational but not evocative,
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!
5.0 out of 5 stars Comparable to the Movie!,
In Thomas Harris' classic thriller (skip this paragraph if you've seen the movie,) FBI agent-to-be Clarice Starling is put on a case because of lack of manpower. Her job is to interview a former serial killer in a hospital for the criminally insane to try to find clues on how to catch another serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. The character of Hannibal Lecter (the imprisoned killer) is the most passively vicious villain ever. He likes to play games with anyone who will talk to him, Clarice and others. He will not respond to anyone unless they will answer his questions which are often very personal. He makes Clarice tell him about her childhood and her darkest nightmares. In exchange, he gives her clues about the case. If someone comes to him asking for clues and they will not answer his questions, he will ignore them or, worse yet, lead them astray. Clarice and the FBI have to investigate his often subtle clues to try to end the dreadful killings.
I like how Harris makes Clarice stand up strong, and often alone, in the male-dominated FBI. She is a very intense character. We learn much about how her mind works as she interviews Lecter and tracks down Buffalo Bill. The scariest feeling in the book is how Clarice begins to think like Lecter to try to understand his clues. This book gave me a small picture of what being a criminal psychologist would be like. All the characters were very vivid. If all authors wrote like this, books would never be boring.
This thriller is for everyone, especially those who loved the movie. Lecter is just as sinisterly portrayed as in the movie, and the book will keep you just as wide awake and on the edge of your seat.
"Over this odd world, this half the world that's dark now, I have to hunt a thing that lives on tears."
4.0 out of 5 stars I Enjoyed It.,
By A Customer
Well, I wrote a review a while ago of this book before I had seen the movie, and promised to write another one after I had seen the film. Well, before I watched Jonathan Demme's "The Silence of the Lambs," I read the novels "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal." And the other day, I had a four film marathon which consisted of "Manhunter," "Red Dragon," "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal." I must say I was just a wee bit dissipointed with the film version of this novel. I thought it was a very good movie, and have already watched it three times, but I have been hearing so much about how it was the absolute SCARIEST and absolute GORIEST and absolute BEST movie ever made, and I felt a bit dissipointed on all of those levels. While I was dissipointed, I felt it was still an excellent film. Compared to Brian Cox's subtler and closer-to-the-book version of Hannibal Lector in "Manhunter," I thought Anthony Hopkins' interprtation of him in "The Silence of the Lambs" was a lot better, and much more memorable. Hopkins eats up the screen with panache and remains the most memorable thing in the movie. He is simply amazing. I think I enjoyed the movie a little more than the book because it was easier to understand what was going on visually. For example, every scene with Lector, Lector's escape, the showdown with Buffalo Bill and the autopsy scene were all much more effective here. In the novel, all we have are Hannibal's words and Clarice's words, but in the movie, we see Hannibal's expressions and Clarice's face and it was all much more interesting to me in the film. I don't really "picture" characters when I read a book, so I wasn't dissipointed with any of the actors in the film version. Ted Levine was really, REALLY scary as Jame Gumb and that trick he did with his richard near the end will haunt me forever. Jodie Foster was good as Clarice and Scott Glenn was suitable as Crawford (though I preferred Dennis Farina in "Manhunter"). Anyway, in comparision to the film, my opinion on the book hasn't changed much. I enjoyed the book the first time I read and now that I've seen the movie I still think it's good. Not good enough for five stars, but still quite good. Thomas Harris' writing style was unique and it seems like hwe put alot of research into the way the FBI functions because the whole book seemed quite realistic.
Anyway, my recommendation is to read the book then see the movie. The movie, I thought, was better, but the book is still a good read. Incidentally, I liked the novel "Hannibal" MUCH better, however.
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read,
By A Customer
I may be 12, but I still can enjoy a good and sophisticated book. I have never seen the "Silence of the Lambs" movie, but I read the book. You see, I was checking out my grandma's book collection, and I happened to catch a glimpse of one book sitting on the shelf. I picked it up, dusted it off, and discovered it was "The Silence of the Lambs." I had heard the movie was really good, but I'd never heard anybody talk about a book. In fact, I didn't even know there was a book. I thought it might be an adaption of the movie, but the (really cool) cover said "The #1 New York Times Bestseller Is Now The Movie Event Of The Year." It was a pretty old book. My grandma let me borrow it, and I started reading it. It started a little slow, but quickly got pretty exciting. I think that it is best for me to review this book without seeing the movie, because I wn't make comparisions and stuff. Later, I'll write one after I've seen the movie.
Clarice Starling is an FBI trainee with a wierd past. She gets a call from Jack Crawford one day, and meets up with him. He tells her a killer only known as "Buffalo Bill" is on the loose and killing young women. He thinks that Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lector might know somehing. Hannibal is locked away in a very high security mental institution, where he amuses himself by reminiscing (sp?) about the past, drawing things and writing letters or words of wisdom. Hannibal is a genius, but an evil one. After eating a bit of a nurse, he's been locked away for a long time. Clarice meets with him, and discovers he is a true gentlemen. He is polite, uses appropriate grammar, but happens to have a fondness for eating meat that's not quite the kind we get at the store. He agrees to help her, if she'll exchange information about her past. With every complicated hint, she gets closer to finding out who Buffalo Bill really is and where he is. The clock is ticking, he has just kidnapped the senator's daughter, and it's up to her to solve the mystery!
This was a good book. I didn't think it was great, but I enjoyed it and finished it quickly. I'm aware that there are other Lector books (and movies) which include "Red Dragon" and "Hannibal." I haven't read these. I don't think it's important, because I understood the plot fine. I thought the creepy thing about this movie was that it was realistic and could actually happen. There are tons of sickos in this world like Buffalo Bill, and some evil geniuses like Hannibal Lector. My favorite part of this story was the final showdown with Buffalo Bill and Clarice Starling. The suspense leading up to it was great.
The way Thomas Harris writes was very strange. It was written almost like something you would read in a police file. It sounded factual and not fictional. I think that added to its sense of realism. I liked the character of Starling, but I found her a little dull. Maybe in the movie she's better.
Anyway, I'm gonna go have a movie marathon of Lector (in this order: "Manhunter," "Red Dragon," "The Silence Of The Lambs," and "Hannibal"). This was a cool book and I think you should read it.
Incidentally, the one my grandma had was old, and had a cover way cooler than the ones now. It showed half of Clarice Starling's face on the left side, tinted blue. On the right side was half of Hannibal Lector's face. The moth symbol was between them, and there are wings covering their lips. If you find this at an old used book store, get it because it is way cooler that the ones out now.
Hope my review helped. I'll write another after I see the movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Silence of the Lambs,
This review is from: The Silence of the Lambs (Paperback)
I read the book, "The Silence of the Lambs", written by Thomas Harris. On a scale from 1 to 5 (with five being the highest) I give it a 5. The Silence of the lambs is a fast paced book, which makes it hard to put down. There is never a dull moment, due to the excellent writing of Thomas Harris. The characters Hannibal Lector and Clarice Starling are each unique, and the psychological aspects of this book are outstanding. "Well, Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?" (Harris p.366). Harris' amazing use of words and interaction between characters makes this book "spine-tingling" and "master of suspense," claims the Boston Herald. In this book you can follow Clarice Starling, a trainee of behavioral science unit of the F.B.I as she tries to find a deadly serial killer on the loose. During the investigation we discover that Starling has a number of frailties in character. A strong-willed woman coming from a "low class" upbringing, Starling fears that her peers will associate her abilities with her background. She dreads the idea that others would not allow themselves to see past her upbringing towards her unique ability to succeed. While tracking the killer, she begins to learn the psychological games of the one and only Dr.Hannibal Lector, who is locked away in a dark prison chamber. If you are into suspenseful, scary, mystery-horror books, then "The Silence of the Lambs" is definitely a book that you should check out. If you liked Hannibal by Thomas Harris or "Felony Murder" by Joseph T. Klempher, you will love this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars A SUPER THRILLER THAT WILL KEEP YOU ON YOUR TOES,
This is Thomas Harris's second book in the Hannibal Lecter Trillogy. This book is much different than the first in the series "Red Dragon". But will keep you on your toes just as much.
In "The Silence of the Lambs" we follow FBI trainee Clarice Starling who gets caught up in the search for the Tennesse Governors Daughter who dissappears. This search ends up leading her to the world known cannibal, Hannibal Lecter. What starts as business meetings between the two, turns into a game for Lecter. If he gives out info to Clarice, she must in return tell him of her life. Soon it seems that Clarice becomes a major infatuation of Lecters that just makes this already suspensfull novel even more thrilling.
If you have seen the amazing movie and liked it, as most of u did. You will love this book. The movie follows the book very well. But as always, there is much more to learn by reading the book. I would highly advise reading this great book by Thomas Harris, you will not regret it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating,
I read "Silence of the Lambs" long before I ever watched the movie. The movie was therefore, a slight disappointment for me as I think they really failed to truly capture the suspense the Harris is so adept at weaving.
Hannibal Lecture is truly one of the most fascinating characters that has ever been created. (In my humble opinion, of course) Harris truly sensed what he could do with this work as he created just enough trickery at the end to ensure a sequel.
Dr. Lecture has that unique ability to get into someone's mind, but he met his match in Clarice Starling. In the end, they both sacrificed little portions of their personal histories to get something out of each other. For Clarice, the information she obtained ensured her acclamation as a modern heroine. For Dr. Lecture, the chance to renew his participation in "real world" revived his spirit and utlimately led to his escape.
Serial killers happen to be a particular fascination of mine and no one quite matches the lore of Hannibal Lecture.
This is a must read!
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (Hardcover - June 2001)
Used & New from: CDN$ 2.38