Review: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

silenceIt’s probably been, what? 20 years? Since the movie came out, and so it’s been that long since I have seen this movie. Of course the characters of Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling have become part of the American lexicon, as well as some of the famous scenes from the film.

I chose this book because it was either free or extremely cheap on Amazon for Kindle. I chose it as kind of an “in-betweener” book that I would pick up when I finished something else and wasn’t quite ready to dive into anything heavy just yet. But this book became one of my go-to’s when I had any free time because it’s just as compelling now as the movie was back in 1991 (see? I Googled it).

If you haven’t seen the movie, here’s a brief synopsis: Clarice Starling is an FBI trainee, a prodigy of agent Crawford. Because of some of her studies in criminal psychology, he gives her a chance to interview Hannibal Lecter, a convicted serial killer and former renowned psychiatrist. He gives her insight into some murders taking place currently by serial killer Buffalo Bill. Lecter knows who it is but he wants something in exchange – personal information on Clarice. To what end, it’s uncertain.

So that’s basically what you need to know to get started. Then just be prepared for bodies to be found, or just heads, and for Buffalo Bill’s bizarre calling card (hint: take a look at the cover of the book). And for Bill himself – as we are allowed insight into his horrific crimes. 

This is a true page turner, regardless of whether you have seen the movie or not. The film stays fairly true to the book (as far as I remember, but 20+ years has kind of faded out my memory of what happens). Crime novel enthusiasts should check this out for sure, as well as anyone who loves to say “the book is better than the movie” — it’s a toss-up on this one, I think!


One comment

  1. Haven’t read Silence of the Lambs, but really enjoyed Red Dragon. Buffalo Bill is one of, if not the most disturbing character I have come across in a film.

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