‘The Silence of the Lambs’ by Thomas Harris: Book Review

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‘The Silence of the Lambs’ by Thomas Harris is the second book in the series of Hannibal Lecter. Before discussing about the book, I want to talk about Thomas Harris. The author of this book because I him find to be very interesting. Little is known about Thomas Harris. He is very out of the public’s eye and very off the radar. He hasn’t given an interview since 1976 which is quite interesting. He has given us the most infamous villains storytelling wise.

‘The Silence of the Lambs’ follows Clarice Starling. She is in almost to be an FBI agent; she is still in school learning the ropes but her superior Jack Crawford has asked her to do the interrogation and questioning with the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Dr. Hannibal Lecter is locked up in the state hospital for the criminally insane and previously FBI agents were unsuccessful in questioning Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Clarice was able to get thorough to him so this simple questioning led her to investigate and hunt Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill is a serial killer who is targeting and abducting young women for a couple of days and then skinning them. So, in order for FBI to locate and arrest Buffalo Bill and of course save the latest victim, she has to get into the mind of Hannibal Lecter and Dr. Hannibal Lecter is willing to give Clarice what she needs as long as she is able to provide him the information, and we follow this thrilling, horrifying ride and it’s too captivating, horrifyingly captivating actually.

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Coming towards the thoughts on the prominent characters in this book. First off, question. How do you tell a story when your most interesting character is locked behind bars, is put away, can’t kill or eat anyone, is not really a harm to anyone anymore unless of course you get too close to him? You got to stay away a bit because if you get too close, he might bite you. The key ingredient in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is Dr. Hannibal Lecter. This book wouldn’t be what it is without him and interesting fact is this that he is in this book for probably less than the half book but his scenes are the most compelling. How often do you see a book where the villain is the most intelligent of these characters? Just the fact that Hannibal Lecter is a sociopath psychiatrist that the FBI is coming to because they need his help is so fascinating. Hannibal is so manipulative and always five steps ahead of everyone and you will not anything unless he wants you to.

Not only that, this book wouldn’t be what it is without Clarice Starling is such a strong character to follow. She is very strong women who gets the job done and even in the face of fear she doesn’t waver which is really great. I think it’s really important that we really get to follow her perspective because she is in the training for FBI and she’s a woman in the male-dominated area so she’s constantly having to prove herself and just to keep going and Hannibal sees that. While Clarice was interrogating him, they almost form this sort of dynamic bond, is such an interesting read. For such a book that has such a simple straight forward plot there are so many multiple characters were following storylines but Thomas Harris is able to pull this off so well and masterfully.

What I really enjoyed was that Thomas Harris got into the plot right way and the plot played out like the movie in my mind. It was very distinct and what I really enjoyed most was the dialogue. The book is heavy in dialogue and I love that back-and-forth interaction between Clarice’s character and Dr. Hannibal Lecter. I really enjoyed how fast paced it was and the different characters getting in the minds of these antagonists it was really interesting and creepy and I really liked the thrilling aspect of the book. What I didn’t like about this book is that there are some loose ends in this book other than that Thomas Harris made a very successful attempt of writing an amazing book.

As mentioned earlier ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is the second book in the series of Hannibal Lecter. I would say technically you don’t have to read ‘Red Dragon’ (the first book in the series) in order to read the ‘The Silence of the Lambs’. You could definitely read this on your own but I would not recommend it in fact I would very much so advise to not do that. Read ‘Red Dragon’ and then read ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ because there the things that happen in ‘Red Dragon’ involving specific characters that definitely bleeds throughout this book which I find to be very important. So, read ‘Red Dragon’, its great you won’t be disappointed and then read ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ which is also very great.

Finally, ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is a really great book. It’s so well written. It’s just one of those reads that you really should pick up because its full of suspense, thriller and it is so horrifyingly great. Take my word for it and read ‘The Silence of the Lambs’.

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