A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname - Buffalo Bill - is stalking women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the Bureau's Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter - Hannibal the Cannibal - who is kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
Dr. Lecter is a former psychiatrist with a grisly history, 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 - and ingenious, masterfully written book and an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.
©1998 Thomas Harris (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"Kathy Bates makes it sound so real you'll be looking over your shoulder for days." (Washington Post Book World)
"Scary Tales are always best when told out loud, which is why a novel such as The Silence of the Lambs works so well on tape." (Playboy)
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Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.75
Character Rating: 4.25
Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: The Silence of the Lambs was a reread for me. However it was the first time I have listened to it--EXCELLENT!
Story Thoughts: I love the Hannibal Lecter series though it has been a long time since I originally read this series. These are still probably some of my favorite thrillers. I wasn't worried about them losing magic on the reread because this is probably my 6th or 7th time reading them. However, listening to them on audiobook was a new experience and I enjoyed it. I had forgotten how creepy, brilliant, and downright spooky Harris' writing could make me feel. From the methodical way that Starling tracked down the killer to the brilliant way Lecter manipulated the situation--I was enthralled even though I knew how it played out. You just can't beat good rhythm in a thriller and Harris has it! LOVED IT!
Character Thoughts: I know you are looking at my character rating and wondering why it isn't higher. To be honest, if I was basing it on Lecter and Starling it would be a 5 straight across the board. However, I usually base part of the character rating in thrillers on the "bad" guy. Buffalo Bill was only interesting because Lecter made him interesting. He just wasn't all that compelling to me and I felt so much more could have been done to give him a personality. He kind of got lost in the brilliance that was Starling and Lecter but I felt he could have been so much more!
Narrated By Frank Muller/ Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
I was worried about picking this up in audio after having read it so many times and seeing the movie. However, Frank did an EXCELLENT job bringing the characters of The Silence of the Lambs to life through his narration. His pacing, timing, and creepy factor were just right for this series. The only voice that took awhile to get used to was Starling but after I got there, it was excellent.
Final Thoughts: This is on my series reread list for this year!
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
But this is one of those rare instances where the movie is better than the book. I'm sorry to say it, but it's true. The plot is essentially the same, but somehow the pacing of the novel does not really ever catch on, the plot doesn't shock you, the description isn't as terrifying and the pace doesn't force you to stay up longer and listen to more, to see how it all happens. The story is essentially the same, Starling uses a connection with a convicted serial killer named Hannable Lectur to catch another killer called Buffalo Bill. Her relationship with him deepens as he becomes obsessed with her. The race against the clock to catch Bill deepens as well, since his latest victim is the daughter of a prominent politician.
But there's extra bits to the plot the movie cut out, such as Starling's educational career, which just slow down the plot. This should be a fast paced story of terror and killers, but it never really catches. I really wanted to love it, but I just didn't. Sorry.
Hannibal Lector because he is extremely captivating.
Great book from start to finish. I am glad I have seen the movie.
It's one of my favorits, but if you want a something different from the movies you have to listen Hannible.
Yes, it did. Thomas Harris has a way of keeping you wanting more. I've seen the movies a million times and I still got through all the books in three weeks.
Yes, he had great vocies.
Hannible of course. You will never forget the way he mentally picks appart Starling.
I love this book and have listen to it several times. I will continue listening to Silence of the Lambs
The scenes with Hanable and Clares
Great story and fantastic narration. This book is a real "page turner" --- I found myself listening long after my run ended to see what happened next. Internal fighting within the government (FBI v. AG v. locals) adds to the story. I highly recommend!
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Kept me sitting in my driveway, more then once. Will written, well read, interesting story line. Superb dialog between the main characters. Even if you know the outcome, this is well worth the listening to.
I was wonderfully creeped out by the movie almost twenty years ago and thought I would see how I liked the book. I could not stop listening. The narrator's performance mesmerized me. The narration, combined with the little I remembered from the movie, completely absorbed me in the story. I plan to listen to the rest of Thomas Harris' stories; especially if they are narrated by Frank Muller!
I discovered the joy of audiobooks several years ago when I got a job which is a 45 min drive one way. It continued to keep me mostly sane.
Thomas Harris created a masterpiece in this spine chilling novel. To read it is take a trip down a long strange passage. To listen to it, especially with the incomparable talent of the great Frank Muller, is to be propelled down a roller coaster in the dark. He gives Hannibal Lecter a cold metallic genius that makes you shrink back every time he appears. Do yourself a favor and listen to a master storyteller and a master narrator as they take you on a real ride. Bravo!
The only way to improve this classic is to have a narrator as gifted as the one chosen for the reading of this unabridged recording. I can listen to this over and over again. Wonderful.
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