Friday, November 5, 2010

Review - Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris with movie memories

Book Summary from Amazon

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?

My Review - 4 1/2 Great to the last Drop

Ahhhhhhhh, I say with a smile on my face.  I finished the book and I am just amazed that this story is such an astonishing work of gritty art, it is just AMAZING.

If you haven't read or watched this movie you are missing out on some of the most well crafted works ever.  I have to say I loved the movie more because I am visual.  The book had me engaged and wanting to know what was next but the details still were unable to capture the true crazy, delicate, creepy scenes as a whole, the parts that took your breath away.

The fast paced working against the clock focus is brilliant and will definitely have you not wanting to put the book down.  The characters are done with perfection, you have specific ideas and judgements of them all.  My favourites are Clarice and Dr. Lecter and even the prison guard Barney.  There is no second guessing Dr. Lecter is one sick twisted individual but what he does to have fun, just playing with peoples minds, brilliance, seriously brilliant.  And to have a female character that is also brilliant but in a respectful way in an industry that is male dominant, you have to enjoy that.

The serial killer in the book for me was just not as psychotic as in the movie, a major favourite part in the movie just was to light in the book, the sit still, stare and awwwe moment just wasn't edgy.  This is the main reason the book didn't get 5 stars.

If you have seen the movie you read the book with the visual of Jodi Foster and Anthony Hopkins which I still believe were the best choices for the characters.   You can hear their voices, see gestures etc, this made the book even better and special in my opinion.

Thomas Harris is a master story teller with this serial killer and the crimes.

For those that don't think they can handle watching the movie definitely read the book.  Are there gritty, bloody details, absolutely, will it make your heart race, absolutely, will you have nightmares, maybe :-), lol, honestly you can handle it, read it I say......

What is amazing is that this book can still compete with the modern, I had to remind myself about the lack of cellphones back then, lmao.

And the title Silence of the Lambs I think is the perfect touch and frames Dr. Lecter and Clarice 'working relationship' in a magnificent way.

I know I am not alone when I say I enjoy sick twisted, gritty stuff.  I am very glad I picked this one up, I usually don't read books after I have watched a movie but this is my all time favourite so I just had to.

It is past Oct 31 but this one completes my RIP Challenge.

You also might be interested in my post with the Top 100 Killer books, I am going to work my way through this.

Continue reading if you have watched the movie - SPOILERS

What is your favourite movie memory?  I have 2 vivid memories:

The 1st is the scene when Dr. Lecter escapes and the police enter the room where they think the cops are dead but he is actually one of the cops that they take in the ambulance.  OMG the amount of blood everywhere but it was visually beautiful and brilliantly done.

The 2nd is when the serial killer is in the long flowing gown with his genitals between his legs, lol, it was funny and hugely disturbing.


  1. I was always to scared to watch the movies but I have seen one of them...I think the very last one because someone made me watch it. I agree that the characters were cast very well, even though I have not read the book. It is nice when you can find that rare movie that you love as much as the book!

  2. Again, this is one of my favorite movies of all time and as I mentioned in your Teaser Tuesday post, I was so disappointed by the book "Hannibal" that it kept me from getting this book. Thank you for this review; however, since it's now on my GoodReads list!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  3. This is one of my favorite movies ever -- I think I read the book, but I may have read it right after I saw the movie, so I can't quite recall everything. I'm going to have to pick this one up again and read it through and through!! Thanks for the reminder!!

  4. I havent seen the movie.The book was scary enough for me.

  5. I'm another one that was so disapointed in the book Hanibal that I never wanted to read the others. It always makes me laugh the descriptions of hanibal in the bokk though as he looks nothing like Anothy Hopkins yet thats how I now imagine him.

  6. I've never tried to watch the movie, because I knew it would be too much for me. I might be able to handle the book because of the lack of visuals - I'm such a chicken!

  7. Sounds nice. You've been tagged!

  8. I love the movie, and while the book has been sitting on my shelves for years, I've never picked it up. Clearly, I should. :)

  9. I loved this book and the movie absolutely terrified me! I think I had nightmares for a year afterward! But the incredible!

  10. Oh, I loved the book and movie so much. I saw the movie 10x when it first came out and the novel was one of hte first, if not THE first, "pulp fiction" books I read and I thought Harris did such a wonderful job, that hte book was so well-crafted and well-written. It's one of the things that taught me that mass market fiction can be really well-done. Okay, I'm done gushing!

  11. Thanks for the responses, for all those that didn't enjoy Hanibal, the movie was a major let down also, I say read Silence of the Lambs, you won't be disappointed.

  12. Thanks for your kind words on my blog!

    Re: this review, I know you say that if one hasn't read the book, then one should....but I just can't see myself doing that. I don't care for books that give me's very rare that I read a book that I know has a serial killer in it. Just can't take it. Great review though!

  13. I have watched the movie and really enjoyed it (one of the best!) and it's been a long time since I watched it. Haven't read the book though.

    I did watch Hannibal. Don't remember much but just one scene at the dining table. Definitely wasn't as good as Silence of the Lamb.

  14. Thank you for visiting my blog. I haven't read this book or watched the movie because I always think it will give me nightmares but after reading this review, I want to read it.


  15. That's interesting, I didn't even realize it was a book. I did love the movie also.

    Half Broke Horses is AMAZING. Even better than Glass Castle. I loved it so much when I borrowed it from the library that when I saw it for $6 I had to buy it.

    I'm glad you stopped by my blog so I could discover yours, it looks great :)

  16. I loved, loved, loved the movie. I've had the book for a while, but haven't gotten to it yet. I'll admit that I was hoping that it would be more sick and twisted than the movie though.

  17. Loved the movie and have had the book for years. Now I just need to find the time to read it!


Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce, I appreciate your comments. I have decided to make this an Award Free Zone, thank you for thinking of me but I prefer comments and do my best to be a good networking blogging friend also.

If you are a new follower, please tell me so I can come visit also.