Review – The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

the silence of the lambs“Hello Clarice…”

The Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite movies.  It’s the perfect combination of horror and thriller.  There is some gore but it’s the psychological aspect that sticks with you.  Can you hear the words “fava beans” without thinking of Hannibal Lecter?  “It rubs the lotion on its skin” is a good way to give a friend the creeps.

I’ve had this on my to read list for quite a while but was nervous because I do love the movie.  Most of the time, either the movie or the book will be a disappointment.  (Let’s be honest, it’s usually the movie that doesn’t live up to the book.)  This read did not let me down.  It is tightly written and stands up even 26 years after first being published.

The movie seemed to stick very closely to the original novel.  I almost felt like I was reading the actual script.  There were a few minor changes that I noticed but, overall, it’s about as close a match as I can remember.  And, even thought I knew exactly what was going to happen, I still was almost hyperventilating by the end.  That’s why we read horror.  Sometimes you want to be a little scared.

Buffalo Bill is a great bad guy and CREEPY!  Clarice is a wonderful protagonist – strong female who has to deal with a lot of sexism (it was the 1980s!) but manages to remain in control.  But, it’s Hannibal Lecter who is the star of The Silence of the Lambs.  He is one of those characters who will never go away and will always be part of our pop culture.  A killer, a cannibal, a manipulator.  You find yourself wondering why you like him.  Is it because he is clever?  Maybe his intelligence.  I don’t know.  All I can say is that, even when you know you shouldn’t, you kind of pull for him to get out and create mayhem.  Well, at least on the written page.

5/5 stars.  Totally worth the time and money.

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