Audiobook Review: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Posted January 15, 2014 by Felicia S in 2013 Read, 4.50 Wine Glasses, Audiobook, Reviews / 7 Comments

Audiobook Review: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas HarrisSource: Audiobook Purchase, Kindle Purchase, Physical Book Purchase

Format: Audiobook

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Narrator: Frank Muller
Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins

Date Read: 2013

Genre: Police Thriller, Thriller

The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris, is even better than the successful movie. Like his earlier Red Dragon, the book takes us inside the world of professional criminal investigation. All the elements of a well-executed thriller are working here--driving suspense, compelling characters, inside information, publicity-hungry bureaucrats thwarting the search, and the clock ticking relentlessly down toward the death of another young woman. What enriches this well-told tale is the opportunity to live inside the minds of both the crime fighters and the criminals as each struggles in a prison of pain and seeks, sometimes violently, relief.

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?

More Information:
Publisher: Macmillan, Simon & Schuster Audio
Series: Hannibal Lecter #2

Also by this author: Red Dragon
Also in this series: Red Dragon


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!

Audio Thoughts:

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!


FTC Disclosure


Story Rating
5 / 5
Character Rating
4 / 5
Narrator Rating
4 / 5
Felicia S
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7 responses to “Audiobook Review: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

  1. “Buffalo Bill was only interesting because Lecter made him interesting.” I never thought of it that way before, but its a really good point. Lector brings life to “put the lotion in the basket.” Great review!

    • He does! I really liked Red Dragon because both Lector and the Dragon were interesting in their own rights. With this one, I just felt we could have learned so much more about Bill πŸ™‚ That sounds very macab of me LOL