When I decided to read The Silence of the Lambs I had expectations of what the book would be like, mainly conceived from watching the movie some years ago and wanting to read a book heavy on darkness.
I was provoked by the aspect of cannibalism and the knowledge and attraction to the thrilling psychological aspect of Doctor Hannibal Lecters mind. Instead I was somewhat disappointed by his lack of character in the book and the overall pace of the book in general. While in some places the book picked up and was a page turner, towards the half way mark I was reluctant to continue reading as the book was slow and dull rather than being intense as I imagine it was meant to be read as. The tempo of each character interaction dragged on and when it came time for action it was gone so fast that I hardly registered it happening.
I enjoyed each character perspective, from the victim to the murderer, Doctor Lecter and Agent Starling and the minor characters who each had there own place and moulded the book into a quality read. However the only character I had any real emotion for was Buffalo Bill, the murder and his journey throughout the book and in many ways that was the turning point for me in the overall enjoyment of the novel.
I found early on in the novel that the male characters all addressed themselves arrogantly and most were portrayed in a sexist fashion which in some ways offended me, but it created an immediate trait that Clarice Starling was a weak female owned by the male world and even though she was strong in her own ways, the submissive side to her personality didn't hold strong for me. I believe that characters should have flaws, and she did, but they also must be strong enough to hold their own especially in crime books.
Lastly I disliked the way the author embedded to much information about the smallest of things when it could have been explained much simpler, as with the character in the beginning having everything she readily needed and towards the end her resources were next to nothing.
The Silence of the Lambs is a readable book, and he first I believe of a series of novels written by Thomas Harris. I recommend this for anyone who enjoys his style of writing, and to those intrigued by the criminal mind and the mind of the insane. It is rather difficult to lump it into one genre, even though it is a thriller, but I didn't find it all that psychologically frightening and in today's standards of horror I'd be surprised who would find it to be gory.