Reviewing the Pages: The Silence of the Lambs

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Hannibal Lecter. The ultimate villain of modern fiction. Read the five-million-copy bestseller that scared the world silent… A young FBI trainee. An evil genius locked away for unspeakable crimes. A plunge into the darkest chambers of a psychopath’s mind– in the deadly search for a serial killer… Thomas Harris is the author of Hannibal , Red Dragon , and Black Sunday . As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknamed “Buffalo Bill,” FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him. 

I’ve forgotten just how fast this book starts out, and it never lets up. Information comes at the reader fast and furious, and leaves out just enough information to leave the pieces untied. Sure, the reader knows what the picture looks like before the cast of good guys (certain characters not-withstanding of course). For those of you who haven’t been introduced into the cold, calculating mind of the pure sociopath Dr. Lecter, this is a fantastic introduction into a character (that is, if you decided to skip over Red Dragon, which this book references a few times, but it not a necessity to get involved in this story). I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good suspenseful read, with a lot of detective work involved as well. But, be careful. One never knows when Lecter might get into your head.

I want to make note of something that I found interesting.  Now, I haven’t seen it happen often (possibly because I don’t actually realize it), but the last line of this book contains the title.  In fact, the title is the last five words of the story.  It’s rather interesting, and I may have to be on the lookout for more of those interesting title tie-ins somehow.

Anywho, as I said in my Goodreads review, there is a lot of information that gets thrown right in our face.  In fact, we get our first meeting between Starling and Lecter only 15 pages in, and boy do we get a lot of information.  At times, it’s enough to make a man’s head spin.  But, at other times, we are only given just enough information that may be overlooked at the time, but helps to add to the big final reveal.

Then, there’s Lecter.  He’s absolutely terrifying here.  Here’s a man who kills without remorse, nor does it excite him any.  He just…kills.  And to top it all off, he uses his vast intellect to outwit everyone.  There’s a reason why Hannibal is an iconic character not just in the world of ink and paper, but the big screen as well (thanks to Sir Anthony Hopkins for his amazing portrayal).  And we can’t forget about his opposite here, Clarice Starling.  Starling is a strong character, who gets pulled into this case based on her skill set, and stays in it until the bitter end.  She stands up for what she believes in, and she doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to people that cross her (I don’t want to be that cameraman that she dropped the garage door on).

I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys thrillers with some elements of horror and mystery.  But just remember, not everyone wants to invite you for dinner.  Some might want you FOR dinner…or wear you to dinner.

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Reading List #4

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another edition of my reading list! Now, I skipped over one book in the process of going through my last read, and I’m ok with that.  As much as I do like sticking to lists and following a set plan from time to time, there are just some times where I’m like “alright, I can skip that one”.  And it’s not like the book isn’t on my reading list as it is, I just didn’t have the book to read it.  I’m sure it’ll show up on here again.  And speaking of, here is a very long list of books to come.  This should take me to that magical 50 books read this year.  Wish me luck!

Reminder: all covers come from Goodreads.

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Top 10 Roundup #3

Hello everyone! Welcome back once again to another Top 10 Roundup! Now, are you about something really scary?

Ok.  So maybe not all of you are scared.  But, at least I tried, right? Right? Anyway, since we are well into the month of October, I figured it’d be best if I went in and picked 10 of my favorite horror villains.  Now, remember, these characters are not going to be ranked in any way, shape, or form.  So, with that said, let’s dive right on in.

WARNING: Due to the graphic nature of some of the below clips, viewer discretion…is advised.

Let’s start out with one of the OG Vampires. First released in 1897, Dracula has been haunting the vampire realm with his gravitas, so to speak.  Thanks to the likes of Bela Lagosi, Christopher Lee, Gary Oldman, and all the others who have brought the iconic vampire to life.

If you thought that R.L. Stine made ventriloquist dummies terrifying for you as a child, Mary Shaw continues to make them terrifying.  Especially in the dummy room towards the very end.  Go check this movie out if you want a good scare, but be warned, you might want to watch with the lights on.

Can you classify “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” as horror? A horror musical perhaps? Either way.  I wouldn’t want to meet Mr. Todd anywhere.  Now, granted, Mr. Todd is much more sinister in the penny dreadful The String of Pearls: A Romance, where it’s greed, not revenge that motivates the barber.

The unstoppable force. Does anyone know what could really stop this man? He’s been shot, stabbed, buried, burned, drowned, impaled, ran over, frozen, and yet, he still keeps coming.  Not only that, but how is faster than most of his victims? They’re running full sprint through the woods while he lumbers after them.  And the one time he did “die”, he got an upgrade to make him even meaner.  Yikes.

The ultimate literature fangirl.  She takes meeting an author to whole different, and very disturbing level.  Kathy Bates plays Ms. Wilkes on the screen to perfection, making this one of the best Stephen King adaptations to date.  Be warned, the scene above is disturbing.

I already have some haunting dreams, I don’t need a burn victim with a metal claw chasing after me in them.  ‘Cause Freddy would certainly do so if he got the chance.  Also, I prefer the great Robert Englund over Jackie Earle Haley anyday.

I must say, Sir Anthony Hopkins did a phenomenal job of portraying the deeply disturbed, but incredibly brilliant Dr. Lecter.  Now, everytime I go back and re-read the novels, I can only picture in my head the soft-talking, but incredibly persuasive psychopath.  Note, I have not watched the Hannibal series, but I really do want to.  That’s on my “to-watch” list.

Is this where those with coulrophobia developed it? Cause I have to say, Pennywise is a very scary clown. I mean, honestly, if you find a clown in a storm drain, you probably shouldn’t converse with it.  I’m really looking forward to the remake coming next year, if only for my love and admiration for the character.

Now, I’ve only seen the first movie in the series, though I own several others in the series, but I really like Pinhead. In “Hellraiser”, he seems very stoic, and very…reserved, considering he comes from the depths of the Lemarchand Configuration and the sadomasochistic realm that him and the rest of the Cenobites reside.

The last on this list is the man that makes people do the damage to themselves.  He’s probably one of the most hands-off killers in all of horror movie history. Heck, he’s only really around for three movies.  But, his ingenuity  and thirst for revenge on those who do not live the way that he views life makes him a very diverse horror movie villain.

Well, that’s all we’ve got time for today.  Are you scared? Will you sleep with the light on tonight? Until next time, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.