Quotes from Red Dragon

Thomas Harris ·  348 pages

Rating: (219.5K votes)


“It's fear, Jack. The man deals with a huge amount of fear.'
Because he got hurt?'
No, not entirely. Fear comes with imagination, it's a penalty, it's the price of imagination.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“It's hard to have anything isn't it? Rare to get it, hard to keep it. This is a damn slippery planet.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“We live in a primitive time—don’t we, Will?—neither savage nor wise. Half measures are the curse of it. Any rational society would either kill me or give me my books.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“Fear comes with imagination, it’s a penalty, it’s the price of imagination.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“You must understand that when you are writing a novel you are not making anything up. It's all there and you just have to find it.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon



“Graham had a lot of trouble with taste. Often his thoughts were not tasty. There were no effective partitions in his mind. What he saw and learned touched everything else he knew. Some of the combinations were hard to live with. But he could not anticipate them, could not block and repress. His learned values of decency and propriety tagged along, shocked at his associations, appalled at his dreams; sorry that in the bone arena of his skull there were no forts for what he loved. His associations came at the speed of light. His value judgments were at the pace of a responsive reading. They could never keep up and direct his thinking. He viewed his own mentality as grotesque but useful, like a chair made of antlers. There was nothing he could do about it.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“I am the dragon, and you call me insane.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“What he has in addition is pure empathy and projection,” Dr. Bloom said. “He can assume your point of view, or mine – and maybe some other points of view that scare and sicken him. It’s an uncomfortable gift, Jack. Perception’s a tool that’s pointed on both ends.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“Shiloh isn’t haunted – men are haunted.
Shiloh doesn’t care.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon



“Lecter is so lucid, so perceptive; he's trained in psychiatry... and he's a mass murderer.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“In her way, she was a hard one. Faith in any sort of natural justice was nothing but a night light; she knew of that. Whatever she did, she would end the same way with everyone does: flat on her back with a tube in her nose, wondering, "Is this all?”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“He was numb except for dreading the loss of numbness.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“Don't think you can persuade me with appeals to my intellectual vanity.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“The very air had screams smeared on it. He flinched from the noise in this silent room.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon



“To write a novel, you begin with what you can see and then you add what came before and what came after.

...You must understand that when you are writing a novel you are not making anything up. It's all there and you just have to find it.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“He’s a monster. I think of him as one of those pitiful things that are born in hospitals from time to time. They feed it, and keep it warm, but they don’t put it on the machines and it dies. Lecter is the same way in his head, but he looks normal and nobody could tell.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“Intense fear comes in waves; the body can’t stand it for long at a time.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“When Will Graham could open his right eye, he saw the clock and knew where he was- an intensive-care unit. He knew to watch the clock. Its movement assured him that this was passing, would pass. That's what it was there for.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“In making friends, she was wary of people who foster dependency and feed on it. She had been involved with a few--the blind attract them, and they are the enemy.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon



“There is no murder. We make murder, and it matters only to us.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“Because it's his bad luck to be the best.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“He moves smoothly and slowly, carrying his concentration like a brimming cup.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“It would be so nice to be wanted by someone with the courage to get his hat or stay as he damn pleased, and who gave her credit for the same. Someone who didn't worry about her.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“the longing need to be noticed that is often miscalled ego.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon



“Before Me you are a slug in the sun. You are privy to a great Becoming and you recognize nothing. You are an ant in the after-birth.
It is in your nature to do one thing correctly: before Me you rightly tremble. Fear is not what you owe Me, Lounds, you and the other pismires. You owe Me awe.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“In the Green Machine there is no mercy; we make mercy, manufacture it in parts that have overgrown our basic reptile brain. There is no murder. We make murder, and it matters only to us.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“When you feel strain, keep your mouth shut if you can.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


“He did it because he liked it. Still does. Dr. Lecter is not crazy, in any common way we think of being crazy. He did some hideous things because he enjoyed them. But he can function perfectly when he wants to.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from Red Dragon


About the author

Thomas Harris
Born place: in Jackson, Tennessee, The United States
Born date April 11, 1940
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