Quotes from The Silence of the Lambs

Thomas Harris ·  338 pages

Rating: (382.8K votes)


“When the Fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin', but not to help.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Nothing made me happen. I happened.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Being smart spoils a lot of things, doesn't it?”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“She didn't give a damn about some of them, but she had grown to learn that inattention can be a stratagem to avoid pain, and that it is often misread as shallowness and indifference.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs



“I collect church collapses, recreationally. Did you see the recent one in Sicily? Marvelous! The facade fell on sixty-five grandmothers at a special mass. Was that evil? If so, who did it? If he's up there, he just loves it, Officer Starling. Typhoid and swans - it all comes from the same place.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Nothing makes us more vulnerable than loneliness except greed.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“I'm not sure you get wiser as you get older, Starling, but you do learn to dodge a certain amount of hell.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Over this odd world, this half the world that's dark now, I have to hunt a thing that lives on tears.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“What does he do, Clarice? What is the first and principal thing he does, what need does he serve by killing? He covets. How do we begin to covet? We begin by coveting what we see every day.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs



“He lives down in a ribcage in the dry leaves of a heart.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Problem-solving is hunting; it is savage pleasure and we are born to it.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“God's creatures who cried themselves to sleep stirred to cry again.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened. You can't reduce me to a set of influences.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told. ”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs



“I expect most psychiatrists have a patient or two they'd like to refer to me.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Good-bye Clarice. Will you let me know if ever the lambs stop screaming?" "Yes." Pembry was taking her arm. It was go or fight him. "Yes," she said. "I'll tell you." "Do you promise?""Yes.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Can you smell his sweat? That peculiar goatish odor is trans-3-methyl-2 hexenoic acid. Remember it, it's the smell of schizophrenia.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“But the face on the pillow, rosy in the firelight, is certainly that of Clarice Starling, and she sleeps deeply, sweetly, in the silence of the lambs.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Evil's just destructive? Then storms are evil, if it's that simple. And we have fire, and there there's hail. Underwriters lump it all under 'Acts of God.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs



“Back at his chair he cannot remember what he was reading. He feels the books beside him to find the one that is warm.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“We rarely get to prepare ourselves in meadows or on graveled walks; we do it on short notice in places without windows, hospital corridors, rooms like this lounge with its cracked plastic sofa and Cinzano ashtrays, where the cafe curtains cover blank concrete. In rooms like this, with so little time, we prepare our gestures, get them by heart so we can do them when we're frightened in the face of Doom.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“They waited for the elevator. " Most people love butterflies and hate moth," he said. "But moths are more interesting - more engaging."
"They're destructive."
"Some are, a lot are, but they live in all kinds of ways. Just like we do." Silence for one floor.
"There's a moth, more than one in fact, that lives only on tears," he offered. "That's all they eat or drink."
"What kind of tears? Whose tears?"
"The tears of large land mammals, about our size.
The old definition of moth was, 'anything that gradually, silently eats, consumes, or wages any other thing.'
It was a verb for destruction too. . . .”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“I would not have had that happen to you. Discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“I have no plans to call on you, Clarice, the world being more interesting with you in it.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs



“Life's too slippery for books, Clarice; anger appears as lust, lupus presents as hives.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Orion is above the horizon now, and near it Jupiter, brighter than it will ever be ... But i expect you can see it too. Some of our stars are the same.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


“Gratitude’s got a short half-life, Clarice.”
― Thomas Harris, quote from The Silence of the Lambs


About the author

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