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99 Great Thomas Harris Quotes That Will Take You On A Suspense Ride

Famous As: Writer, best known for a series of suspense novels about his most famous character, Hannibal Lecter
Born On: September 22, 1940
Born In: Jackson, Tennessee, United States
Age: 82 Years
Thomas Harris is an acclaimed American writer, famous for his suspense novels. He is one of the very few privileged writers who have successfully sold off all their books to be adapted as movies. During his studies at Baylor University, he also worked as a reporter for a local newspaper. He has published five books and almost all have an integral feature of thrill and horror. Although all his books have been best-sellers, but the most notable one was ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ which was adapted into a movie, and subsequently won multiple ‘Oscars’. His latest novel ‘Hannibal’ has been the third novel to feature the main characters of ‘Dr. Hannibal Lecter’ and ‘Clarice Starling’. It portrays the life of both the characters after seven years of ‘The Silence of Lambs’. His books, writings, thoughts and work portray his stupendous intellect and he has also been acknowledged as one of the best writers by the famous novelist ‘John Dunning’. We have curated his famous quotes from his books and film adaptations. Go through these quotes and sayings by Thomas Harris which will surely inspire you besides giving you goosebumps.
When the Fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin', but not to help.

When the Fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin', but not to help.

Thomas Harris
Nothing made me happen. I happened.

Nothing made me happen. I happened.

Thomas Harris
I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti

I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti

Thomas Harris
Being smart spoils a lot of things, doesn't it?

Being smart spoils a lot of things, doesn't it?

Thomas Harris
The tragedy is not to die, but to be wasted.

The tragedy is not to die, but to be wasted.

Thomas Harris
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.

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
It's hard to have anything isn't it? Rare to get it, hard to keep it. This is a damn slippery planet.

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
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.

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
Are you looking for sympathy? You'll find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis

Are you looking for sympathy? You'll find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis

Thomas Harris
Nothing makes us more vulnerable than loneliness except greed.

Nothing makes us more vulnerable than loneliness except greed.

Thomas Harris
We can only learn so much and live.

We can only learn so much and live.

Thomas Harris
Silence can mock.

Silence can mock.

Thomas Harris
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.

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
I'm not sure you get wiser as you get older, Starling, but you do learn to dodge a certain amount of hell.

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
I'm doing one of three things: I'm writing. I'm staring out the window. Or I'm writhing on the floor.

I'm doing one of three things: I'm writing. I'm staring out the window. Or I'm writhing on the floor.

Thomas Harris
The worm that destroys you is the temptation to agree with your critics, to get their approval.

The worm that destroys you is the temptation to agree with your critics, to get their approval.

Thomas Harris
Fear comes with imagination, it’s a penalty, it’s the price of imagination.

Fear comes with imagination, it’s a penalty, it’s the price of imagination.

Thomas Harris
Over this odd world, this half the world that's dark now, I have to hunt a thing that lives on tears.

Over this odd world, this half the world that's dark now, I have to hunt a thing that lives on tears.

Thomas Harris
The most stable elements, Clarice, appear in the middle of the periodic table, roughly between iron and silver.

Between iron and silver. I think that is appropriate for you.

The most stable elements, Clarice, appear in the middle of the periodic table, roughly between iron and silver. Between iron and silver. I think that is appropriate for you.

Thomas Harris
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.

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
I'm giving serious thought into eating yor wife” - Hannibal Lecter

I'm giving serious thought into eating yor wife” - Hannibal Lecter

Thomas Harris
Did you ever think, Clarice, why the Philistines don't understand you? It's because you are the answer to Samson's riddle. You are the honey in the lion.

Did you ever think, Clarice, why the Philistines don't understand you? It's because you are the answer to Samson's riddle. You are the honey in the lion.

Thomas Harris
Problem-solving is hunting; it is savage pleasure and we are born to it.

Problem-solving is hunting; it is savage pleasure and we are born to it.

Thomas Harris
I love myself that much and I will never apologize to you.

I love myself that much and I will never apologize to you.

Thomas Harris
You would think such a day would tremble to begin . . .

You would think such a day would tremble to begin . . .

Thomas Harris
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.

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
The advantage of beating a mute is he can't tell on you.

The advantage of beating a mute is he can't tell on you.

Thomas Harris
If I saw you everyday forever, I would remember this time.

If I saw you everyday forever, I would remember this time.

Thomas Harris
He lives down in a ribcage in the dry leaves of a heart.

He lives down in a ribcage in the dry leaves of a heart.

Thomas Harris
There is a common emotion we all recognize and have not yet named -- the happy anticipation of being able to feel contempt.

There is a common emotion we all recognize and have not yet named -- the happy anticipation of being able to feel contempt.

Thomas Harris
I am the dragon, and you call me insane.

I am the dragon, and you call me insane.

Thomas Harris
It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.

It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.

Thomas Harris
You know how cats do. They hide to die. Dogs come home.

You know how cats do. They hide to die. Dogs come home.

Thomas Harris
I expect most psychiatrists have a patient or two they'd like to refer to me.

I expect most psychiatrists have a patient or two they'd like to refer to me.

Thomas Harris
… It is not healing to see your childhood home, but it helps you measure whether you are broken, and how and why, assuming you want to know.

… It is not healing to see your childhood home, but it helps you measure whether you are broken, and how and why, assuming you want to know.

Thomas Harris
God's creatures who cried themselves to sleep stirred to cry again.

God's creatures who cried themselves to sleep stirred to cry again.

Thomas Harris
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.

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
Back at his chair he cannot remember what he was reading. He feels the books beside him to find the one that is warm.

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
A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone. Go back to school, little Starling.

A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone. Go back to school, little Starling.

Thomas Harris
On a related subject, Signore Pazzi, I must confess to you: I'm giving serious thought to eating your wife.

On a related subject, Signore Pazzi, I must confess to you: I'm giving serious thought to eating your wife.

Thomas Harris
Lecter is so lucid, so perceptive; he's trained in psychiatry... and he's a mass murderer.

Lecter is so lucid, so perceptive; he's trained in psychiatry... and he's a mass murderer.

Thomas Harris
How seldom we recognize the sound when the bolt of our fate slides home.

How seldom we recognize the sound when the bolt of our fate slides home.

Thomas Harris
I'll confess it is pleasant to look at you asleep. You're quite beautiful, Clarice.

I'll confess it is pleasant to look at you asleep. You're quite beautiful, Clarice.

Thomas Harris
Can you smell his sweat? That peculiar goatish odor is trans-3-methyl-2 hexenoic acid. Remember it, it's the smell of schizophrenia.

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
I would not have had that happen to you. Discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me.

I would not have had that happen to you. Discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me.

Thomas Harris
Shiloh isn’t haunted – men are haunted.
Shiloh doesn’t care.

Shiloh isn’t haunted – men are haunted. Shiloh doesn’t care.

Thomas Harris
One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind.

One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind.

Thomas Harris
Life's too slippery for books, Clarice; anger appears as lust, lupus presents as hives.

Life's too slippery for books, Clarice; anger appears as lust, lupus presents as hives.

Thomas Harris
Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened. You can't reduce me to a set of influences.

Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened. You can't reduce me to a set of influences.

Thomas Harris
He was numb except for dreading the loss of numbness.

He was numb except for dreading the loss of numbness.

Thomas Harris
Gratitude’s got a short half-life, Clarice.

Gratitude’s got a short half-life, Clarice.

Thomas Harris
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.

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
One quality in a person doesn't rule out any other quality. They can exist side by side, good and terrible. Socrates said it a lot better.

One quality in a person doesn't rule out any other quality. They can exist side by side, good and terrible. Socrates said it a lot better.

Thomas Harris
I have no plans to call on you, Clarice, the world being more interesting with you in it.

I have no plans to call on you, Clarice, the world being more interesting with you in it.

Thomas Harris
Don't think you can persuade me with appeals to my intellectual vanity.

Don't think you can persuade me with appeals to my intellectual vanity.

Thomas Harris
We routinely leave our small children in day care among strangers. At the same time, in our guilt we evince paranoia about strangers and foster fear in children.

We routinely leave our small children in day care among strangers. At the same time, in our guilt we evince paranoia about strangers and foster fear in children.

Thomas Harris
It occured to Starling how much Roden would benefit from an elbow smash in the hinge of his jaw.

It occured to Starling how much Roden would benefit from an elbow smash in the hinge of his jaw.

Thomas Harris
The very air had screams smeared on it. He flinched from the noise in this silent room.

The very air had screams smeared on it. He flinched from the noise in this silent room.

Thomas Harris
Intense fear comes in waves; the body can’t stand it for long at a time.

Intense fear comes in waves; the body can’t stand it for long at a time.

Thomas Harris
He knew that a middle-aged man can be so desperate for wisdom he may try to make some up, and how deadly that can be to a youngster who believes him.

He knew that a middle-aged man can be so desperate for wisdom he may try to make some up, and how deadly that can be to a youngster who believes him.

Thomas Harris
The first step in the development of taste is to be willing to to credit your own opinion.

The first step in the development of taste is to be willing to to credit your own opinion.

Thomas Harris
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.

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
And your dinner for the orchestra officials.

And your dinner for the orchestra officials." "Haven't you ever had people coming over and no time to shop? You have to make do with what's in the fridge, Clarice. May I call you Clarice?

Thomas Harris
He moves smoothly and slowly, carrying his concentration like a brimming cup.

He moves smoothly and slowly, carrying his concentration like a brimming cup.

Thomas Harris
Because it's his bad luck to be the best.

Because it's his bad luck to be the best.

Thomas Harris
She wanted to go inside. She wanted to go in, wanting it as we want to jump from balconies, as the glint of the rails tempts us when we hear the approaching train.

She wanted to go inside. She wanted to go in, wanting it as we want to jump from balconies, as the glint of the rails tempts us when we hear the approaching train.

Thomas Harris
The longing need to be noticed that is often miscalled ego.

The longing need to be noticed that is often miscalled ego.

Thomas Harris
There is no murder. We make murder, and it matters only to us.

There is no murder. We make murder, and it matters only to us.

Thomas Harris
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.

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
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.

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
We don't begin to covet with imagined things. Coveting is a very literal sin–we begin to covet with tangibles, we begin with what we see every day.

We don't begin to covet with imagined things. Coveting is a very literal sin–we begin to covet with tangibles, we begin with what we see every day.

Thomas Harris
It's hard and ugly to know someone can understand you without even liking you.

It's hard and ugly to know someone can understand you without even liking you.

Thomas Harris
... the washing machine's rhythm was like a giant heartbeat, and the rush of its waters was what the unborn hear- our last memory of peace.

... the washing machine's rhythm was like a giant heartbeat, and the rush of its waters was what the unborn hear- our last memory of peace.

Thomas Harris
Ready when you are Sergeant Pempbry.

Ready when you are Sergeant Pempbry.

Thomas Harris
She was charming way a cub is charming, a small cub that will grow up to be like one of the big cats. One you can't play with later

She was charming way a cub is charming, a small cub that will grow up to be like one of the big cats. One you can't play with later

Thomas Harris
He could see that he had too many flowers in the room, and must add more to make it come back right again. Too many flowers was too many, but way too many was just right.

He could see that he had too many flowers in the room, and must add more to make it come back right again. Too many flowers was too many, but way too many was just right.

Thomas Harris
Every person is worth your time, Hannibal. If at first appearance a person seems dull, then look harder, look into him.

Every person is worth your time, Hannibal. If at first appearance a person seems dull, then look harder, look into him.

Thomas Harris
We assign a moment to decision, to dignify the process as a timely result of rational and conscious thought. But decisions are made of kneaded feelings; they are more often a lump than a sum.

We assign a moment to decision, to dignify the process as a timely result of rational and conscious thought. But decisions are made of kneaded feelings; they are more often a lump than a sum.

Thomas Harris
Dr. Doemling, does he want to fuck her or kill her, or eat her, or what?' Mason asked, exhausting the possibilities he could see. 'Probably all three,' Dr. Doemling said.

Dr. Doemling, does he want to fuck her or kill her, or eat her, or what?' Mason asked, exhausting the possibilities he could see. 'Probably all three,' Dr. Doemling said.

Thomas Harris
Writing novels is the hardest thing I've ever done, including digging irrigation ditches.

Writing novels is the hardest thing I've ever done, including digging irrigation ditches.

Thomas Harris
When the fox hears a rabbit scream, he comes running, but not to help.

When the fox hears a rabbit scream, he comes running, but not to help.

Thomas Harris
He could feed the caterpillar, he could whisper through the chrysalis; what hatched out followed its own nature and was beyond him.

He could feed the caterpillar, he could whisper through the chrysalis; what hatched out followed its own nature and was beyond him.

Thomas Harris
You didn’t draw a freak. You drew a man with a freak on his back. Nothing wrong with you, kid.

You didn’t draw a freak. You drew a man with a freak on his back. Nothing wrong with you, kid.

Thomas Harris
It's hard to have anything, isn't it? Rare yo get it, hard to keep it. This is a damn slippery planet.

It's hard to have anything, isn't it? Rare yo get it, hard to keep it. This is a damn slippery planet.

Thomas Harris
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.

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
Funerals often make us want sex—it’s one in the eye for death.

Funerals often make us want sex—it’s one in the eye for death.

Thomas Harris
Baby needs a new pair of shoes,' he said. 'My baby doesn't need any shoes.

Baby needs a new pair of shoes,' he said. 'My baby doesn't need any shoes.

Thomas Harris
Hannibal at eighteen was rooting for Mephistopheles and contemptuous of Faust, but he only half-listened to the climax. He was watching and breathing Lady Murasaki...

Hannibal at eighteen was rooting for Mephistopheles and contemptuous of Faust, but he only half-listened to the climax. He was watching and breathing Lady Murasaki...

Thomas Harris
You must understand that when you are writing a novel you are not making anything up.

You must understand that when you are writing a novel you are not making anything up.

Thomas Harris
Show Dr. Princi your teeth. That's right, let's see 'em all. Christ, Sparks, is that your tongue or are you swallowing a squirrel? Keep moving -

Show Dr. Princi your teeth. That's right, let's see 'em all. Christ, Sparks, is that your tongue or are you swallowing a squirrel? Keep moving -

Thomas Harris
When you feel strain, keep your mouth shut if you can.

When you feel strain, keep your mouth shut if you can.

Thomas Harris
Pictures ... flashed on her in sudden color, too much color, shocking color, the color that leaps out of black when lightning strikes at night.

Pictures ... flashed on her in sudden color, too much color, shocking color, the color that leaps out of black when lightning strikes at night.

Thomas Harris
Pachelbel’s Canon filled the sun-drowned room where they learned each other and even then the fear flickered across him like an osprey’s shadow: This is too good to live for long.

Pachelbel’s Canon filled the sun-drowned room where they learned each other and even then the fear flickered across him like an osprey’s shadow: This is too good to live for long.

Thomas Harris
The intimacy of the detail - why The Silence of the Lambs is quite possibly the Thriller Writer's bible.

The intimacy of the detail - why The Silence of the Lambs is quite possibly the Thriller Writer's bible.

Thomas Harris
Which do you think, Commendatore? Bowels in or out?

Which do you think, Commendatore? Bowels in or out?

Thomas Harris
Almost every place has a moment of the day, an angle and intensity of light, in which it looks its best. When you're stuck someplace, you learn that time and you look forward to it.

Almost every place has a moment of the day, an angle and intensity of light, in which it looks its best. When you're stuck someplace, you learn that time and you look forward to it.

Thomas Harris
The emperor counsels simplicity. First principles. Of each particular thing, ask: What is it in itself, in its own constitution? What is its causal nature?

The emperor counsels simplicity. First principles. Of each particular thing, ask: What is it in itself, in its own constitution? What is its causal nature?

Thomas Harris