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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slippery
Rather like the old 'Batman' television series, veteran sci-fi writer Harrison's 'Stainless Steel Rat' books work as both entertaining pulpy adventure stories, and tongue-in-cheek parodies of themselves. Featuring a hero who is more resourceful than McGuyver, the books spanned the 60's and 70's before being revived quite recently with 'The Stainless Steel Rat goes to...
Published on September 4, 2000 by Mr. A. Pomeroy

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat dated space-crime romp - good fun though.
When Harry Harrison died recently, I decided that I really ought to reacquaint myself with his most famous creation, Slippery Jim diGriz, AKA The Stainless Steel Rat. I actually first came upon the character while reading 2000AD in which the excellent Carlos Ezquerra rendered Jim in the style of James Coburn. That version remained with me when I decided to try the written...
Published on September 5, 2012 by Crookedmouth


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slippery, September 4, 2000
By 
Mr. A. Pomeroy (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Rather like the old 'Batman' television series, veteran sci-fi writer Harrison's 'Stainless Steel Rat' books work as both entertaining pulpy adventure stories, and tongue-in-cheek parodies of themselves. Featuring a hero who is more resourceful than McGuyver, the books spanned the 60's and 70's before being revived quite recently with 'The Stainless Steel Rat goes to Hell'. 'For President' and 'Saves the World' were the high spots - the series eventually met with dimishing returns, and started to repeat itself. The original 'Stainless Steel Rat' was a short story - after repeating it in mildly-edited form as a 'prologue', the book follows our hero (James Bolivar DiGriz, aka Slippery Jim, aka the Stainless Steel Rat) through a short adventure through space in pursuit of a stolen battleship. With the first part of the book given over to an introduction of the main character, it seems more rushed than the later books (many of which are, annoyingly, out-of-print). It's less obviously comedic, too, and the vision of the future is sketched with enough vagueness that it hasn't dated too badly, either.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Treasure, Not to Be Missed, August 15, 2012
By 
GadgetGuy (Southern California) - See all my reviews
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I just read the news today that Harry Harrison just passed away at the age of 87, which means it's a very sad day indeed for the science fiction community. I've been waiting for many years for the original three Stainless Steel Rat books to be released in e-book format (I had one of the original Sony Readers), so after reading today's news, I was reminded to look once again. Lo and behold, here they are! The Stainless Steel Rat, The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge, and The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World, all finally available in electronic form!

I have very fond memories of reading (and re-reading) these wonderfully entertaining books when I was quite young, delighted by their smart-alecky, irreverent narrative style that Mr. Harrison never quite duplicated as sharply in the other Stainless Steel Rat stories written years later. Remarkably, I'm finding they can still make me laugh out loud. Many of the supporting characters are two dimensional, cartoon-character-like dullards (it's always been clear that Mr. Harrison had little regard for the military, for example) that make these such great escapist entertainment. Also, the notion of a bad guy with a high sense of morality about never hurting his "victims" too seriously made "Slippery Jim diGriz" an interesting anti-hero who was always in complete command of his environment, and yet vulnerable to the bad guys because of these high morals.

I can honestly say that few books have ever entertained me the way these have, and I would warmly recommend them to anyone with a sense of humor, as well as what we used to think of as a sense of adventure.

Although the world has lost a very talented author, it's somehow fitting that these books are finally being made available for all to rediscover and enjoy. They are not to be missed!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart, lively, character-driven sci-fi, June 3, 2001
By 
P. Chambers "Spice Grrl" (Studio City, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat, No. 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Normally I am not a fan of sci-fi. Most of the sci-fi I have read takes itself wayyy too seriously and requires readers to be absolutely fascinated with technology, technology, technology. For those of us, however, who are more interested in people, personalities and motivations, and who appreciate a snappy, clever writing style, The Stainless Steel Rat makes a surprisingly good read. The main character, Slippery Jim DiGriz, is one of those "likeable bandit"-type characters whom you want to root for even though they are technically breaking the law. I am thinking of, for example, Butch Cassidy (played on screen by Paul Newman in 1972), "The Grey Fox" (played by Richard Farnsworth around 1982), and the George Clooney character in the 1998 movie "Out of Sight." These characters, like Slippery Jim, are daring, sassy and iconoclastic in their lawbreaking careers, and all of them revel in a justifiably high opinion of their own professional competence at what they do. Yet they also have a lot of warmth and personal charm and happen to place a high value on human life. They are thieves, not murderers. I really like that. What makes the Stainless Steel rat book particularly entertaining, for me, is Harrison's witty, lively writing style (although he does have a habit of misusing commas--this is why I give the book 4 stars instead of 5), and most of all, the philosophical questions that are (inadvertantly?) posed now and then by the story. For example: Jim changes his identity several times by altering his physical appearance and making up a new bogus personality and personal history to go along with it. Yet his inner self remains the same at all times, which we (the readers) know because he shares his true inner thoughts with us. (As a narrator, Jim is 100% reliable--he levels with us always, even when he is lying to others.) So his identity-changes beg the question--what makes up a person's "true" identity, anyway? If we are not our names, jobs, values, personalities, and personal histories, then what makes us "ourselves"? It is fascinating to me that he maintains such a clear sense, for himself, of who he really is underneath all the changes. In short: I love The Stainless Steel Rat for its innovative main character, its psychological insight, its lively writing, and the intellectual substance I find in the story--even though it is sci-fi, which I don't usually like.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book really is the bowb..., October 29, 2012
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Of all of Harry Harrison's works, the Stainless Steel Rat series is for my money the most enjoyable. A sly mixture of SF and humor employing equal quantities of satire and parody, with a memorable character at the heart of the stories.

James Bolivar 'Slippery Jim' diGriz is a gleefully anarchic hero with a strong moral center. 'The Stainless Steel Rat' is the story of how this highly individualistic career criminal of the future is recruited into the Special Corps to track down other, more malevolent law-breakers.

This book was one of the shining gems of my teen reading years. The sequels were even better.

It is a "lock-'em-in-the-hole-and-torture-'em-with-'The-Sound-Of-Music'-24/7" crime that the Stainless Steel Rat has not yet reached the big screen.

As for this Kindle edition. 4 out of 5 stars, thanks to a few niggling transcription errors that should have been picked up by the proof-readers.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supercool scamartist, June 23, 2000
The stainless steel rat is such a good nickname for the main character of this story. I loved the fact that even though it is set in the future the scams that Harry Harrison writes about in the very beginning of the story are so believable. The characters, places and ideas are what make this book a winner how could I give it something less than 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duck and over, James Bond. Slippery Jim DiGriz is here., December 11, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat, No. 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
James Bolivar DiGriz (aka Slippery Jim) is one of my altime favorite characters. Set in the future, this tale of a criminal mastermind loose in an artificially pacified universe will not let you put it down. Great wit mixed with masterful writing, as has come to be expected from a legend of Harry Harrison's calibur, leaves you chuckling and invigorated. The great hook in the first paragraph leads into an unforgettable story of suspense, daring, intelligence, and humor. Get a copy today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good reading, December 9, 2008
"The Stainless Steel Rat" is very good reading.

This is the first book in the "Stainless Steel Rat" series. Let us just say that the right criminal might, just might, make an interesting law and order agent.

Read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and funny, March 30, 2011
When Harry Harrison created "Slippery Jim DiGriz" (pun intended I'm certain), he created the mold for any number of book and movie heroes from that day forward.

Slippery Jim, or The Stainless Steel Rat, is a self reliant individual (well, at least with his gadgets) who strives to live outside the bonds of his highly documented, low privacy society. Sometimes this means being a thief, and sometimes a hero, but it always means clever solutions to well constructed problems, along with some adventure, colorful personalities, and extremely amusing asides, philosophies, and escapades.

The Stainless Steel Rat series of books are not great literature, but they did entertain me as much as anything I've ever read, and caused me to follow Harrison's writing through his other works (the ones that aren't about Slippery Jim). This first effort kicks things off in grand fashion, and shouldn't be missed by fans of sci-fi, humor, clever spy/thief stories, and farce. Very clever writing by a very clever man.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brief Yet Entertaining, July 8, 2004
By 
C. T. Mikesell (near Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
More a novella (short; single plot thread; character exploration, not development) than novel, The Stainless Steel Rat is nevertheless an enjoyable read. I'm not a hard-core science fiction fan, and my prior experience with Harrison is limited to the first three "Bill the Galactic Hero" novels, so I'm pleased with how accessible and well plotted this story is.
The story itself concerns the doings of uber-criminal James "Slippery Jim" DiGriz. After a brief introduction to his crime skills, the story shifts to what happens after DiGriz is "recruited" by law enforcement to go after his fellow criminal masterminds. What follows are the details of his discovery of a plot to create a massive space-warship and his adventures as he sets out to shut it - and the criminals behind the plot - down.
While nothing earth shattering happens, DiGriz's exploits are entertaining and a fine way to spend a summer's afternoon or two. I look forward to reading the next book in the series with some trepidation - after the way Bill books went downhill fast - but I'll likely give it a try nonetheless. One thing's for certain and that's that this book was more than worth the short while it took to read it. Hopefully the next one(s) will be, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Harrisons Rat, March 30, 2013
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Easy Reading Sci-Fi comedy. Introducing slippery Jim as the quirky, amoral, unlikely and reluctant hero of the 'stainless Steel'' Series.
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The Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat, No. 1)
The Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat, No. 1) by Harry Harrison (Mass Market Paperback - September 1, 1986)
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