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The Stainless Steel Rat Mass Market Paperback – May 6, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
Book 4 of 11 in the Stainless Steel Rat Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Harry Harrison is one of the established greats of SF The Stainless Steel Rat is his most popular creation 'The Rat can hold his head up high amongst the most elevated superhero company; Bulldog Drummond, James Bond and Flash Gordon' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 185 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (May 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857984986
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857984989
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,144,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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.Read more ›
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