A Stainless Steel Rat is Born (Stainless Steel Rat, #1)
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A Stainless Steel Rat is Born (Stainless Steel Rat (Chronological Order) #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  4,633 ratings  ·  81 reviews
A prequel to the original series of books which began with The Stainless Steel Rat. Slippery Jim is here a brash 17 year old who has left his parents' porcuswine farm, planning to embark on a life of crime. The book opens with Jim bungling a bank job so that he can be arrested and sent to prison, where he plans to learn the art of being a master criminal.
Deciding that the...more
Paperback, 219 pages
Published 1985 by Bantam
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Simple, easy to read. Nothing outstanding or deep. But if you are looking for a mickey spillane style non-brain burning old scifi, then the Rat series is for you. Very little character development yet and pretty much this book was the same story told three times.

Get into trouble, fight a bit, run away, hide, come back for revenge. x 3

Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

A Stainless Steel Rat is Born is a prequel to the Stainless Steel Rat series. Jimmy Bolivar diGriz is a smart and ambitious 17-year-old who feels trapped and inhibited on the backward planet of Bit O' Heaven where his parents are porcuswine farmers. Jim learned early in life that he was clever and unscrupulous enough to take what he wanted from others and, more than anything, he enjoyed planning and carrying out these little escapades. So, while his classm...more
The Iowa Canal Players put on a great comedy at this years’ Archon/TuckerCon/NASFiC. As Janice and I were leaving, she was telling me what a great spoof it was on the Stainless Steel Rat books by Harry Harrison. She said I did not get much of the inside humor because I hadn’t read these books yet. In order to correct this oversight I have extracted a couple of these novels from the farm library and started reading them.

Janice suggested I start with this one, every though it is not the first one...more
Linda I
Always nice to become acquainted with our hero's humble past. Jim wasn't born a rat, but had to discover how to become one through tutelage and loss. By purposefully landing himself in jail, Jim tries to learn from his fellow crooks but realizes only the best rats never get caught. Unfortunately, Jim accidently reveals the secret whereabouts of the most infamous and much-sought-after rat, in an attempt to show off his skills to said master rat. Now, he not only has to save his own skin but that...more
Oh dear, dear James Bolivar DiGriz. I first read the rat books when I was in high school (the first time around). One of my students was reading The Stainless Steel Rat for President, and when I found a few of the others in my bookshelf, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed the book the first time around.

On second reading (thank you, winter holiday break!), this one is still cute, but I couldn't get over the writing. The story is still very fun, and the capers in which Jimmy involves himself ar...more
G.P. Francis
What can I say about this? I regard myself as an overall fan of the sci-fi genre, so I picked up this book in my teens expecting to be pleased by the contents. I quickly discovered that all sci-fi is not created equal. The main character struck me as one of those uber-masculine idealisations of the author, inserted into the story. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but that was quickly my impression. I found the device repulsive, and never read past twenty pages.

Perhaps having been previously spoiled by a...more
Andrew Breslin
I enjoyed The Stainless Steel Rat and I was looking forward to this prequel, as I was sorely in need of some literary snack food. Nothing too deep and heavy. Something fun, light, and good to read while battling a ferocious hangover. Sadly, I was disappointed. It just wasn't quite as engaging as the original. Not consistently, anyway. I was pulled in at the beginning, but found my interest waning by the halfway mark. By 3/4 of the way through it, I had to prod myself to keep reading, and I found...more
Vor etwa 20 bis 25 Jahren habe ich dieses Buch gelesen und hatte es in guter Erinnerung, so dass das Wiederlesen (und eventuelle Vervollständigen der Serie) schon immer auf meiner gedanklichen Leseliste stand. Nun bot es sich sozusagen zu Recherchezwecken an und ich habe den Band endlich aus dem Regal gezogen. (Ja, tatsächlich als echtes Buch. War schon ein merkwürdiges Gefühl in der Bahn. Ich fühlte mich ein wenig wie ein Neanderthaler ;) ).

Worum geht es?

Jim di Griz marschiert an seinem siebzeh...more
Weird, bizarre, wild and occasionally cheesy. Several years ago I had picked up one of Harrison's books that my nephew had (don't remember title) and that led me onto this path of crazy. Title was forgotten, but the character remained in memory. So now, I start at the beginning, the making of the rat. This would be mostly safe for YA if not for the alcohol consumption by a 17 year old James diGriz. But then it's in the future and on a different planet, so maybe it's legal there? As the title des...more
I first read this book as a teenager in the early 1980's and have re-read this one and the others in the Stainless Steel rat series a number of times since, including recently. For me the Stainless Steel Rat is Born is a perfect introduction into the world of Slippery Jim DiGriz, which are all a delight to read but also into the world of Sci-Fi. I should add that an interest in Sci-Fi is not a prerequisite to reading this set of books.

Finally I would like to say thank you to Harry Harrison for i...more
Simon Forward
I'm not generally a fan of prequels and I don't remember feeling any differently when I first read this the first time round. But this time I get to read it as though it was an actual beginning of a series and it'll be interesting to see if it holds up as such.

As an individual book, it's a cracking read as we're introduced to young Jim DiGriz and follow his exploits after a less than spectacular plan to get himself incarcerated in one of Bit O'Heaven's penal institutions in hopes of learning fro...more
Kiera Beddes
Genre: antihero, sci fi, satire
Summary: The story behind the story of Jim diGriz the cleverest thief in the 25th century.
Response: I am, in my heart of hearts, a bonafide nerd. I love sci fi, I really do. I love it because there is so much going on beneath the futuristic descriptions and the fantasy. There are real insights into human nature, politics and morality. It's always an interesting read. In addition, Harry Harrison creates a clever, brilliant, prideful character that you can't help bu...more
Terry Quirke
I got my first introduction to Jim DeGriz way back in the 1980's via the British comic adaption in 2000AD, and carried a candle fondly for many years for the character and his mis-adventures. So it was with some excitement that I finally launched into reading the books, and decided to start with the sequential number one, rather then the order the books were published in.

And what did I find? Whilst the humour, escapades, out of the frying pan and into the fire nature of the comics were there, th...more
For a master con-man, the story is a bit too simple. The obligatory twists fall flat. Few characters, though decently characterized. Lacking world description with some boring events that neither the characters nor the reader care about. Feels dated, though not much.
Eric Lawson
The first book chronologically in the Stainless Steel Rat series but the sixth book published. The Stainless Steel Rat is James Bolivar diGriz, also known as Slippery Jim, and he's finding life on the farm restrictive and boring. He's smarter than all his classmates and uses his intelligence and skills to get the bullies off his back and gain some respect.

Deciding that he needs to go to jail to improve his skills he plans a failure of a bank robbery. But things don't work out just the way he pl...more
James Bolivar diGriz lebt auf einer Stachelspeckschwein-Farm auf dem Planeten Bißchen-Himmel, und ist zu intelligent für das Schicksal, das ihm bestimmt wurde. Also bildet er sich selbst zum Verbrecher aus - aber mit Stil! Als er dabei an seine Grenzen stößt, macht er sich auf die Suche nach einem Gleichgesinnten seines Niveaus. Nach einem ärgerlichen Zwischenfall wird er schließlich fündig. Leider haben die Gesetzeshüter davon Wind bekommen, und James muss alle Register seines Könnens ziehen, u...more
Joe Barborak
A spectacular start to a fantastic series. A must-read for people that like sci-fi, mysteries, action, and don't take themselves too seriously.
Vitalijus Sostak
Reminds me of my school years!
Such a pleasure to re-read these light entertaining sci-fi novels again :]
A throwback book to a time when soft scifi was something new and funny.
Nan Brooks
Love the stainless steel rat books. Harry Harrison is a fun writer.
Had to revisit the Stainless Steel Rat after Harrison's recent passing. Actually just finished an omnibus of the first three books (Rat is Born, gets drafted and sings the blues.) The first two hold up amazingly well and even make some timely political and economic commentary. Sings the Blues was a lot of fun but was a little flat (couldn't pass up the pun.) It just seemed a little more obvious in many ways that the first two books and Harrison didn't do as well when taking an odd turn into gend...more
Lisa Fox
I found the book trashy, but enjoyable. It's similar to a cheap detective story. It hasn't instantly become a particular favourite of mine, but it did make me want to read the next title in the series.
An engaging read if you've always wanted to become a famous criminal. Plus, it's quite self-aware in its cheesiness, so though it isn't a full-on comedy, it offers a healthy dose of humour. Plus, sci-fi pulp is clearly the best kind of pulp.
Would I recommend it? If you're stuck for things to read a...more
I appreciate that is a much-loved series, and since Harry Harrison recently died I thought I'd give it a go in his memory. Unfortunately, it's just not really my kind of book. I see what he's doing, and I appreciate how some people might really enjoy it, but the writing style and characters leave me cold. You can see how many writers, from the execrable Piers Anthony to the sublime Terry Pratchett, may have been influenced by Harrison, but I just don't see myself finishing the series. I can't im...more
A really well written science fiction!
SciFi humor. I quite enjoyed the first five books or so, but in the end the laughter starts wearing thin. I gave up after “The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell”. Those I have read are:

The Stainless Steel Rat
The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge
The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World
The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You
The Stainless Steel Rat for President
A Stainless Steel Rat is Born
The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted
The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell

Nose in a book (Kate)
This is a bit of a boyish adventure – it’s in the future! in space! The young main character, Jim diGriz, decides that he is going to be a master criminal. This creates many a situation where he has to survive on his wits and make use of his slightly unbelievable level of skill at everything. Only once or twice is he caught out by the naivety of youth, which makes him a tad irritating. However, the book is touching in the right moments and thrilling in the right moments. And I enjoyed it.
Nothing about this book really stands out. It's just good, wholesome. Why the four stars? It's not easy to write a book that is just harmless fun, apparently. Most books try hard and then fail, or succeed and tax you emotionally, heavy. This book is entertainment without any unpleasant side effects. Think of a sitcom that doesn't try to be clever, sure it's not original and it has been done before, kinda, but it's just good. Good harmless fun.

I'm definitely going to read more of these.
Sean Randall
I think this is one of my favourite of the rat series. The first held the opening thrill and some of the ones up until this point have been enjoyable, but nothing's really taken us back and given us some of our heroes history. it is this history that makes the man, of course; and so although it may seem a little cliched and repetitive to hear of the same rationales for crime, there's nevertheless a fresh twist on the whole shebang - truly a breath of fresh air.

A sci-fi tale of a brilliant resourceful young man who turns to a life of crime. His unusual way of thinking and going about it is fascinating and humorous and, although he plans to be a career criminal, he does have principles and comes across as a very likeable character.
Steve Thomas
I shouldn't have started the series with the prequel. "A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born" is the story of how James DiGriz went from teenage punk to...well, teenage punk with purpose, I guess. Had I started with "A Stainless Steel Rat," maybe I would have enjoyed it more, but I have an aversion for origin stories, and I didn't have any attachment to the character, so a lot of the events and character developments didn't mean anything to me.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) was an American science fiction author best known for his character the The Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966), the basis for the film Soylent Green (1973). He was also (with Brian W. Aldiss) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction G...more
More about Harry Harrison...
The Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat, #4) The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat, #4-6) The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You! (Stainless Steel Rat, #7) The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (Stainless Steel Rat, #6) The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge (Stainless Steel Rat, #5)

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