Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Stainless Steel Rat” as Want to Read:
The Stainless Steel Rat
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat (Chronological Order) #4)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  8,079 ratings  ·  266 reviews
There is a prequel called, A Stainless Steel Rat is Born.

Meet Slippery Jim diGriz

Cosmic criminal, the smoothest, sneakiest, con-man in the known Universe. He can take any bank in the Galaxy, con a captain out of his ship, start a war or stop one - whichever pays most.

So when the law finally catches up with the Stainless Steel Rat, there is only one thing to do - make him a
...more
Paperback, #F672, 158 pages
Published November 1961 by Pyramid Books (first published 1961)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Stainless Steel Rat, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Stainless Steel Rat

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Stephen
Photobucket

To understand the unique brilliance and enduring popularity of the Stainless Steel Rat, it’s important to understand the world in which these stories take place. It is the far future and genetic manipulation and controls have bred the “malcontent” or “criminal” gene out of humanity...all but a few anyway. Society is sterile, homogenous and lifeless.

Shattering the status quo is James Bolivar DiGriz (aka The Stainless Steel Rat) and his roguish, adventure-filled criminal schemes. He is an exciti
...more
Carol.
Jan 18, 2014 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of To Catch a Thief, Ocean's Eleven
Recommended to Carol. by: Eric
First, notice the cover. Do you know why my review copy looks so different from the one you may have read? Published 1970, baby, this edition comes courtesy of the local library system. Let’s give it up for the librarians, shall we, the ones who track down my ridiculous requests for books published before I was (figuratively, of course, my dears). I like to think of myself as the real life equivalent of the heroine in Bellwether, who was on a mission to check out unused books so that they wouldn ...more
Jason Koivu
Mar 08, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs a fun, action-packed good time
Recommended to Jason by: Stephen, he of many reviews
Shelves: humor, sci-fi
A fun, entertaining and, above all else, quick read. Just what the doctor ordered after finishing the mammoth tome that is A Game of Thrones. This Sci-Fi lite-meets-hardboiled cop dramedy makes for a nice, mindless distraction. It probably only deserves 3 stars (this ain't Shakespeare, folks!), but I'm willing to bump it up a full star more for the pure enjoyment of it all. Some will consider the writing so-so or even subpar, while others will complain of stereotypical characters (I actually enj ...more
Mohammed
I was surprised to find how well this book stands up after all these year. I hadnt read Harry Harrison before so i didnt expect it to be this good.
It was raw quality with fun adventure, great satirical humour,ingenious plot twists. Good action too. The ideal fun space adventure i was looking for.

Slippery Jim himself is an awesome character to read and memorable. His strong first person narrative carried the book very well. Every thought,word from him was interesting. He made me smile by the kind
...more
Eric
Jan 09, 2014 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of sci-fi classics
What we have here is a time capsule from 1961, when Harrison, the author of Make Room! Make Room!, wrote a pulpy sci-fi adventure as an homage to prototypical science fiction adventures of an even earlier era.

While this didn't age as well as one would hope, and may get knocked down by fans of more contemporary science fiction on that account, I enjoy occasionally looking back in time and reading influential genre works, as they give a glimpse into how the genre was built and evolved into what i
...more
Jim
This was a nice blast from the past, a fast moving space opera with a wonderful main character, Slippery Jim DiGriz. He's a thief, con man, liar, but a pretty good & nice guy for all that. Just a bit of a square peg in the round holes of the future. This was the first book published & might be the best book, although the next one The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge is a very close second.

While this is shelved as SF, the universe is very much a 1960's vision of the future. Punch cards are s
...more
David
Oct 02, 2014 David rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: stainless steel rats, hot killer babes with battlecruisers
"Slippery" Jim DiGriz is a rogue in a society that is a peaceful, plentiful utopia and has mostly bred antisocial behavior away. That leaves men like DiGriz bored and, unable to cope with society any other way, they plan capers. Since there are so few people like him, there is a Special Corps dedicated to stopping these nefarious ne'er do wells.

After a bank heist and a scam that turns the wrong way, DiGriz gets captured, and recruited into the Corps. Of course. Takes a thief to catch a thief, an
...more
Manny

Excellent SF caper novel. The successors get steadily worse, but #1 is definitely worth reading.
F.R.
When I was a child in short trousers, I used to stare fascinated at the various ‘Stainless Steel Rat’ adventures on the bookshelves at W.H.Smiths. I don’t quite know what intrigued me so much. Perhaps it was the cover, which I remember as a square jawed man in a futuristic space-suit dropping from the sky. Or maybe it was the name, as I thought the term “stainless steel rat” seemed impossibly cool (if I’m honest, I’m still of that belief). Whatever the reason, I would stand there and stare at th ...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

"At a certain stage, the realization strikes through that one must either live outside of society’s bonds or die of absolute boredom. There is no future or freedom in the circumscribed life and the only other life is complete rejection of the rules. There is no longer room for the soldier of fortune or the gentleman adventurer who can live both within and outside of society. Today it is all or nothing. To save my own sanity, I chose nothing."

In the future
...more
James
I read this book for the first time back in the early 90s, while at university. We had a fantastic book shop where you could give back books you'd read to help fund your new purchases. I introduced myself to a lot of previously unread science-fiction authors thanks to that shop, but I also read through a lot of great series that way too. Strangely, I never went any further with the stainless steel rat series, although I remembered loving the first book – and I gave it four stars based on that me ...more
Dorothea
This is definitely the best pulp scifi I have ever read!

There are no actual rats, steel or otherwise, in this story (I have to admit I was a bit disappointed about that); the stainless steel rat is the protagonist and narrator's metaphor for his chosen role in society -- slipping between the cracks and taking what he wants. In the far future it's harder to do this, as society is run by experts who maintain peace and abundance and who cull potential criminals from the population. Thus one can't j
...more
Darryl Knickrehm
2.5 out of 5
In 1961, I am sure this book was stellar. It is colorfully written. There is a whimsical tone to the narration. It evokes a lot of the B-sci-fi of the time. The plot is always moving. Lots of snappy action fill the pages. It is short. All of these make The Stainless Steel Rat a great book for teens.

In 2012, this book is not so stellar. Heck, we are in the 'future' now (at least for the 60's) and none of that B-sci-fi is considered quality fiction nowadays. Just like SSR, that sci-fi
...more
Simon
I don't know why but I was expecting something more like vintage space opera from the 30's and was surprised to find this was actually written in the mid '60s and still feels fresh.

This is light, fast-moving, edge of your seat stuff that you will whip through in no time. A charming, loveable rogue protagonist is nearly impossible not to engage with. While he think's he's clever, he still gets outsmarted on quite a regular basis, his fallibility only making him more likable. There is very little
...more
Ken Magee
The Stainless Steel Rat introduced me to comedy sci-fi many, many years ago. It opened up a whole new genre which, in turn, led me to comedy fantasy. I'm very grateful to Harry Harrison for that.

I remember the plot as being somewhat convoluted, but it boiled down to master conman turns cop... and falls in love. I recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of fun, I plan to re-read it soon.

Veeral
This was entertaining but not as good as 'Make Room! Make Room!' by the same author. But then again, the comparison is not fair as 'Make Room! Make Room!' is more serious than this. But reading 'SS Rat' once won't make you regret it.
Kian
Taking a break from Masterworks for a little bit, I grabbed this on hearing of the author's passing. Better late than never.

First in a series of ... lots, the Rat is a intergalactic con man in a universe where criminality is low due to personality modifications. Captured criminals are rehabilitated, or ... are recruited in to the Corps, where their individual skills are especially useful. Use a thief to catch a thief.

The story is the first outing for the Rat under the Corps. The Rat is foiled by
...more
Linda I
This is a great campy sci-fi story. Set in the future and in a society where most everything is regulated and nearly perfect, comes a con rat, James DiGriz or Slippery Jim, who is simply unsatisfied with the nicety of his world. After decades of successful cons, Slippery Jim, though meticulously careful in planning his cons, is convinced he can outsmart the authorities. That is, until the Special Corps eventually catch up to him and snare him in their trap. However, rather than arrest him, they ...more
Steve Merrick
THIS BOOK IS SO MUCH FUN ITS WORTH STEALING!!!!

I have just re-read this one and adored every naughty moment, the main character is none other than Slippery Jim DiGriz, a galactic thief with a love of cigars and fine living, whats outstanding is the morality of this crook, he literally has justified his every move and you love him more for it, also he doesn't kill people, he is pretty specific about that until he gets caught by Inskip and the Special Corps and he finds himself becoming a copper..
...more
Andrew Obrigewitsch
An entertaining short story written in the style of 1960's Sci-Fi. It is basically a secret agent style story.
Yune
I adored the first chapter, wherein our "hero," James Bolivar diGriz, a.k.a. "Slippery Jim," is confronted by a police robot but waits for the last word in "I arrest you on the charge" before setting off an explosion to escape.

His latest crime? (Before assaulting the police robot, that is.) Stealing canned food from government warehouses and selling it with new labels. He's not a sociopath, our stainless steel rat, but just a man who likes to dance with the rules and sidestep the consequences in
...more
[Name Redacted]
First Read: 1994? 1995?
Second Read: November 5, 2014 - November 6, 2014.
Richard
This was a really fun read, Master theif novel, set in space, what more needs to be said, it was both and while parts made me chuckle this isnt just some book to rip jokes on all the stereotypes, the story works well and kept me reading when I really should not have been.

As someone who doesn't find myself picking up sci fi novels very often, id definately recommend it even if just for some of the humorous antics.
Cristiana
3.5 stars really. It's hard to rate it higher just because it was short, light and somewhat fluffy, but it was fun. It's about a crook who may turn good and help catch other crooks.

It's only incidentally science fiction. Sure, there are spaceships and other planets, but they could easily be replaced by other vehicles (tanks maybe) and cities, and the story would not suffer much, if at all. There are some high tech gadgets, but James Bond has those, and I would't necessarily categorize those stor
...more
Max
A cool sci-fi crime/spy romp that benefits greatly from the writer's sense of "voice." Writing an entire story in the first person can fall flat if the author hasn't really "nailed" the narrator's persona. This writer had it dialed in perfectly. A nice, short, fully enjoyable little book that definitely makes me more interested in the series than I was before.
Brian
Though I haven't read these books since I was in middle school, just seeing the covers remind me of how much I used to love them. They showed me that science fiction doesn't have to be intellectual or time-consuming to read, but instead can be a light and easy story. I recommend these books to anyone who's new to science fiction and doesn't know where to start.
Frank
2.5 Stars.
I pulled this book off of my massive TBR, knowing that it sat their for years, in search of a quick read, away from the fantasy I have been so immersed in these many months.
With that said, this book, is a short sci-fi crime caper, with a fun main character. Though with not much depth and story. It stands in many cases with the word length of much of the sci-fi published in the 50's and 60's, although in many I read during that time especially Heinlein, Asimov, Farmer and Clarke, they s
...more
Karin
I always get too personally involved with books. Sometimes that means being full of nervous energy after finishing a suspenseful book, sometimes that means being mysteriously angry at my husband when I'm at the part in the YA romance novel where the boy has done something wrong and it hasn't yet been patched up. This time it meant that I was thoroughly repulsed by the novel. Slippery Jim is a type of person that scares me. He is narcassistic and obsessive, lacking in empathy, yet perfectly charm ...more
Vinca Russell
This is a light-hearted science fiction adventure. It's a little dated but great fun. The heists are exciting and the characters are engaging which makes this short read a good one to pick up if you've a few hours spare.
A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat is one of those SF classics I’ve known about for years (probably since the days when I was 8 or 9 and scanning the family bookcases for amusingly odd titles) but never gotten around to reading. Its reputation far, far preceded it: A short, fast, funny read about a roguish master criminal loose in a far-future galactic empire. All that sounded like a good match for a January night (or two), so I pulled it off the shelf.

The 83 pages I made it through before
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Gray Lensman (Lensman, #4)
  • Mindswap
  • The Callahan Chronicals (Callahan's Place Trilogy, #1-3) (Callahan's Series, #1-3)
  • Phule's Company (Phule's Company, #1)
  • The Fabulous Riverboat (Riverworld, #2)
  • Hospital Station (Sector General, #1)
  • Tunnel in the Sky
  • All My Sins Remembered
  • The Witches of Karres (The Witches of Karres, #1)
  • Martians, Go Home
  • Retief! (Retief)
  • Inconstant Moon
  • Wasp
16147
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 Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat (Stainless Steel Rat, #4-6) A Stainless Steel Rat is Born (Stainless Steel Rat, #1) 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)

Share This Book

“We must be as stealthy as rats in the wainscoting of their society. It was easier in the old days, of course, and society had more rats when the rules were looser, just as old wooden buildings have more rats than concrete buildings. But there are rats in the building now as well. Now that society is all ferrocrete and stainless steel there are fewer gaps in the joints. It takes a very smart rat indeed to find these openings. Only a stainless steel rat can be at home in this environment...” 10 likes
“I could say. “Well I damn well knew what” 0 likes
More quotes…