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Stainless Steel Rat #4-6

The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat

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A star ranging science fiction adventure that has become a classic in its own time. Interstellar outlaw; when the legendary Special Corps finally corners the one man that no prison can hold, they have two either kill him(no easy task, or hire him for one way assignments to the weirdest and deadliest planets in the galaxy.

402 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 1977

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About the author

Harry Harrison

1,201 books949 followers
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 Group.

Excerpted from Wikipedia.

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5 stars
3,767 (39%)
4 stars
3,441 (36%)
3 stars
1,878 (19%)
2 stars
293 (3%)
1 star
62 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 116 reviews
5,055 reviews56 followers
September 29, 2017
A collection of three stories featuring the ex super-criminal turned super cop, The Stainless Steel Rat. In the first one, he is caught, recruited as a super agent, and sent after another criminal. He at first fails, and learns the criminal is a ruthless woman, with whom he falls in love.

From there, the pair take on other criminals.

Good stuff. I can see why the character garnered a cult, but to be honest, feels a bit dated today.
Profile Image for Billjustbill.
24 reviews
September 17, 2012
Light and fluffy... So if that's all you want, certainly an "OK" read.

I actually only read the first of three stories in this book. After that I went online to read some other opinions and it certainly sounded like that was the best of the three. So I'm off to a more challenging reads. It it doesn't get BETTER, I've got other things I'd rather re-read!

Not a lot of "deep thought" or heavy thinking is required from this title. If you have the spare time and end up with the book, by all means read it as there's nothing inherently _wrong_ with it. Actually the _writing_ is well done. I absolutely LOVED the Deathworld series when I grew up and was expecting something along those lines, but thinking back, maybe Deathworld was kind of shallow too.

The main problem is that it's filled with AMAZING COINCIDENCES that solve the dilemmas in which the author/plot/story has found itself. I kind of think that's a cheat and prefer something a bit more clever if I'm going to spend my time reading it. Also I'd put the reading level at low High School, so not really much to it there. Similar to Burroughs or Farmer (which I _LOVED_ as a kid, but...). So it's probably a FANTASTIC suggestion for middle or high school kids that are just starting out (nice and "clean" without the sex/violence/language you might find elsewhere).

Glad I finally read _something_ with the "Stainless Steel Rat", having seen these book titles for decades now, but I won't be back... Not having an infinite life and TONS of other books I still want to read...
Profile Image for Michael Burnam-Fink.
1,503 reviews227 followers
February 8, 2018
The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat is an omnibus edition of the first three Stainless Steel Rat books (self titled, Revenge, Saves the World), all featuring Slippery Jim deGriz, best thief in the galaxy. A high-tech bandit in a society where perfect law enforcement means that criminals are very few and very skilled, deGriz steals because he's bored with a bunch of high-tech gadgets and simple cons, avoiding killing people at all cost. His skills and ethics get him recruited into the Special Corps, the real secret police, run by former thieves.

On the plus side, when the books work they really work. Slippery Jim always has a new identity, a clever plan, a non-lethal solution that has a lot of chaos and him walking safe and sound through the middle of it. It's high-action and high-octane.

The downside is that the stories get increasingly lazy. I quite enjoyed the first one, where deGriz is recruited into the Special Corps and tracks down a psychotic con artist who built an ancient battleship in plain sight and then slipped right out of his clutches. But the next two books have less cleverness and more straight up non-lethal violence with sucker punches, sleep gas, and smoke grenades as he goes after militarists trying to conquer the galaxy and a time travelling megalomaniac. Some parts of the book haven't aged well at all. Angelina, deGriz's first enemy and than wife after Special Corps conscience surgery, is positively cringe worthy. This might also be the first time I've been concerned about a fictional character's alcoholism, as deGriz works his way through bottle after bottle. I've heard that authors who drink while writing have their characters drink to excess, and it sure feels like the drink or two Harrison had as he did the daily writing turned into a drink on every other page, punctuated with epic benders. A lot of fun, but ultimately fluff that never quite becomes first rate.
Profile Image for Globalt38.
113 reviews1 follower
April 23, 2013
Great series! SciFi with a sarcastic comedic slant. The Stainless Steel Rat is super slick thief/con man, who can't refuse helping those truly in need of it, in a large varied universe that reminds me of that of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe". He justifies his "life of crime" with the philosphy that what he does harms no-one (he avoids killing anyone and his targets are the super rich and mega corporations that are insured), injects cash into the economy, and provides excitement to people's otherwise boring lives. He is eventually recruited by the galatic version of the CIA to put his talents to "good use" although he often can't resist making sure his work adds dollars to his pockets!
Profile Image for John Loyd.
1,158 reviews31 followers
December 12, 2017
The Stainless Steel Rat (1961), The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge (1970) and The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (1972) by Harry Harrison.

Omnibus edition of the first three Stainless Steel Rat series. It was explained pretty quickly that stainless steel rat was a metaphor. In this future the galaxy is fairly peaceful and bland. James Bolivar "slippery Jim" DiGriz had a choice in life to go with the flow or to stir things up, get some excitement, live on the edge, making a not honest living. He's the rat, and stainless steel is the type needed in this space age.

The first chapter introduces us to Jim and his narrow escape from the law. Then he is caught by the Special Corps, who rather than throwing him in jail, enlist him as a field agent. Jim, while in his training and bored out of his mind, uncovers a warship being built. He is sent on his first mission.

The plot follows sort of a pattern of Jim explaining what he's going to do, and what he expects will happen. A few unexpected things happen, things get worse, he thinks himself out of the jam, or gets outside help, things get better, and so on. Sometimes Jim holds back some of his plan, so that the reader doesn't know the outcome ahead of time.

In Revenge Jim is sent on a mission to Cliaand to find out how they are conquering worlds and building an empire when interstellar warfare is seemingly impossible.

There is a lot of action, the characters aren't very deep, even Jim seems to be straight from a 1940's or 50's Private Eye novel, with the slight twist that he's not law abiding and he's placed in a future galactic civilization. The novels are fun, and even with the small print in my edition the reading didn't bog down.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
282 reviews2 followers
November 22, 2012

This omnibus collection consists of the first three novels in this popular series: The Stainless Steel Rat, The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge and The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World. The first story introduces us to James Bolivar DeGriz, alias the Stainless Steel Rat. He is a thief with honor and morals and steals with impunity – until the Special Corps catch him in a neat set-up. He Corps is an elite group who track down the worst criminals in the universe. The Corps need brilliant criminals like “slippery” Jim DeGriz to accomplish this. Of course our hero succumbs to the greater need and works with Corps – of course he still manages to steal his way to La Dolce Vita along the way.

The second tale is an engrossing one where the Rat is on the trail of Kraj – a ruthless bloodthirsty character bent on conquering world after world – and goes deep undercover.

The final romp is a wonderful time travel adventure, where the rat bounces around chasing the evil alien to Earth’s past and elsewhere.

What makes the Rat series so wonderful is the effortless first-person narrative Harrison writes. The dialogue is snappy and the pacing is just quick enough to keep the stories moving along. The other area Harrison excels at is making you think the protagonist is going to get the better of the villain and then gets caught himself. Even though it happens several times in each story but it never seems contrived or stupid.

These stories are fun to read and can give popcorn a run for it’s money – get all you can find in the used book stores and enjoy!
Profile Image for D.L. Morrese.
Author 11 books53 followers
April 2, 2022
These are the continuing adventures (three books in one) of a clever thief in a far future. The first part of the first book is the same adventure told in the short story The Misplaced Battleship. If I had previously read any of the other books in the rest of this anthology, it was so long ago I'd completely forgotten them. A shame, because they are quite enjoyable. The setting reminds me a bit of Star Trek's United Federation of Planets. Things are peaceful, for the most part, but there are exceptions. Some planets are a bit, well, backward, and not everyone you might meet is actually sane. The future still gives birth to more than enough psychos. The hero of these stories uses his criminal skills to counter such threats to civilization, often with the aid and sanction of an interstellar law enforcement organization, but sometimes he defies orders and sets out on his own, or with his previously psycho but subsequently cured girlfriend. Despite being about half a century old, these stories have aged reasonably well. They're like me in that regard, I suppose. :-)
Profile Image for Deborah Sheldon.
Author 69 books249 followers
September 2, 2022
I loved this series when I was a kid. It was nostalgic fun to revisit the first three adventures of Slippery Jim DiGriz, a.k.a. the stainless steel rat. Gotta love his everchanging stash of conveniently-appropriate weapons, suitable for all occasions, no matter how outrageous. Plot armour, anyone? Ah, it made me smile.
23 reviews
September 20, 2019
This book actually contains the following three books: The Stainless Steel Rat, The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge, and The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World.

These books are very much a space-opera style story. No significant effort is spent on making science realistic. Instead, science is twisted around to server the plot. This is not necessarily a problem, but could be irritating to some people, as there are issues that are somewhat anachronistic, or not entirely thought out. I'm sure some of this is due to the fact that the stories were originally written from the late 1950's through early 1970's.

All three books present a character who could easily be seen as invincible. Somehow, Harrison is able to develop plausible plot lines and problems that present serious problems to the hero. He writes everything in a unique style that couldn't exactly be called funny, but is humorous in an off-beat sort of way.

Don't expect serious, heavy reading here. Instead, this book contains light, non-stop action where anything might lie around the next corner.
Profile Image for Daniel.
722 reviews51 followers
January 3, 2008
This collects the first three Stainless Steel Rat books, featuring Harry Harrison's intergalactic thief Jim DiGriz. These tales are short and funny and exciting. The Rat makes for an interesting character: most of the time he is arrogant, but trials and difficulties lead him to drinking and depression that he must outdo before he can save the day. His relationship with his wife is also disturbing, in a fascinating kind of way. These are by no means serious meditations on society or humanity or any other theme that is prevalent in science fiction; these are adventure tales, and they are fun to read.
Profile Image for Nathan.
8 reviews
June 12, 2012
I first read the Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat when I was in 6th grade. Got it from a cousin. I loved it then and it was just as good this time. I only read novels by Harry Harrison for years, until I read Dune, but that's another story. Something I've always appreciated about Harrison's writing style is that he keeps his language clean. Maybe that's because of the era in which he wrote, but I like to think that there are a lot of authors out there that wouldn't have put that content in whatever time or place. That's a huge reason I can say that I can always recommend Harry Harrison's books to my friends and children. They're also really good.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
152 reviews4 followers
March 6, 2014
Maybe four stars is just a tad generous, but I found these stories to be clever and entertaining. I enjoyed most of the characters, and I sincerely appreciated how resourceful Harrison was in devising ways for Slippery Jim to get out of various situations and outwit all who opposed him. I would say that more character development in the enemies, and in others such as Inskipp or Angelina would have served the stories well. The endings of each of the three stories felt very rushed to me, and they all had confusing aspects as well. However, these were enjoyable reads, recommended to me by a friend, and I'd be happy to read more from this author and, particularly, the character of Slippery Jim.
Profile Image for J.
579 reviews
August 1, 2015
I read this book 15 years ago remember liking it. Rereading it now, I do like it. At no point was I inclined to stop reading this book. My one complaint was that the plot was often overly convenient, he always just happened to have the perfect device on hand to resolve every problem immediately. The technology was just too convenient. In a pinch? Just use this instant knockout drug you have on hand, even though you didn't anticipate this situation at all.

Also, the best of the three books was the first. The second was just so-so. The third did handle time travel really well (it didn't cop out like Moffet likes to do with Dr. Who these days).
Profile Image for John McDonell.
Author 1 book46 followers
May 10, 2012
I read these books in the mid-eighties and probably 2 or 3 times since. Harrison has such a great technique for delivering comedy. Slippery Jim is one of my all time favourite literary characters. He has managed to slip past society's techniques for detecting and correcting criminal behaviour in its citizens. He pursues a life of crime with a gusto, more out of boredom than a need for money. His crimes are always hilarious in their execution and the real 'bad guys'always seem to come out worse for wear. I may have to pick this one up again soon.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
701 reviews7 followers
January 15, 2012
Very fun book for people who aren't really into "sci-fi." Slippery Jim is an awesome character who is great at being a crook, and working for the Special Corps to fight crime. I loved Angelina! She was my favorite character.

This book has short chapters with cliff hangers at the end of each one to keep you guessing. It also jumps right into the story without a lot of exposition, which I like. I think everyone could enjoy this book.
Profile Image for Joseph.
6 reviews
August 9, 2012
This guy... this guy hooked me on sci-fi when I was just a kid. The Stainless Steel Rat series is fast-paced and funny, and somehow believable even when you're presented with one rediculous gadget or exploit after another. This was the first series to ever get me to literally "laugh out loud" while I was reading. ALL the books are so fun that I have returned to them again and again over the decades.
Profile Image for Dwight.
159 reviews2 followers
February 14, 2016
Although this is episodes 4-6 in the chronology of this character's exploits, I believe it is the first one written. Regardless, it is the first I read and also the best of the series in my opinion. Part crime caper and part spy story, all solid sci-fi, big time fun read.
The character is also a lot less preachy in this volume then in other installments, which I think makes him more fun. I've enjoyed the others but this remains the standard for Stainless Steel Rat stories for me.
Profile Image for James.
Author 11 books92 followers
February 16, 2015
One of the funnier science fiction writers and characters. Slippery Jim DiGriz is memorable and impossible not to like, even while the reader may be deploring his amorality. This also has more depth than may be apparent at first glance and examines some fundamental issues about the individual's relationship with society and with life in general.
1 review
February 16, 2011
Ive read all of the stainless steel rat books. and this series is the best thing harrys harrison ever did.
technicolr time machine started off really good. any ways. jim degrez i believe his name was. is an excellent caracter, a really good set of novels. they are action packed, like douglas adams on steroids. fantastic.
Profile Image for Eddie.
680 reviews7 followers
July 7, 2015
A favorite from my teenage years, probably better suited to a teenage mindset. Good first person prose and quick action make for a fun adventure. This book has three books in it, the first two good, the last a little less so. I always thought it would have made an excellent adult choose your own adventure type book.
Profile Image for George.
74 reviews2 followers
October 13, 2008
I remember reading the Stainless Steel Rat stories and novels when I was a lot younger than I am now - and with a lot of pleasure. They, and the Retief series books, are a must-read for young Science Fiction aficionados.
Profile Image for Keith Davis.
1,079 reviews11 followers
November 26, 2009
In the far-future crime prevention has become so efficient that only criminal geniuses (Stainless Steel Rats) can get away with crimes, and only other criminal geniuses can catch them. This is an omnibus edition of the first three novels of the series.
Profile Image for Bryan Worra.
Author 19 books66 followers
August 28, 2011
Featuring the Stainless Steel Rat, the Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge and the Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World, these are some very fun short stories that will also remind you of what's missing from a lot of today's science fiction.
Profile Image for Randy.
2 reviews
July 18, 2012
I read this series in my youth, it's a hoot. The pace never slows, so if you like action, adventure,tongue in cheek humor then find this book! It is a cross between "007, and most wanted, meets John Wayne in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy!"
14 reviews3 followers
April 29, 2014
This is a collection of the first three books in the series. I would recommend buying them individually if small type is hard on your eyes, it took me awhile to adjust. I love these books, very fun mid-century scifi. I have 2 pages left and just ordered the next 2 books in the series.
2 reviews
February 10, 2014
Harrison always writes fun and easy reads. Perfect for relaxation in the evening.
In this one our hero exhibits the normal reaction to boredom of action oriented and ends up saving the universe...again
Profile Image for Bob.
43 reviews2 followers
April 17, 2009
Dated and sexist, but still good mindless fun. I loved this book as a teenager, but can now laugh at it for slightly different reasons.
Profile Image for Ben.
162 reviews15 followers
September 10, 2012
This is that special kind of book that makes you regret not finding it as a child. I understand why it is beloved.
Profile Image for Lois Scott.
103 reviews
November 15, 2019
The three books contained within this omnibus are still as funny and fast-paced as I remember them.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 116 reviews

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