What do you think?
Rate this book
208 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published January 1, 1961
My life is so different from that of the overwhelming majority of people in our society...They exist in a fat, rich union of worlds that have almost forgotten the meaning of the word crime. There are few malcontents. The few that are born...are caught early and the aberration quickly adjusted.Some don’t show their weakness until they are adults, they try their hand at a petty crime -burglary, shoplifting or such. They get away with it for a week or two...but sure as atomic decay...the police reach out and pull them in.
That is almost the full extent of crime in our organized, dandified society. Ninety-nine percent of it, let’s say. That [last] one percent is me and a handful of men scattered around the galaxy. Theoretically, we can’t exist...but we do. We are the rats in the wainscoting of society - we operate outside of their barriers and outside of their rules. 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 ferroconcrete and stainless steel there are fewer gaps between the joints and it takes a smart rat to find them. A stainless steel rat is right at home in this environment.