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The Stainless Steel Rat | [Harry Harrison]

The Stainless Steel Rat

DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz' hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who his planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds.
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Publisher's Summary

DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable.

DiGriz' hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who his planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds. DiGriz' dilemma is whether he will turn Angelina over to the Special Corps, or join with her, since he has fallen in love with her.

©2010 Harry Harrison (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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3.7 (1273 )
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  •  
    Mike B 03-02-13
    Mike B 03-02-13 Member Since 2011

    Mike

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen, Hilarious"

    Phil Gigante did a great job in interpreting this book. I had read the book years ago and his reading and his interpretation of this book had me in stitches. His portray of 'Slippery Jim' DiGriz's inner thoughts and under the breath comments were great and made this a really enjoyable listen. He captured arrogance, brilliance, and morals of Jim. Great job Phil!

    After listening to this book again it was very hard to believe that it was written in 1961 by Harry Harrison and there is nothing that makes this book a dated SciFi story today.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Niels J. Rasmussen 02-04-15 Member Since 2015

    Dr. Nils Rasmussen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    122
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    "Very Modern Sounding Sci/Fi For 1961"
    Any additional comments?

    I've heard this book raved about by a few people before I had the chance to listen to it. Honestly, it was pretty damn good, but I don't really see what all the fuss is about.

    I think most readers fall in love with the protagonist. He is a lovable rascal. Everyone loves a rascal.

    Narration performance was very good to top it all off.

    I would highly recommend the book, but I wouldn't put it on any "Must-Read" lists.


    8.62 / 10.00

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ozgribbo Australia 10-26-12
    ozgribbo Australia 10-26-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Sci fi comedy"

    This a rare beast - science fiction that is humerous. Not side-splittingly, laugh out loud funny but more of a wry, dry style of writing. This was written in the 60's but has aged well. A good introduction to the series. Worth listening to more than once.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charming Euphemism CO USA 10-13-12
    Charming Euphemism CO USA 10-13-12 Member Since 2012

    Science Fiction Reviews

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The audiobook revived my love for this story"

    I just listened to the audiobook of The Stainless Steel Rat, and remembered why I have loved this story and character for years. My original copy of The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat (The Stainless Steel Rat, The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge, and The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World) is tattered from many re-readings over the years. It is no secret to those who know me that I prefer my science fiction in the more cheerful and optimistic vein, and those who want a more dystopic, dark story with antiheroes and ambiguous motivations should really stay away. I suspect the humor doesn't work for everyone either, since humor is so individual. But for me, this is a perineal comfort read.

    So, on to the story. The Stainless Steel Rat was written in 1961, and it shows. Both faster than light spaceships and punchcard computers show up. The gender attitudes are old fashioned, but not misogynistic or dismissive. Slippery Jim diGriz's arch nemesis, Angelina, is his alter ego - just as smart, resourceful, and fearless, but lacking the moral code that makes thief and con artist Jim a good candidate for recruitment to the Special Corps. Jim never kills unless he has to in a struggle for his own life. Angelina kills casually and with pleasure. She must be stopped, but how can Jim turn over such a remarkable woman to have her personality erased? An early example of a shambling, almost drooling ex-criminal is a stark example of what will happen to Angelina if she is ever caught.

    This story is an excellent example of a parody. It both mocks and has fun with the stereotypes of the pulp scifi genre and at the same time is a very good story within the genre. You both laugh at Jim's escapades and are on the edge of your seat waiting for them to play out. Jim hops from world to world in his chase, and each society is at a different level of technological and societal development. Friebur in particular is both fascinating and hilarious. The coal-powered robot startled me as much as it did Jim, while the family vendetta is really scary.

    I highly recommend the audiobook of this story. The reader is excellent, and the humor and personalities come through nicely.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 10-26-11
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 10-26-11 Member Since 2015

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

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    "Fun"

    Criminals are fun. Science Fiction is fun. It is light. It is funny. It is fun. A wonderful break from more serious books.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anne Durham, NC, United States 11-27-14
    anne Durham, NC, United States 11-27-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Ludicrous"
    Any additional comments?

    Silly without being clever or funny. More like an outline for a story by an aspiring teenage writer. Narrator didn't have much to work with, so apparently went with full-out ridiculous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-07-14
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-07-14 Member Since 2009

    I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining Classic Sci-Fi"
    Any additional comments?

    An entertaining short story written in the style of 1960's Sci-Fi. It is basically a secret agent style story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 10-03-14
    David 10-03-14 Member Since 2012

    Indiscriminate Reader

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    "Rogues in space"

    "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, and DiGriz's boss is a former arch-criminal himself. DiGriz is sent to figure out why a peaceful, backwards planet is building a battlecruiser. This leads him into conflict with the beautiful and deadly Angelina, who mostly gets away with stuff because this book was written in 1961, so even in this far-future galactic setting, everyone expects a pretty girl to be a hapless doll, not a sociopathic mastermind plotting revolutions and conquest.

    DiGriz is the archetypical scoundrel who's secretly a decent guy, and his crimes are mostly bloodless ones. He reviles Angelina's bloodthirstiness, yet still falls in love with her... because she's hot? And also because she's a criminal mastermind like him.

    Coal-burning robots, giant battlecruisers that exist for no particular reason, thousand-year-old galactic civilizations, and guys 'n dolls. Nothing deep here, but it's an entertaining space romp. This is a classic space opera and light-hearted sci-fi that shows its datedness a bit, but will be fun for anyone who likes the old stuff.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryann 09-14-14
    Maryann 09-14-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Pedestrian."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Maybe, depending on their tastes


    Would you ever listen to anything by Harry Harrison again?

    Not sure


    What aspect of Phil Gigante’s performance would you have changed?

    A little TOO expressive.


    Did The Stainless Steel Rat inspire you to do anything?

    Stop listening before end.


    Any additional comments?

    Not my cup of tea. Someone who finds cookie cutter movies/books entertaining would be fine with this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Knoxville, TN, USA 09-02-14
    Angela Knoxville, TN, USA 09-02-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hasn't stood the test of time"

    Sometimes classic science fiction is fun just for what it reveals about the time it was written in. You have to put up with the sexism/racism and the total lack of perception that society would ever evolve no matter how many new gadgets were invented or how many new worlds discovered, but it can still be entertaining enough as a trip back through time.

    Not this. There is nothing that makes up for the predictability of the story and the idiocy of the main character. I recommend that instead of wasting your time with this, you go straight for Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon, which is what this story was more or less lifted from.

    The narrator did his best with the material he had to work with, and gave the self-absorbed dunderhead of a protagonist a nice metrosexual little twist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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