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.
I was first introduced to The Stainless Steel Rat back in the late 1970’s when he appeared in the late great and sadly missed 2000AD comic of the era. Since then I have read the books and loved every one of them.
This absorbing narrative style by Phil Gigante rounds the character off perfectly for me, filling out the character as I remember him in the comic version back in the day, well deserving of the name “slippery” Jim DiGriz. I always imagined his character being acted on screen by Lee Marvin, which is close to how he was drawn in the comic strip.
For those who have not met “The Rat”, he is a confident and well-established con-man, expert and accomplished bank robber and a master of lies, disguise and martial arts. He can talk his way out of almost anything and claims to provide entertainment for the enjoyment of humanity.
He also has a strong sense of morality, making sure before he steals from any corporation, that they have fully paid-up insurance so that they have a chance of claiming compensation “after the event”.
His wife, Angelina, is a little more ruthless and a lot more willing to kill. Their two sons, James and Bolivar, fortunately follow after their father.
If you are a fan of Harry Harrison’s protagonist, you probably will not be too disappointed in this well presented audio narrative, delivered with an easy style which is in perfect harmony with the character it portrays.
I stumbled across the Stainless Steel Rat series on an audiobook recommendation thread, where it was posted in response to someone looking for scifi comedy. I'm glad I took a chance on the book, as it was... well, delightful is probably the best description.
Our hero, "Slippery Jim" aka "The Stainless Steel Rat" is a con man with a conscience, a grifter with a gift for planning, stealing and lying (sometimes in that order). The story is centred on some of Slippery Jim's heists, his escapes and captures; it very much fits into the genre of boy's-own-adventure in space. The world-building and technology - surprisingly! - still hold up more than 50 years after it was written: the only hint to this not being a modern story was magnetic tapes being fed into computers.
The characterisation was excellently varied, with distinct voices for all of the characters. Phil Gigante's acting made the heroes likeable and the villains despicable (but still sympathetic).
In summary, this was an enjoyable, well-paced and actually funny audiobook. Thoroughly recommended.
a good rendering of a favourite book ripping yarn, quick paced I own a paperback of the book too this audio book has added lots to my appreciation of the humerous book.
Loved these books in my teenage years. Great to listen to them again and superbly narrated by Phil Gigante who really brings the characters alive.
Amazing to go back and see how dated the tech view of the future was in the 60s. Doesn't detract from the story though and easy to consider it in some kind of steam punk alternative future.
Would be great to listen to it in one sitting but my commute is only 40 minutes each way.
It is a classic of sci-fi, though a very easy listening and joyful story. Enjoyed it from the first until last chapter.
James Bolivar of course: a witted criminal master-mind converted to serve the law. The way he thinks, the way he plans his action, a former criminal but with certain set of principles and dignity, apparently his a protagonist you feel sympathy for.
I loved this book, its a crime heist comedy drama set in the future. And it was a wonderful listen. I'm looking forward to listening to the others in the series.
I read the Stainless Steel Rat books as a kid and loved them, James Digriz is the perfect anti hero - a sort of SciFi Bond with a warped moral compass.
At first I didn't take to the narration - I find most American narrated books too slow and have to listen at 1.5 speed - But this grew on me, his husky voice seemed to fit with the main character, although his portrayal of the female characters to a stretch of imagination.
Overall a very enjoyable book and I can;t wait to hear the rest of the series.
"Great To See An Old Friend Back"
I have been a keen Rat reader for over 30 years. In recent times I have switched to audion books a bit more and was delighted to see my old friend Slippery Jim making a comeback in the updated audio format, and not before time. This is the first in the series of Rat books and one of the best, the narrator does a fine job with all the characters and story. Old time Rat fans like me will love it, newbees will have a chance to discover one of the best sci-fi characters ever written. Enjoy.
"A Rat Race Worth Running!!"
Hands down, this is one of the most entertaining and engaging SF audiobooks I have purchased from Audible, and you don't want to know how many I have. For one thing, as a dyed-in-the-wool SF fan for almost 50 years, it was great to revisit one of the most memorable characters from the wacky space operas of the 1960s, of which Harry Harrrison and his contemporary, Keith Laumer, were masters. This is a thoroughly entertaining, nutty story, well-written, satirical and charming.
Now, as to Phil Gigante's reading. Calling it a reading or a narration is a gross misrepreentation of one of the most entertaining performances I have yet encountered in my huge Audible collection. His tone and delivery is absolutely, flawlessly perfect for DiGriz -- sardonic, larcenous but totally suggestive of the "diamond in the rough" that is the Stainless Steel Rat. Not only that, but the range of voices and accents that Mr. Gigante is able to project, effortlessly phasing from one to another without missing a best, is nothing less than astonishing. At times, I almost forgot I was listening to an audiobook, but instead an old radio play such as X-Minus-One or Dimension X. I frequently caught myself laughing aloud not only at Harrison's turns of phrase but also Gigante's perfect timing and delivery.
If you like wacky, vintage space opera told with humor and style, catch "The Stainless Steel Rat" ... if you can. They don't call him Slippery Jim DioGriz for nothing.
"Fun story, great narrator"
I got this during a 3 for 2 sale and feel I got quite the bargain. I have always been a fan of Phil Gigante's narrating abilities so after reading previous reviews and seeing that Phil was the reader I jumped in. This was great fun, with wit, some surprising twists, and futuristic sci-fi thrown in. I enjoyed Mr. Harrison's writing. This is the introduction and so we are just starting to delve into Slippery Jim's psyche and character. I didn't like Angelina so much and with the way the story ended I am curious to see how she will be redeemed in the next installment.
I got the feeling that these books were written some time ago, having enjoyed Sci-Fi for over 35 years, and investigation proved that to be true. However, that doesn't detract from the overall story or narration. It is still well worth the credit and the listen. I look forward to purchasing the entire series. My only regret is that, at the time of this review, Harry Harrison is 86 and his writing has slowed down, so we can't look forward to too many more of the Stainless Steel Rat stories.
My first dip into the world of Harry Harrison, and found it great. I loved the character and the story and the way it progressed throughout. I cant wait to hear more. I found the humor spot on for me and the way of thinking of the main character was excellent. I highly recommend this story to anyone who is a fan of humorous Sci-fi.
"An all-time classic"
It is above average.
Slippery jim is one of the best rogue characters of all time.
Slippery Jin, of course.
The title of the book, says it all
Keep in mind the book was published in 1961 and is a compilation of two short stories from the late 1950's so it's a bit dated. It holds up superbly as a story. Plus it's about the only book where you'll hear about Esperanto.
Perhaps I'm already biased because Phil Gigante is one of my absolute favorite narrators, but I thought he did a brilliant job with this campy sci fi tale. The characters were clearly distinguisable and sounded exactly as I had imagined. The story, too, is an excellent cops-n-robbers tale turned on its head. Definitely a recommend listen.
"Engaging, overdramatic and fun SCIFI."
The over the top performance and story line. A pleasure, guilty or not.
The narration. It wouldn't be the same story without this 'fits like a glove' narration.
A star performance.
A bad idea in the twenty-fifth millennium.
The story is fun. The action compelling. I hope to hear more episodes.
"It's hard to identify with a rat."
The basic story line was fine, however the main character is supposed to be brilliant, but makes decisions that are not.
For the first half of the book you could easily identify with the main character. After he obtained the love/hate relationship with the villain his decision making became out of character.
A less wise cracking voice might have made the character more likable.
"More Rat, Please"
Jim DiGriz is a suave man-about-town kind of thief...a high-class crook who gets caught ends up working for the law, not against it. DiGriz isn't a noble lawman or dedicated to fighting crime...he just realizes he's caught in the web of the Special Corps. Then he pursues a temptress named Angelina, who is a quite ruthless criminal. His hunt for the lovely Angelina becomes the focus of his life (and the story).
Somehow, I see Jim DiGriz as a cross between The Thin Man and Han Solo. This isn't high literature or something with a deep message...it's light, fun, entertaining and a bit campy. I did think the story bogged down a little towards the end, but not terribly so.
There are a lot of Stainless Steel Rat novels but only a couple on Audible...hopefully, more Rat is coming.
Phil Gigante's narration is very well done...just right for this campy spoof.
"A fun engaging story"
This is a fun little story and I enjoyed every minute of it. It's short, just about 5 hours long, but there's a great story compacted in those short hours. It's a light read that you can listen to while you're working, and I've found this is a book that I keep listening to over and over again.
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