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The Stainless Steel Rat

Narrated by: Phil Gigante
Series: Stainless Steel Rat, Book 1
Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (201 ratings)

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Summary

Audie Award, Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2011

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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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • Torquay, United Kingdom
  • 20-11-12

Absorbing narrative style for a classic book

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A little dated, but a great central character

The gender roles very much of their time, but the anti hero joie de vive is great fun.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Flat and rushed

The narration was excellent, but the narrative felt rushed and jumped around a lot with not enough time for character development.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fun story

A very light hearted sci-fi story with only a few dark points. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Old classic, well read

I loved Slippery Jim as a character when I was a teen, and OK the style is a bit dated nowadays but still a lot of fun. Performance was great, and suited the style very well. Really enjoyed this trip back to my youth.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent narration, true to the Rat's spirit.

The book is over 50 years old, and although it shows age in a few places it holds up quite well. The pace bounds along with reckless enthusiasm, and the Rat himself could easily be taken from a more modern age.

What really brings the book alive though is Gigante's reading. He captures the Rat's permanently-amused outlook on life perfectly, and you really get the impression he's regaling a bunch of drunks at a seedy bar somewhere downtown, cigar in one hand and bottle of Syrian Panther Sweat in the other.

In this instance, the quality of narration far outweighs the actual story itself, which isn't to say the story is poor.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

2 dimensional comic book story

Revisited out of nostalgia: I read this series as a teenager after reading about the stainless steel rat in 2000AD.

The story is uninspiring without a twist or any drama & characters are 2 dimensional: fine for a comic book. Audio performance is not great. I won’t be revisiting anymore in the series. Pity.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Steel Rat trap!

Great story that I originally read roughly forty years ago. Thought I’d reread/listen again for nostalgia. The book is still good but it’s delivered terribly by the
Narrators awful accent and strange accentuation of the story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Rat Sci-Fi

I always wanted to read these books but after listening to Mister Gigante read it I’m glad I never got round to reading it. I was thoroughly entertained by the story and Narrator. Yes it’s a little dated but that’s how I like my Sci-Fi and such fun too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A brilliant performance of a well loved book

A great story that I loved reading in the 80's which is well performed by the narrator. Very enjoyable and will be listening to more from this series

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Terry
  • 14-10-10

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.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Stephenson
  • 28-10-10

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.

49 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen K
  • 13-08-11

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cliff
  • Cliff
  • 18-10-13

An all-time classic

Where does The Stainless Steel Rat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is above average.

What did you like best about this story?

Slippery jim is one of the best rogue characters of all time.

Which character – as performed by Phil Gigante – was your favorite?

Slippery Jin, of course.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The title of the book, says it all

Any additional comments?

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SFF11C
  • 09-01-11

Awesome

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.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • bibliophilelinda
  • 15-10-10

Awesome narration

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 11-03-13

Engaging, overdramatic and fun SCIFI.

What did you love best about The Stainless Steel Rat?

The over the top performance and story line. A pleasure, guilty or not.

What did you like best about this story?

The narration. It wouldn't be the same story without this 'fits like a glove' narration.

What does Phil Gigante bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A star performance.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A bad idea in the twenty-fifth millennium.

Any additional comments?

The story is fun. The action compelling. I hope to hear more episodes.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joel D Offenberg
  • 16-10-10

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dustin
  • 30-01-11

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike B
  • 02-03-13

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