The Stainless Steel Rat - Harry Harrison
Reading Challenge Category: A book from a genre you would usually avoid
In the vastness of space, the crimes just get bigger and Slippery Jim diGriz, the Stainless Steel Rat, is the biggest criminal of them all. He can con humans, aliens and any number of robots time after time. Jim is so slippery that all the inter-galactic cops can do is make him one of their own.
I’ve been enjoying stepping out of my comfort zone with books lately, but I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy this one. It is completely outside my usual genre, but I know it is one of Morgan’s favourite books. I even remember early on in our relationship hunting down old physical copies of the series for him for his birthday! I’m afraid to say, however, that it just wasn’t for me. It’s so hard to review a book that you suspect you aren’t going to like and then don’t based on the genre. So I’m going to try and be quite fair. Considering this was written in 1961, I was very impressed with the language, it didn’t feel stiff or out of date. It felt modern and stylish. The main story running through the book was quite interesting. Slippery Jim diGriz seemed like such a colourful character and not what I was expecting at all. Somehow, I expected the main character to be grey and silver based on the ‘stainless steel’ side of things. I liked some of the antics he got up to and liked the idea of changing your looks so easily and readily. The main problem I had with the book is sometimes I just didn’t know what was going on. He would make decisions based on something that came out of nowhere and made no sense. So I felt like for 50% of the book, I just read the words and gave up trying to understand it. It felt a bit disjointed. My husband says this isn’t the book I should have started with, and it should have been book four ‘The Stainless Steel Rat is Born’ as even though this was written later, it is the best and starts the story off properly. I felt like I should read them in the order they were written and initially intended. I suppose it’s the whole Star Wars argument though, isn’t it? So, overall, it wasn’t absolutely terrible and had a few interesting moments, but I’m glad it is over and done with, and I won’t be reading the other ten books in the series.