Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Stainless Steel Rat is Born by Harry Harrison

I read all the Stainless Steel Rat books years ago, most of them several times. I probably only read this one once or twice at most, and when I happened to come across it on my bookshelf, I decided to reread it. It was light and fun, as I remembered. Considering the internal chronology, this is the first of the series. In writing order, this is one of the later ones, and perhaps not at the same level as some of the earlier books (to be sure, I might have to read a few of them, also).

This book tells the story of the early days of the master criminal, James Bolivar diGriz. The earlier books tell of his exploits robbing banks and saving the universe at the same time, along with his beautiful wife and handsome sons, but this book takes place before that. James is born on a rural and very peaceful planet. His childhood ambition is to be a criminal. He purposefully gets himself put in the prison, as he hopes to learn the secrets of the trade from hardened criminals. Unfortunately, he soon learns that the crooks who are in prison are mostly very stupid. As there is nothing to learn there, his must escape the prison. After that is easily accomplished, he finds out that there is one legendary criminal, Bishop, who never got caught. What would be an easier way to find him than staging a major heist in his name? After that, there was one tight situation after another, but nothing is too tight for the Stainless Steel Rat.

A fast-moving and entertaining book: not great literature, but entertaining. The format is very similar to the other installments of the series – at least as much I can remember them.

219 pp.

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