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The Stainless Steel Rat for President by…

The Stainless Steel Rat for President (1982)

by Harry Harrison

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1,228710,108 (3.52)10
The Stainless Steel rat is back!  Slippery Jim diGriz, the future's most lovable, laughable, larcenous conman tumed counterspy, retums for yet another high-tension mission. This time the Special Corps has given the Rat a daring assignment - liberate a backward tourist planet from the clutches of an aging dictator.  With his lovely but lethal wife, Angelina, and his two stalwart sons, James and Bolivar, diGriz pits ballots against bullets in the fight for freedom.  He's vowed to restore truth, justice, and democracy to the world of Parisio-Aqui, if he has to lie, cheat, and steal to do it.… (more)
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3.5 stars audio version

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Fascist dictators, watch out — Slippery Jim diGriz is on the planet, and he’ll stop at nothing to secure freedom, peace, and representation for the people. Even if he has to lie, cheat, steal, and stuff ballot boxes to do it.

Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series is lots of fun and you can’t help but love con-man Slippery Jim, his sadistic wife Angelina, and their twin sons James and Bolivar who are, for better or worse, chips off the old blocks. This time, in The Stainless Steel Rat for President, the whole family takes a vacation on a backward planet that’s modeled after a mid-20th-century Central American republic which is democratic in theory but in reality is being enslaved by a totalitarian dictator backed by a vicious military force. Even though they’re completely corrupt themselves, the diGriz family can’t stand to see innocent people suffering because they make their living stealing from corporations — not people (I’m not sure what kind of entities own, run, and otherwise make their livings from the corporations if it’s not people… but, I digress…).

No corrupt martial government is a match for the diGriz family. Armed with their combined good looks and sharp wits, a fast car, lots of cool gadgets, a wardrobe of disguises, and plenty of sleep gas and nose plugs, they set out to bring down the tyrant. And, of course, we know they will — the fun is in how they get it done and the trouble they run into along the way. The Stainless Steel Rat for President relies too heavily on the sleep gas (every time we think Jim’s bound to be caught, out it comes), and the story drags during some car chases, but there are many clever scenes and laugh-out-loud moments.

The best part, as I’ve mentioned before with this series, is the production by Brilliance Audio. These books are read by the riotously funny voice actor Phil Gigante who saves the day by providing constant diversion even when the plot sometimes can’t quite muster it up. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Just a brief note, since I see multiple reviews of the Stainless Steel Rat books that refer to him speaking Spanish. Not Spanish, Esperanto, a language that Harrison was adept in, and a champion of. ( )
  Lyndatrue | Nov 30, 2013 |
Reasonably entertaining tale in the Stainless Steel Rat series. Hypercompetent family takes on the military dictatorship of an entire planet, and wins due to cunning and massive technological advantage. ( )
  pauliharman | Jul 10, 2009 |
I need a break from all this serious reading, and the Stainless Steel Rat books are always amusing. In fact, this book was much better than the previous two I have read (The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World and The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You) as it didn't suffer from the incredibly weak plot lines that books involving time travel seem to cause for Harrison.

This book is back to the classic rat -- a simple criminal romp through an unsuspecting society, his hottie wife in tow, and with his two now grown kids along for the fun. I enjoyed this book a lot.

http://www.stillhq.com/book/Harry_Harrison/The_Stainless_Steel_Rat_for_President... ( )
  mikal | Nov 15, 2008 |
So, who knew that a book written in 1982 would be almost two decades ahead of it's time. The plot? Well, a planet is lead by a ruler who *cough* is voted into office every four years by rigged electronic voting machines, has secret police, controls the media, etc.

It's great.

It is guilty of the standard cliche where a part of Earth (South America) is stretched out to cover a complete planet. On the other hand, the careful insertion of Spanish words and cultural bits is good for making it feel like somewhere in the Latin world.

Um, you know that the Stainless Steel Rat is going to win. Because it's just that kind of a series. And Harry Harrison loves to soft-sell you on what I assume is his Esperanto-Atheist thinking. But the real fun is living briefly in the Stainless Steel Rat's head. ( )
1 vote cmowire | Sep 5, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harrison, HarryAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elson, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gigante, PhilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LoSasso, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Targete, Jean PierreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'Can you think of a special toast?' I asked, watching closely as the waiter filled our glasses with the sparkling vintage wine.
'I certainly can,' my dear Angelina said, raising her glass and looking across it straight into my eyes. 'To my husband, Jim diGriz, who has just saved the universe. Again.'
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