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A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born by Harry…
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A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born (1985)

by Harry Harrison

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1,341119,057 (3.62)24
In this prequel to the Stainless Steel Rat, Slippery Jim is a brash 17-year-old how has left his parents' porcuswine farm, planning to embark on a life of crime. The book opens with Jim bungling a bank job so that he can be arrested and sent to prison, where he plans to learn the art of being a master criminal.… (more)

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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The dirt on how our intripid hero came to be. More pulp action - a prequel. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Nothing about this book really stands out. It's just good, wholesome. Why the four stars? It's not easy to write a book that is just harmless fun, apparently. Most books try hard and then fail, or succeed and tax you emotionally, heavy. This book is entertainment without any unpleasant side effects. Think of a sitcom that doesn't try to be clever, sure it's not original and it has been done before, kinda, but it's just good. Good harmless fun.

I'm definitely going to read more of these. ( )
  lente | Dec 6, 2015 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

A Stainless Steel Rat is Born is a prequel to the Stainless Steel Rat series. Jimmy Bolivar diGriz is a smart and ambitious 17-year-old who feels trapped and inhibited on the backward planet of Bit O' Heaven where his parents are porcuswine farmers. Jim learned early in life that he was clever and unscrupulous enough to take what he wanted from others and, more than anything, he enjoyed planning and carrying out these little escapades. So, while his classmates were drudging through the material that he had already easily mastered, he decided to spend his time learning useful skills like lock-picking and fighting until he was old enough to be sent to the adult penitentiary where, he presumed, he'd meet masterminds like himself who could tutor him in more nefarious skills. That's why we meet Jimmy robbing a bank and purposely getting caught on his 17th birthday.

Unfortunately, prison is nothing like what Jim was expecting; it's full of losers. But Jim does pick up one useful scrap of information there: the cleverest criminal in Bit O' Heaven, The Bishop, has never been caught. Jim knows he must escape prison, find The Bishop, and become his apprentice.

A Stainless Steel Rat is Born is a great addition to the Stainless Steel Rat series. It fills in Jim's backstory, gives us the origin of his names for himself ("Slippery Jim diGriz" and "The Stainless Steel Rat") and is just plain entertaining in its own right. It's a great place to start with the series and can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

If you're an audiobook reader, you must try this series on audio. (And if you're not an audiobook reader, this is a good one to start with -- it's only about 7 hours long). Phil Gigante's narrations really add to the humor. In this book he starts off with a rather hickish sounding voice for Jimmy -- different than the voice he used in the other books. At first I was slightly annoyed and thought it was a mistake, until I realized that over the course of the book he gradually and discreetly morphed the voice into the one I was used to (which I like much better). I see now that he was showing the transition from Jimmy diGriz, son of porcuswine farmers, into The Stainless Steel Rat. Nicely done, Mr. Gigante! ( )
1 vote Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
I'm not sure what it says about me, but two of my favorite fictional characters are Slippery Jim diGriz and Mr Slippery (from True Names). Jim's approach to the world is a sensible one, following the laws that make sense, and skirting the ones that do not. I don't recommend doing this in real life, but it is tempting, now and again. ( )
  Lyndatrue | Dec 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harrison, HarryAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gigante, PhilNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baĵenova, MariaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bauman, JillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns,JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elson, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fössmeier, ReinhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grimley-Evans, EdmundTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helm, RobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hinsen, KonradTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jelenc, PierreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapočiūtė, Anitasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kniivilä, KalleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Llambias, JorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pakkala, Pekkasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schlück, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoedel, KevinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Targete, Jean PierreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weddell, MarkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As I approached the front door of The First Bank of Bit O' Heaven, it sensed my presence and swung open with an automatic welcome.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This thrilling volume in the saga of James diGriz explores his humble beginnings as a petty criminal on the backward planet of Bit O'Heaven, and his rapid rise to the most wanted man on a dozen worlds. And it contains the never-before-told story of the fabled archcriminal known as The Bishop, who tutored young Jim in the higher arts of crime and gave him his legendary nickname. A rousing, rollicking, often touching tale, A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born is a stirring portrait of a man who learned to laugh at the laws that bind ordinary men.
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