The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (Harry Harrison) and The Stainless Steel Rat for President (Harry Harrison)

Posted on Wed 13 February 2008 in Rooties Recent Reading

My recent supplier visit to Sweden meant long hours of travel, both waiting in airports and sitting on a plane. Perfect time to read some good books, in fact, I started and finished two in a 31 hour trip (and considering I spent a whole day in a factory and managed half a nights sleep I was quite pleased with that).

Anyway, onto the stories. The Stainless Steel Rat is a regular James Bond type hero in the future. There are several books in the series I've now discovered so I'm going to be looking to read them all. In the '..Saves the World' book our hero's organisation is under attack by someone altering the past. The Rat (real name Jim Di Griz) has to go back in time and stop it from happening. Technology merges seamlessly with history as Jim returns and alters first the 1960's, then the 1790's before.. well, saving the world. Yes they hero always wins but there's a neat twist towards the end which is both plausible at the same time as being pure science fiction (is that possible?).

In the Stainless Steel Rat for President, our hero is on holiday with his wife when a dead body turns up nearby with his nickname on a piece of paper in his mouth. The Rat has never met this man so he investigates further. This takes him to a world run by a not very nice dictator. The Rat helps the limited resistance movement to overthrow the dictator having all the requisite adventures on the way.

While these books all have very predictable "hero always wins" endings, they were just really fun to read without stretching the brain cells. They were also ideal travel books being just 160 pages long (the books fitted perfectly into my big trouser leg pocket).

What about some ratings? Both get a tidy 4 out of 5 Rootie Ratings - James Bond has competition.