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I love mustelid haberdashery, vinho verde wine, and wensleydale with fruit.

The Stainless Steel Rat

The Stainless Steel Rat - Harry Harrison I think the best thing I can say about this book is that it does not age well.

In the far future (which, I think would be about now, although I'm willing to forgive the book this bit), people have been selectively bred to be socially conscious and responsible. The few malcontents that are born are weeded out fairly quickly, so that there is virtually no crime. So the whole wide world/civilization is fairly bland, with few exceptions. The main character, Jim diGriz, is one of those exceptions, and thanks to his criminal "ability" is recruited into being a kind of anti-crime agent to stop crimes and apprehend other criminals.

Which is all well and good, if it weren't for the fact that diGriz is possibly one of the most irritating main characters I've had the misfortune to read. He's brash and amazing and clever and witty and oh-so-awesome. And one note (although all characters are dimensionless). And then there's the "gentle" misogyny rampant through the book. There is no world building, there are no sane motivations for any of the characters. The world is, because the author says so. The characters just do, because the author writes them to.

The upside is that this book is fast. The action is non-stop, and since the book is so short, that means it doesn't take long to get through, and there is no lag-time that makes you want to put down the book.

It's decent, I suppose. It feels like a pulp-sci-fi from the 60s. So take it for what it is. If you enjoy the campy white-knight man rescuing the world from the evil clutches of a seductress-enemy that takes no direct action, but uses her "feminine wiles" to ensnare men to her bidding, then go for it. I won't be continuing the series.