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I was first introduced to The Stainless Steel Rat back in the late 1970’s when he appeared in the late great and sadly missed 2000AD comic of the era. Since then I have read the books and loved every one of them.
This absorbing narrative style by Phil Gigante rounds the character off perfectly for me, filling out the character as I remember him in the comic version back in the day, well deserving of the name “slippery” Jim DiGriz. I always imagined his character being acted on screen by Lee Marvin, which is close to how he was drawn in the comic strip.
For those who have not met “The Rat”, he is a confident and well-established con-man, expert and accomplished bank robber and a master of lies, disguise and martial arts. He can talk his way out of almost anything and claims to provide entertainment for the enjoyment of humanity.
He also has a strong sense of morality, making sure before he steals from any corporation, that they have fully paid-up insurance so that they have a chance of claiming compensation “after the event”.
His wife, Angelina, is a little more ruthless and a lot more willing to kill. Their two sons, James and Bolivar, fortunately follow after their father.
If you are a fan of Harry Harrison’s protagonist, you probably will not be too disappointed in this well presented audio narrative, delivered with an easy style which is in perfect harmony with the character it portrays.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I have been a keen Rat reader for over 30 years. In recent times I have switched to audion books a bit more and was delighted to see my old friend Slippery Jim making a comeback in the updated audio format, and not before time. This is the first in the series of Rat books and one of the best, the narrator does a fine job with all the characters and story. Old time Rat fans like me will love it, newbees will have a chance to discover one of the best sci-fi characters ever written. Enjoy.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Hands down, this is one of the most entertaining and engaging SF audiobooks I have purchased from Audible, and you don't want to know how many I have. For one thing, as a dyed-in-the-wool SF fan for almost 50 years, it was great to revisit one of the most memorable characters from the wacky space operas of the 1960s, of which Harry Harrrison and his contemporary, Keith Laumer, were masters. This is a thoroughly entertaining, nutty story, well-written, satirical and charming.
Now, as to Phil Gigante's reading. Calling it a reading or a narration is a gross misrepreentation of one of the most entertaining performances I have yet encountered in my huge Audible collection. His tone and delivery is absolutely, flawlessly perfect for DiGriz -- sardonic, larcenous but totally suggestive of the "diamond in the rough" that is the Stainless Steel Rat. Not only that, but the range of voices and accents that Mr. Gigante is able to project, effortlessly phasing from one to another without missing a best, is nothing less than astonishing. At times, I almost forgot I was listening to an audiobook, but instead an old radio play such as X-Minus-One or Dimension X. I frequently caught myself laughing aloud not only at Harrison's turns of phrase but also Gigante's perfect timing and delivery.
If you like wacky, vintage space opera told with humor and style, catch "The Stainless Steel Rat" ... if you can. They don't call him Slippery Jim DioGriz for nothing.
46 of 49 people found this review helpful