Book Report: The Stainless Steel Rat for President by Harry Harrison (1982)

Sometimes, I take a long time to select which book to read next after I complete a book. I look at my bookshelves bulging with choices and, quite frankly, am overwhelmed with the possible selections. Sometimes, though, the books leap off of the shelf in a meaningful segue. Of course, immediately after reading The Case Against Hillary Clinton, I picked up The Stainless Steel Rat for President.

Like The Case Against Hillary Clinton, I bought this book from the red dot, three for a dollar shelves outside Hooked on Books, but I didn’t buy the two on the same visit.

I’ve tried to read The Stainless Steel Rat for President on at least one other occasion, but its tour-de-farce tone didn’t draw me in, and I moved onto other things.

This time, though, the over-the-top voice and the story of how the intergalactic criminal and undercover operative known as the Stainless Steel Rat ventures to a banana republic of a planet whose thriving tourism industry funds a repressive dictatorship. Penned in 1982, it offers a fable of a criminal fixing an election to free a backward, galactically latino people. If I wanted to, I guess I could dig out some sort of political posturing of the time and a backlash or support of Reagan, but wow, it would take some effort. I vaguely remember when one could read politically-based fiction without trying to determine whose side the author is on.

Regardless, it’s an entertaining read, clocking in at the old school under 200 page mark. An entry into a series, but not a chronological or particularly serialized series, so you can enjoy it if it’s your first Stainless Steel Rat book or if you haven’t read a Stainless Steel Rat book in a decade. In short, it’s good old school science fiction. Well worth my thirty-three and a third cents.

Books mentioned in this review:

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2 thoughts on “Book Report: The Stainless Steel Rat for President by Harry Harrison (1982)

  1. Wow, you really over paid for that book! 33 times the market value? Sheesh – you must make the big bucks.

  2. Well, the Amazon price doesn’t list shipping and handling on that penny book. No doubt, even factoring the drive to Springfield, I probably came out ahead.

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