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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Currently reading

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ann J. Lane
Wizard and Glass
Stephen King, Dave McKean
River of Blue Fire
Tad Williams
Richard Ford
Progress: 36/420 pages

The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World

The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World - Harry Harrison

Another adventure of one of my favourite sociopaths.  Well before there was Dexter, there was Slippery Jim DiGriz.  He is completely incapable of being straight forward, even with his beloved Angelina, the reformed psychopath. 


As per usual, Jim & Angelina are just barely sticking to the path set out for them by the governmental body which recruited and "reformed" them.  (They go off the rails frequently, but always get welcomed back because they are the best at solving criminal cases--who would understand criminals like other criminals do?)  While attending yet another disciplinary meeting, Jim's boss suddenly goes transparent, then disappears.  While using the opportunity to help himself to expensive cigars, Jim also determines that some criminal mastermind has relocated to the past in order to change the present and Jim's world is disintegrating as a result.


Now Slippery Jim is very fond of his life, so he allows the company scientist to fling him back in time 20,000 years to the ancient date of 1975.  There is a certainly amount of amusement to be gained from his interpretations of what was contemporary life when the book was written. 


These books are rather formulaic--and I know that I have whined about that with regard to the Elric series--but somehow, Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat manages to remain charming, perhaps because there is a strong dose of humour injected into every adventure.  I also enjoy Angelina, who saves Jim on a regular basis and obviously tolerates his chauvinism for reasons of her own. 


Definitely classics in the science fiction genre.