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).
I started this book this week because I had the post-Xmas-vacation blues really badly and needed something to make me smile. There was more than enough silliness in this book to achieve my aim.
Just like in War of the Worlds, Earth is being menaced by cephalopods of all shapes, sizes and degrees of sliminess. James Bolivar DiGriz (Slippery Jim, the Stainless Steel Rat) is called upon by the Special Corps once again to save the universe! First he has to break his sons out of jail, rescue his wife from the taxman and build himself his own slimy disguise to become "Sleepery Jeem."
There are LOTS of bad jokes, like aliens named Sess-pul. The aliens, it turns out, speak many different languages, but have settled on Esperanto to communicate amongst themselves and Jim of course knows Esperanto. Things get complicated when the Moralty Corps shows up and put the kibosh on several of Jim's slippery plans. Some very irreverent antics ensue!
I probably read this too soon after The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World, and I think Harrison was running out of good ideas at this point, so I didn't find it quite as much fun as previous books. But it still helped me lift a very grumpy mood,