Monday, July 27, 2015

Nostalgia Review:: The Stainless Steel Rat for President, by Harry Harrison

Title: The Stainless Steel Rat for President
Author: Harry Harrison
Series: Stainless Steel Rat, #5 (Publication Order)
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★☆

Still good?

The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World
The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You!

Harry Harrison making fun of politics? Yes, please! The hijinks in this Stainless Steel Rat book poke at the way democracies end up not being so democratic. He probably could have used a less stereotypical backdrop than Space Latin America to show off his "democratic" dictator plot, but because the setting isn't the joke, it works better than the issues in the last book.

In fact, it probably would have been five stars if Harrison hadn't gone for the easy swoop and set the story in Space Latin America. But either way, like I said, it's hella good.

If I recall correctly, this book kind of... is a shift in the series. We learn in this one that everyone in the future speaks Esperanto except for a few kind of remote places (like Space Latin America) which is just so cute. There's also a bit in the back about where I can send a postcard to learn more about Esperanto.

I also really like the idea of Slippery Jim fighting for democracy, which of course he has to do, in order to take down the big bad dictator. Simply because of the way that he fights for anything... with a lot of crime. But he's such a gentleman thief, which is heavily reinforced in this book. He's doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons., sometimes. His crimes are pretty much victimless. Let's go with that.

Perhaps one of the reasons I like this book so much is that it pokes fun at the dirty laundry of politics, but somehow takes it seriously at the same time. It's that whole crossing the line twice thing that Harrison is so good at. You start questioning whether or not you should even laugh because it just feels like reality.

Either way, I highly suggest this book. Granted, I highly suggest this entire series.

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