The Stainless Steel Rat Returns

Harry Harrison
The Stainless Steel Rat Returns Cover

The Stainless Steel Rat Returns - Harry Harrison


Expanded from a short story, this final novel has some of the humor and satire of the original series. Released more than 10 years after the previous book, it serves as a much better end to the saga. This story of Slippery Jim's Flying Dutchman is mostly just okay.

In a standard trope, Jim's cousin the porcu-swine farmer shows up in need of assistance. Shortly (and in a very contrived fashion) our main character is broke and ends up taking charge of his cousin's space ship load of farmers and livestock, vowing to bring them to a new world.

One of the adventures that follow is likely the short story, and the others were probably notes to be expanded later. They have aspects of Slippery Jim, but miss out on the plot twists and pulp action that makes the first book so good. In it's favor, it is better than the two previous books and most of the prequels - but I would only recommend it to a completist.

So speaking of that, here are my recommendations. Read the first book, or the first three (Stainless Steel Rat + Revenge + Saves the World). The first prequel (A Stainless Steel Rat is Born) has some good features, and the 4th and 5th (Wants You and for President) are okay - the latter would make a nice ending to the series. Avoid the rest like the plague.