When I was a teenager I went through a fairly predicable science fiction phase in my reading. My English teacher had done her best to kill my love of reading but somehow, Asimov, Heinlein, Philip K Dick et al kept me going. I loved the Stainless Steel Rat books by harry Harrison, even though I knew they were relatively lightweight stories. When the last book came out in 1983 I bought it but put it aside for the day when I really needed and enjoyable read. At that point I discovered the bass guitar and simultaneously discovered Albert Camus, Satre and Calvino. Last week I heard that Harry Harrison had died and so, as soon as I got back from my holiday I dug out this book to, finally, read.