In those same pages the letters column would regularly be filled with readers speculating on how they'd cast movie versions of the comic's strips. You could rely on Joe Dredd's tight boots being filled by Clint Eastwood, and for DiGriz the actor of choice was invariably James Coburn, which worked for me after I saw him in The President's Analyst. Nowadays, maybe Clooney?
The role of the Rat definitely needs a light touch, and it seems that this sort of character was what Harrison really specialised in. You can't help but side with this crook, no doubt seduced as you were by the first-person narrative. I definitely was - even seeking out the novel of SSRFP at the local library to check how faithful the adaptation was (pretty much, I concluded), and then following it with the original novel. Perhaps the Silver one will finally reach the silver screen? It's a shame Harrison never saw it happen, I guess.
To my shame, that's almost all I read of Harry Harrison's work, save for another one of his best, Make Room! Make Room! - almost the opposite to the Rat stories. A future dystopia (a friend once observed that there are no future utopian fiction, and I haven't seen anything to prove otherwise) of an overcrowded planet and a desperate and awful solution to world hunger, filmed of course as Soylent Green (I didn't care for the adaptation this time), and of course somewhat diminished by being one of the most spoiled endings of modern SF because of it. The novel is the superior, and I remember how much it affected me, even though a few years' worth of similar stuff in 2000AD should have prepared me well enough.
And so, like Bradbury before him, I feel as though I have a lot of reading to do. But here's to you, Mr Harrison. Here's hoping that the world you're inhabiting now is every bit as bold and exciting, human and humourous as the world of Jim DiGriz. And thanks for the great stories.