The Captain’s Log – a robot in the garden (Deborah Install)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Who doesn’t like robots?  I have no idea where I first heard about this one but I am so glad that I finally took the time to read it.  This is not yer typical robot story but it is completely worthwhile and fabulous.

This story follows Ben who is living at home with no job, ambition, or hobby.  He is just floating along and passively watching his marriage unravel at the seams.  He is woken one morning by his wife, Amy, who informs him that there is a robot sitting under a tree in the garden and that he should go look at it.  He reluctantly goes to check out the robot.  He was told to get rid of the unsightly, battered little robot but doesn’t.

The robot, Tang, is just wonderful.   He has been compared in spirit to Paddington Bear and I do kinda get why.  The story is set in an unspecified future that is just like ours except there are androids doing tasks like cooking, cleaning, etc.  Robots are so old-fashioned.  But Ben finds himself becoming interested in Tang.  He soon discovers that parts of Tang seem to be failing.  Ben is determined to find out how to save Tang.  What follows is a remarkably lovely journey.

Ben and Tang’s evolving relationship is the highlight of this book.  Ben sort of gal-lumps along in an endearing fashion.  But he grows as the story progresses both in how he sees himself and how he views Tang.  Watching Tang grow, change, and have opinions is charming and sometimes embarrassing for poor Ben.  And even though this is a story about traveling from point to point, yer never bored because of the little robot and the man trying to save him.

This story was heart-warming and delightful and occasionally very funny.  I am still smiling about it as I type this review.  Little Tang stole me salty, grumpy heart.  He can keep it.  I highly suggest ye read this one even if robots aren’t usually yer thing.  I don’t think ye will regret it.

Side note:  To find more awesome robot books check out the links at the bottom of this post!  Arrrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

A story of the greatest friendship ever assembled.

Ben Chambers wakes up to find something rusty and lost underneath the willow tree in his garden. Refusing to throw it on the skip as his wife Amy advises, he takes it home.

To visit the author’s twitter go to:

Deborah Install – Author

To buy the book go to:

a robot in the garden – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Some Previous Reviews with Robots

the wild robot – Peter Brown (Captain’s Log – YA Sci-Fi)

the sea of rust – Robert C. Cargill (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

the mechanical – book 1 – Ian Tregillis (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

all systems red – book 1 – Martha Wells (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi) – MURDERBOT!

21 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – a robot in the garden (Deborah Install)

  1. What a beautiful sounding tale! The comparison to Paddington in particular caught my eye. But it makes me wonder, is this a children’s tale? Your summary also reminds me of Asimov’s robot tales. The first one in I, Robot, Robbie. Robbie could go either direction, honestly. All ages tale!

    Is Tang our only robot? Does Install explore ideas about robots in our society? This is why I love robot tales?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is not a children’s tale. The themes are adult themes. I loved the Asimov stories. Tang is not the only robot in the story but the others don’t really have names and are there for juxtiposition. The entire book explores ideas about robots in society. And friendship. So very good. So aye, read this robot book. This one is amazing!
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh man. This sounds awesome! I’ll keep it in my back pocket until the next time I get to select a book for my Science Fiction/Fantasy book club. I have a feeling this will be an awesome book to discuss with others!

        Thanks for sharing your review of this book. I am super excited. It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited for a book I hadn’t heard of before. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh good! Actually it is a perfect book for a book club now that I think of it. And I believe me copy did have discussion questions too. Not that I remember any of them. I hope ye do spread the word because this is a good sci-fi for borth sci-fi lovers and those who don’t read a lot of it. It had broad appeal.
        x The Captain

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Pft, I never remember the discussion questions in the back of the books I read. But it’s nice to have them so I don’t have to do much work. XD I’ll let you know if we end up reading this! Between this and Waypoint Kangaroo, I have a tough decision coming up. Good thing I don’t get to pick again for another 8 months…


  2. I definitely need to get hold of this one, Cap – it sounds just my kind of read:). Thank you for a lovely review. And I’m glad that you also loved Sea of Rust and Murderbot – I just wish I could justify the cost of the other novellas in the series as they are so expensive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh ye would love this one! Sooo good. I also loved how the author came up with the idea for the book. Made me laugh. I don’t own the Murderbot novellas yet. I am waiting until an omnibus comes out and hoping that the price points aren’t so stupid. Fingers crossed.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

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