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.
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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!