A Robot in the Garden

A Novel

Publisher: Random House Canada
What would you do if you found a rickety robot sitting under a tree in your back garden?
For floundering 34-year-old Ben Chambers the answer is obvious: find out where it came from and take it there to be fixed, even if it means risking his marriage in the process. Determined to achieve something for once in his life, Ben embarks on a journey that takes him and the endearing robot, Tang, to the far side of the globe...and back again. Together they will discover that friendship can rise up under the strangest circumstances, and that Artificial Intelligence can teach a man what it is to be human.
Funny, touching, charming, wise and a bit magical, A Robot in the Garden is a gem of a first novel, perfect for anyone who has ever found it difficult to connect with the world.


“Tang the robot is as bighearted as the Tin Man, as loyal as R2-D2, and as clever as HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Our hero is a fantastic and unforgettable creation, and so is this absolute charmer of a novel.” —Neil Smith, author of Bang Crunch and Boo

“This is a most unusual and delightful book. Deborah Install has created a robot to remember!” —Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series

“A road trip, an adorable robot and a man finding purpose in his life—what more could you ask for? . . . This is a quaint book with a lot of heart. Tang[’s] relationship with Ben, his de-facto father, will put a smile on your face. If you’re looking for a feel-good book, this one is perfect. You’ll be wishing for your own robot by the end!” —The Waterloo Region Record
“[A] charming debut novel by author Deborah Install. A Robot in the Garden is a quirky, picaresque story about technology, the search for love and finding one’s place in the world. . . . Install’s book offers an entertaining, thought-provoking read that will appeal to sci-fi buffs and beyond.” —Winnipeg Free Press
“The Greatest Friendship Ever Assembled. . . . This debut novel from Deborah Install is a warm-hearted, whimsical tale about the journey unattended grief will launch us on, a journey towards understanding, acceptance and love.” —i read to live in other people’s lives
 “[A Robot in the Garden] was definitely a page turner. . . . Deborah Install was able to create a great summer read! I enjoyed the characters and the way they were able to interact with each other, both in good and bad situations. I adored the plot line and the way the story unfolded, as well as the adventure this novel takes the reader on. This is definitely a book you should pick up this summer! . . . [A] must-read summer novel!” —Fiction Depictions
“I adored this narrative. Deborah Install was specifically successful in conveying the idea and feeling of hope, and determination, and the joys of friendships, however odd. It was these very things that kept me engaged, but what really turned the pages was the way she connected her loose pieces, and interlocked moments. It was the way she made my entire heart envelope Tang, and feel extremely human-like emotions for this little metal being. I wanted him to live the kind of life we are all searching for: one of peace, and belonging. This is a story of new beginnings, and new truths, and of discovering new versions of yourself in the places you least expected to.” —Bound by Words
A Robot in the Garden was funny, heartbreaking, heartwarming and so very, very good. How else could I describe A Robot in the Garden? Well, if you loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry— cross that with Wall-E and you’ll have an idea. Absolutely, positively, recommended!” —A Bookworm’s World
 “[O]ne of the loveliest, sweetest stories that I’ve read. . . . Install is a completely hilarious writer. Her story is punctuated with light-hearted humour to create a story that jaunts along. Her characters are endearing and totally likeable. . . . This story is light and funny, and most of all it’ll warm your heart. It’s the perfect summer read.” —Worn Pages and Ink
“A debut novel from author Deborah Install, A Robot in the Garden is a wonderfully sweet and original story. . . . Tang the robot is an incredibly endearing and loveable character and the friendship that develops between him and Ben is truly heartwarming. Their journey together is funny and touching as both of them learn new things along the way. It becomes not just about the physical journey, but one of discovery, friendship and gaining a new perspective on life. A Robot in the Garden is a fun and charming novel that will make you smile (and want to have a robot).” —Cozy Bookmark
A Robot in the Garden has become a new favourite of mine. As I neared the end of the book, I was constantly looking at how many pages I had left because I didn't want it to end.” —Let’s Take a Shelfie
“It’s been a while since I picked up a book and got the warm-and-fuzzies with every page I turned. . . . I haven’t cried this much over a book since The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.” —Vanessa Grillone, My Pen, My Voice
“This book is fantastically unique. . . . [I]ncredibly well done. . . . [Tang] seriously . . . came right out of the page and buried himself in [my] heart.” —Reality’s a Bore
“This book is one of the craziest, sweetest, most charming and entertaining books I’ve ever read and I loved every second of it. I can honestly say I’ve not read anything like this before. . . . All I really need to say to Deborah Install . . . is that there needs to be a sequel. . . . I could read A Robot in the Garden over and over and it would never lose its appeal. It’s such an endearing tale of friendship, a delightful story, so amusing that words just can’t do it justice. . . . Laugh out loud funny books are rare but this was one of them. . . . A Robot in the Garden is a lovely, wonderful debut novel and I really hope it’s not the last we see of Tang.” —Reviewed the Book
“All the way though this book I was smiling. . . . I absolutely fell head over heels in love with Tang. . . . Overall I can sum this up in one word: ADORABLE!” —Between My Lines