Sep 25, 2011

Robot Dreams

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon

     Robot Dreams is an almost wordless graphic novel.  A dog receives a build-yourself robot in the mail.  After putting it together, the dog and the robot become inseparable, going to the library, watching movies and reading together.  On a trip to the beach, the robot is not quite sure about swimming in the ocean, but the dog convinces him.  They have a great time playing in the water, but once dried, the robot realized he's now unable to move.  Not quite sure what to do, the sad dog leaves his friend behind laying on the sand.  As the summer days end, and the beach closes for the season, the dog begins his quest for a new friend, still missing the robot and feeling guilty about what happened.  Meanwhile, the robot lays trapped on the beach, dreaming of freedom while being abused by the weather and other characters, eventually being dismembered and thrown out into a scrapyard.  A raccoon who was trying to fix a radio, uses the robot parts to complete his project.  Alive as a radio now, Robot sees his old friend outside his window, walking by with a new robot he has built.  Robot plays his music loudly and the dog unconsciously and unknowingly reconnects with his old friend as he walks away humming the song Robot has just played for him.
     Robot Dreams is one of the most surprising graphic novels I've ever read.  It's bright and cheery illustrations didn't prepare me for the depth of feelings it provoked.  There is friendship, loss and abandonment, longing, guilt and acceptance.   It's a really quick "read" but I guarantee you it will stay with you long after you've finished it.  Just wonderful!

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