In the Lives of Puppets

In the Lives of Puppets

by TJ Klune

Narrated by Daniel Henning

Unabridged — 15 hours, 22 minutes

In the Lives of Puppets

In the Lives of Puppets

by TJ Klune

Narrated by Daniel Henning

Unabridged — 15 hours, 22 minutes

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

This is Pinocchio meets Swiss Family Robinson meets Wall-E and 100% classic Klune. It’s about a found family assembled from spare parts. There are unforgettable characters, lots of humor and heart, ongoing philosophical discussions, and existential considerations. It’s cozy fantasy perfection!

"Narrator Daniel Henning demonstrates perfect comedic timing and impressive vocal versatility in this queer/sci-fi retelling of 'Pinocchio.' This laugh-out-loud, emotional audiobook asks listeners to question what it means to be human." - AudioFile Magazine (Earphones Award Winner)

"Narrator Daniel Henning does a phenomenal job capturing Gio's fatherliness and Vic's early naivete, and he positively shines as the heartless, bloodthirsty Nurse Ratched and the anxiety-ridden robot vacuum Rambo."- Library Journal

New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune invites you deep into the heart of a peculiar forest and on the extraordinary journey of a family assembled from spare parts.

Most Anticipated from BookPage ¿ Goodreads ¿ The Nerd Daily ¿ Paste Magazine ¿ LitReactor ¿ OverDrive ¿ LGBTQ Reads ¿ Tor.com ¿ more

“An enchanting tale of Pinocchio in the end times.” -P. Djèlí Clark


In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots-fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They're a family, hidden and safe.

The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio-a past spent hunting humans.

When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio's former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic's assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.

Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?

Inspired by Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio, and like Swiss Family Robinson meets Wall-E, In the Lives of Puppets is a masterful stand-alone fantasy adventure from the beloved author who brought you The House in the Cerulean Sea and Under the Whispering Door.

¿ “An epic quest of rescue and discovery [with] the author's trademark charm, heart, and bittersweetness.” -Library Journal, starred review

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books.


Editorial Reviews

MAY 2023 - AudioFile

Narrator Daniel Henning demonstrates perfect comedic timing and impressive vocal versatility in this queer/sci-fi retelling of "Pinocchio." Vic, a human, lives with three androids: Miss Ratched, a nurse; Gio, an inventor whom Vic considers to be his father; and Rambo, a vacuum cleaner. Nurse Ratched's lines are delivered with a robotic articulation that perfectly matches her dry humor and sociopathic nature. Gio is given a fatherly tone. Henning's voice for Rambo, the vacuum, modulates between anxiety and ignorant positivity. Then, Vic discovers Hap, a powerful but decommissioned android who speaks with a deep-voiced stutter. When Gio is seized, Vic teams up with the unlikely android trio on a cross-country odyssey to rescue him. This laugh-out-loud, emotional audiobook asks listeners to question what it means to be human. A.K.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine

Publishers Weekly

01/30/2023

Bestseller Klune (Under the Whispering Door) draws from Pinocchio to create a gripping and heartfelt queer dystopian tale set in a world where humanity has been eliminated by robots. Victor Lawson, 21, was raised by his robot father, Giovanni, in a secluded forest in far-future Oregon. Together with two friends—antisocial Nurse Ratched (short for “Nurse Registered Automaton to Care, Heal, Educate, and Drill”) and neurotic vacuum Rambo—Victor discovers an angry, powerful android in the nearby scrapyard. Hap, as the trio comes to call him, quickly imprints on Victor, who repairs the android’s body with wood and powers him with a carved heart containing a drop of Victor’s own blood. When Giovanni is seized by the law and taken to the City of Electric Dreams, a recorded message from Giovanni reveals that Victor is the last surviving human—and that Hap is a model HARP (Human Annihilation Response Protocol) created by Giovanni to hunt and kill humans before he learned regret. Hap, who doesn’t remember this violent past, promises not to hurt Victor as they concoct a plan to rescue Giovanni. Klune makes the central question of what it means to be human feel direct, urgent, and fresh. Both very funny and deeply touching, this evocative retelling will delight Klune’s fans and newcomers alike. (Apr.)

From the Publisher

“Readers who loved Klune’s previous works will find plenty of the author’s trademark charm, heart, and bittersweet.” —Library Journal, starred review

"A wholly charming post-robot-apocalypse retelling of Pinocchio. Speculative fiction readers will fall in love with this whimsical, bittersweet fable." —Shelf Awareness, starred review

"In The Lives of Puppets is glorious, a thoroughly entertaining and deeply stirring journey through a world of extraordinary robots. The characters here are so vibrant, and the story proves that love stretches well beyond the world of humans." —Chuck Tingle, Hugo Award finalist and author of Camp Damascus

"In the Lives of Puppets is a powerful story of humanity and what survives after we're gone. Do the new inheritors of this earth forge a new path? Or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of their makers? TJ Klune has created an enchanting tale of Pinocchio in the end times, offering up hard truths alongside humor, kindness, love and, most important, hope." —P. Djèlí Clark

"I dare say I am yet to read more humane robots than I've encountered in In the Lives of Puppets. This kind, caring, hopeful humanity that Klune weaves into his work tugs at the heartstrings. There are passages so affecting within, I had to pause. This was brilliantly offset by moments of levity. Literature at its very best opens up the potential of a better world than the one we're currently in. Klune's vision of a more considerate and compassionate society is immensely powerful. One can't help but fall in love with this book." —T.L. Huchu

For The House in the Cerulean Sea
A New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post Bestseller!
An Indie Next Pick!
An Alex Award-Winner


"I loved it. It is like being wrapped up in a big gay blanket. Simply perfect." —V.E. Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

“This book is very close to perfect.” —Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of Every Heart a Doorway

“An utterly absorbing story of tolerance, found family, and defeating bureaucracy.” —Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author of Soulless

“A modern fairy tale about learning your true nature and what you love and will protect. It's a beautiful book.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"It will renew your faith in humanity.” —Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of the Shannara series

“It’s a witty, wholesome fantasy that’s likely to cause heart-swelling.” —The Washington Post

"Readers will revel in Klune’s wit and ingenuity." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Remarkable.” —Amazon Book Review

For Under the Whispering Door
A New York Times, USA Today, and Indie Bestseller!
An Indie Next Pick!

Under the Whispering Door is a kind book. It broke my heart with its unflinching understanding that grief never goes away. And then it healed me in the next breath.” —Cassandra Khaw, USA Today bestselling author of Nothing But Blackened Teeth

“There is so much to enjoy in Under the Whispering Door, but what I cherish the most is its compassion for the little things—a touch, a glance, a precious piece of dialogue—healing me, telling me that for all the strangenesses I hold, I am valued, valid—and maybe even worthy of love.” —Ryka Aoki author of Light from Uncommon Stars

“Klune's latest is a sweet tale of grief and second chances, and a ghost story about not giving up on even the most lost of souls.” —Booklist

“Tenderness, wit, and skillful worldbuilding elevate this delightful tale. Fans of queer fantasy won’t want to miss this.” —Publishers Weekly

Library Journal

★ 01/01/2023

Victor Lawson is a "real boy" in this charming reinterpretation of The Adventures of Pinocchio, while his dad, Gio, is the puppet. Or rather, the android, who, along with a gaggle of misfit, repurposed androids, live together in a forest clearing, separate from the society that spawned them. It's a society of androids that killed all the humans—except for Victor. Their lovely idyll is broken when Victor learns that Gio was once a hunter of humans and that he might be reprogrammed into doing it again—unless Victor and his friends can save him. Combining the cuteness of Wall-E with the history of the deadly android rampage of Day Zero, this quietly draws the reader into its safe and peaceful idyll only to send everyone on an epic quest of rescue and discovery. VERDICT Readers who loved Klune's (Under the Whispering Door) previous works will find plenty of the author's trademark charm, heart, and bittersweetness, while those looking for more hopeful robot stories, like A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, will find this interpretation of a robot-future different but just as compelling.—Marlene Harris

MAY 2023 - AudioFile

Narrator Daniel Henning demonstrates perfect comedic timing and impressive vocal versatility in this queer/sci-fi retelling of "Pinocchio." Vic, a human, lives with three androids: Miss Ratched, a nurse; Gio, an inventor whom Vic considers to be his father; and Rambo, a vacuum cleaner. Nurse Ratched's lines are delivered with a robotic articulation that perfectly matches her dry humor and sociopathic nature. Gio is given a fatherly tone. Henning's voice for Rambo, the vacuum, modulates between anxiety and ignorant positivity. Then, Vic discovers Hap, a powerful but decommissioned android who speaks with a deep-voiced stutter. When Gio is seized, Vic teams up with the unlikely android trio on a cross-country odyssey to rescue him. This laugh-out-loud, emotional audiobook asks listeners to question what it means to be human. A.K.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine

Product Details

BN ID: 2940175675055
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 04/25/2023
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 346,203
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