Mr B's review
Abbas is only 17 when he’s called to Tipu Sultan’s palace to work on a remarkable automaton – a life-sized tiger, sinking its teeth into the neck of a flailing, moaning British soldier.
In 1794, this isn’t just an extraordinary mechanical feat; it’s a political statement, sending a message to those attempting to control and conquer Mysore, Abbas’s homeland. But this tiger isn’t safe in Mysore’s summer palace, and when the land falls to the British, the automaton is taken by the victors.
This is a beautifully crafted novel, both sensuous and epic, and is one which raises a vital question about who writes history and who owns the objects history leaves behind. (Lottie)
‘Loot held me spellbound from the first page…an expertly-plotted, deeply affecting novel ‘ Maggie O’Farrell
An epic tale of plundered treasure, savage empire, lasting love and a young man’s dream to make his mark on the world.
Meet Abbas. Woodcarver, toy maker, dreamer. Abbas is seventeen when he is whisked away to Tipu Sultan’s glorious palace in Mysore. Apprenticed to the clockmaker Monsieur Du Leze, he is ordered to create an ingenious musical tiger to delight Tipu’s sons.
In the eccentric Du Leze, Abbas finds an unexpected friend who encourages his skill and hunger for learning, and through whom he also meets the unforgettable Jehanne, who has questions and ambitions of her own.
But when British soldiers attack and loot Mysore, Abbas’s world is turned upside down and his prized tiger is shipped off to a country estate in England. In order to carve out his place in the world, he must follow.
A hero’s quest, a love story, an exuberant heist novel that traces the bloody legacy of colonialism across the world, Loot is a dazzling, wildly inventive and irresistible feat of storytelling from a writer at the height of her powers.
‘A cinematic novel of empire, colonialism and romance…Through transporting prose, and with wit and charm, Loot asks who gets written out of history and why’ Guardian
”Immersive and beautifully written…a clever and absorbing novel about empire and belonging’ Sunday Times
‘A thrilling, absorbing and immersive tale of artistry, adventure and romance’ Claire Fuller
‘A wild, dazzling eighteenth-century romp across continents with profound things to say about invention and self-reinvention, class and fate, and the deeply human hunger to create family.’ Lauren Groff
‘Elegantly crafted and beautifully written… exciting… Highly recommended’ Mail on Sunday
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