Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 25/01/2024
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Bookseller Reviews

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An important and emotional read.
Tipu’s Tiger, a legendary automaton crafted for the great Tipu Sultan back in the eighteenth century, a marvel that is carved and intricately painted to re... READ MORE
Dan - Clifton, Bristol.
“Were an artist to choose me for his model-/ How could he draw the form of a sigh?”
As a sucker for clockwork items and books about toymakers, as well as someone who loves historical fiction, the blurb of this book drew me in completely an... READ MORE


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

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781787304154
  • Number of pages: 304
  • Weight: 500g
  • Dimensions: 232 x 156 x 32 mm

Customer Reviews

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Who might have made Tipu's Tiger?
I love the idea of creating one type of art inspired by another, in this case a novel which starts out in the court of Tipu Sultan for whom the Tipu’s Tige... READ MORE
Anne O'Connell
A hugely enjoyable adventure!
If you’re looking for a historical adventure packed with great characters, an intriguing story, and a real sense of place, then you could do much worse tha... READ MORE
An imagined tale
Abbas is a young toymaker living in Mysore when he is whisked away from his family to the palace of Tipu Sultan. There Abbas is ordered to work with an ex... READ MORE
Jo-anne Atkinson
Epic tale spanning decades and continents
A historical novel spanning decades of the 18th century and following the fortunes and misfortunes of Abbas, a toy maker and woodcarver, Monsieur Du Leze a... READ MORE
Lynda Checkley
Fascinating historical novel
This was a fascinating historical novel. It covers the life of Abbas and takes place over multiple points in his life. We meet him when he’s a teenager and... READ MORE
Jennifer Charlton
An enthralling story based on an object in the V&A museum in London
The book begins in Mysore, India, where young Abbas and Lucien du Leze craft an intricate musical wooden tiger for Tipu Sultan. Then the British arrive. By... READ MORE
Jenny Hill
Fascinating mix of historical settings, cleverly linked
It’s a historical adventure with a sort of love interest in places, but mostly, how two displaced people come together and use their skills to make a livin... READ MORE
Jacky Pett
Breathe life into artefacts
Not my usual historical fiction read but "Loot" by Tania James does breathe life into artefacts that you see in cabinets at museums like the British Museum... READ MORE
Mel Pretorius
Wonderful book
Wonderful book, spanning over a decade. We follow Abbas and Jehanne, and to a lesser extent, Rum, on their journeys from Mysore to England and France. A... READ MORE
Barbara Scott Emmett
Very enjoyable historical epic
Eighteenth century and seventeen year old Abbas, a woodcutter, is bought into another world: the palace court where he is assigned to help carve a genuine ... READ MORE
Ben Dutton
Spellbinding historical novel
This spellbinding historical novel weaves a story around the automata Tipu’s Tiger, and some of the people whose lives it touched. I’ve seen Tipu’s Tiger a... READ MORE
Ian Payton