The Goat Thief by Perumal Murugan – Review


Perumal Murugan is an Indian author, scholar and literary chronicler who writes novels in Tamil. He has written six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry to his credit. Three of his novels have been translated into English: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Current Show and One Part Woman. He was a professor of Tamil at the Government Arts College in Namakkal.

The Goat thief is my second read of the famed author Perumal Murugan. This book is a collection of 10 stories set a village background in India. They are stories which representing the slice of lives of various characters. The stories are very simple, relatable but there wasn’t any take-away from them.  The short stories talked about various facets of life.  A goat thief who gets caught in his act and is chased by the villagers who want to kill him. It is shame on the thief having learned the job from his dad who is a pro in this.

A night-watchman who ran from his home started after working in so many places, landed a job in a farm. He falls in love with a ghost of a raped woman only to almost lose his job.

A story of old farmer who is jealous that a young man Murugesan whose age is that of his sons, driven to do thing fast in life somehow struggles and finishes constructing his home. The farmer overcomes his jealousy by ruing a part of the latter’s finished home. 

These stories are just of glimpse of the stories in the book. Although there is not much of a take from them, the book is apt for the ones who need to read something lite or deviate themselves from a serious read. The book didn’t meet my expectation that I had for the book given the hype surrounding the book.  

I would rate the book 3/5 


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