#BookReview : The Goat Thief by Perumal Murugan

The Goat Thief

Title: The Goat Thief
Genre: Fiction-Short Stories
Publisher: Juggernaut
Author: Perumal Murugan
Translator : N Kalyan Raman
I’ve always loved short stories for the reason that they take you to a different world in a matter of few pages. They are the perfect on those days when you only have a few minutes to read. I’d heard of Perumal Murugan’s writing earlier but I had never read any of his work. So when I received a review copy of this book, I was really excited.


The book consists of 10 stories each bringing out the different facets of daily life. The stories revolve around the ordinary but they are extraordinary. Set mostly in rural Tamil Nadu, these stories throw a new light of the lives of people that we would otherwise think to be mundane.


There is the well that draws people towards it. Then there is the wailing toilet bowl that never seems to satisfied. How life revolves around the musical chairs of a household will surely amuse one. There is watchman who falls in love with a ghost. The grandmother who is happy when she is asked to look after her great grand child will remind you of your own grandmother. A child’s cry for something in the middle of the night or the goat thief’s escape will keep you asking for more. And there is tumbler which once special is one day looked upon with disgust. From the man who couldn’t sleep to the one who wanted to be a boy all over again, these stories speak in an unusual way. I coudln’t pick a favourite because I loved them all!


There is a certain charm to the stories that makes you long for more. The stories begin somewhere in the humdrum of daily life and as the stories proceed, there is a feeling that something will change soon.The stories lead you gently towards the end but in the end you will be surprised. You’ll definitely have questions. The narration pulls you along making you feel that you are a part of the story too. The emotions are beautifully woven into the stories. I haven’t read a lot of translated works earlier, but I felt that the translation could be better.


If you are someone who enjoys reading short stories, then The Goat Thief is a must read. I strongly recommend this to anyone who wants to read short stories. You can read it one go but I preferred reading a story or two at a time in order to feel the stories better.
My rating : 4/5

5 responses to “#BookReview : The Goat Thief by Perumal Murugan”

  1. Mayuri6 says:

    I was introduced to Perumal Murugan by bellow BARmate Lata Sunil and I am a fan since then.
    Your well written review review has enticed my curiosity and I shall pick this book up next. Thank you for this crisp review, Reema.

  2. Balaka says:

    I love to read short stories and this book is now in my TBR. Thanks for this lovely review. It is crisp and to-the-point.

  3. Shilpa Gupte says:

    The stories sound interesting. It has been ages since I read short stories and I guess I could give this one a try. Slice-of-life stores are what appeal to me much more than larger than life!
    Thank you for the review, Reema!

  4. Shirley Corder says:

    This sounds like a fun read. I’ve never heard of this author before. Thank you for sharing. Eighty-year-old and her Walk to Freedom

  5. I don’t enjoy short stories, but this one sounds so earthy and grounded. I might pick this one.

    Thanks, Reema.

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