Mar 2017 - Goat Days

Goat Days is a remarkable book about human strength, loneliness and survival.


The main character of the book, Najeeb, fulfills his dream of working in the Gulf to earn enough money for a comfortable life with his wife and unborn child.  Instead things go wrong from the minute he arrives at the Gulf, and he has to endure a life of slavery with next to no hope of ever seeing his family again.


Najeeb has to look after goats in the middle of the desert with nobody to talk to or interact with. His loneliness is overwhelming.  He then develops a special relationship with the goats, as they become his friends.  He learns how to adapt to this horrible life with the help of the animals and his faith, which is a theme that runs through the entire story.


The book was originally written in the Mayalam language and appears to have been translated very well. The language is simple and functional and at times quite beautiful. You feel like the narrator is talking to you.  There are moments in the book where reality and fantasy seamlessly change place with each other.

The story of Najeeb is a real story, and what happened to Najeeb in Goat Days is still happening everywhere in the world, even right at our doorstep.


All of us in the group agreed that Goat Days is quite a remarkable book that should be read by everyone.


Submitted by Marianne Khor


Book Group 1