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The Monkey & the Monk: A Revised Abridgment of the Journey to the West

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  145 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Anthony C. Yu's celebrated translation of The Journey to the West reinvigorated one of Chinese literature's most beloved classics for English-speaking audiences when it first appeared thirty years ago. Yu's abridgment of his four-volume translation, The Monkey and the Monk, finally distills the epic novel's most exciting and meaningful episodes without taking anything away ...more
ebook, 513 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Not Avail (first published November 1st 2006)
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Vasha7
In the Táng dynasty, a monk named Xuánzàng set off alone, under a political cloud, to seek Buddhist scriptures in India. Seventeen years later, at the end of an arduous, successful journey, he returned to a hero's welcome and spent the last years of his life translating and popularizing the scriptures. That's history; but such a memorable, legend-inspiring accomplishment also became part of the complex, syncretic religious and cultural lore of China, accreting plenty of supernatural elements. Ne ...more
Raymond
The Journey to the West is a fictionalized account of the Chinese Tang dynasty monk Xuanzang's journey to Central Asia and India to collect Buddhist texts, and is considered one of China's four great literary classics. It was first published in the 16th century and the authorship is still disputed.

The big question when reading this story in an English translation is whether to read Arthur Waley's heavily abridged version "Monkey", Anthony Yu's complete four-volume translation "The Journey to the
...more
Dani
Aug 01, 2014 Dani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off: I'm really glad this was an abridgment-- the 100-chapter, four-volume complete story sounds utterly overwhelming. I've read long books, and I've read the entire Harry Potter series multiple times, but classic books are at time more difficult to digest than modern novels.

Secondly, remember that this story is hundreds of years old. Some of the story-telling styles are old-school. If you've read other ancient books and stories, you might know what I mean. It's not organized the way a mod
...more
Devon  Start
Nov 24, 2010 Devon Start rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
one of the first novels ever written. it tells the story of the monkey king and his companions, well actually its the story of the monk and his companions who include the monkey king, a devil pig and a servant demon general.
the monk must go to india get some sutras and return to china. along the way he and his companions are attacked by all manner of angry demons who think that eating the monk will let them live forever(i would have thought being a demon would have had that power but what did i
...more
Marsha
To my delight this book just arrived through interlibrary loan last night and I started it before bed. Love this book for its language and dis-similarity to anything I've read. Listen to this... "Near a great ocean, in the midst of which was located the famous Flower-Fruit Moutnain. This mountain, which consistuted the chief range of the Ten Islets and formed the origin of the Three Islands, came into being after the creation of the world.

Then it continues having set the stage....


Its majesty com
...more
Tim Gannon
The story is based on the pilgrimage of a Chinese priest to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures. The journey lasted about 17 years. It was probably written in the late 1500's. 'The Monkey and the Monk' is an English abridgment of the 4-volume 'The Journey to the West,' which is considered to be a classic among Chinese literature.

I decided to read this after watching a DVD take off of it called 'The Lost Empire' which I enjoyed a bunch. It was an adventure story of a current day scripture scholar
...more
Benjamin
Apr 04, 2013 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
I'm glad that I got the abridgement rather than the full-on, 4 volume 100 chapter edition. Though a very enjoyable story (laugh out loud funny at times), it is RAMBLING in the extreme. And there are many passages filled with repetitive information (IE, an event will happen, then a character will relate the events to another almost word for word, etc).

All that being said, if you're a fan of world mythology (or indeed, Dragonball) you owe it to yourself to travel west with Old Monkey and his gang
...more
Kevin Lawrence
Aug 19, 2014 Kevin Lawrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The preferred abridged translation (to Waley's) of the classic featuring Monkey King. Really a wonderful Buddhist parable of Everyman's journey for enlightenment with fantastical characters allegorically representing aspects of the human (Monkey = mind, Pigsy = appetites, Monk = soul, etc). Prof. Yu put a lifetime of erudition and enthusiasm into this translation and the English speaking world is all the richer for that.
David
Feb 09, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After hearing about The Monkey King for several years, I decided to find a good English translation of this old Chinese Novel. This one seemed to get the best reviews, and while it is heavily abridged, I found it enjoyable and very readable. Good introduction to the story. There is a 4 volume translation of the entire 100 chapter Novel that I'll pass on for now.
Tia Marie
Oct 31, 2016 Tia Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my single most favourite thing to read of all past and future to come. It's a fantastic version and translation of the original tale, doing a relatively okay job at handling the characters names and names of religion in english.

I don't want to say more cause I just want people to read this. I even got it on audiobook for nights i can't sleep to have this story read to me
Jeanette
Jan 22, 2012 Jeanette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, fantasy
This is an incredible ancient classic that we Western readers unfortunately miss out on in our bookshelves as kids. It should have been right next to the Wizard of Oz in my opinion. I highly recommend it
Ata
Oct 09, 2016 Ata rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
how delightful, how distant. read this with a class if possible
Jukka
Feb 01, 2009 Jukka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this I have (probably) started to understand some of the Chinese/Asian action movies :-) The story telling is simply fascinating and so different from ours in here.
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92019
From Wikipedia: Dr. Yu is a literature and religion scholar. He is currently the Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago.

Best known for his four-volume translation of The Journey to the West, he coedited (with Mary Gerhart) Morphologies of Faith: Essays in Religion and Culture in Honor of Nathan A. Scott, Jr. He has also published Rereading the Stone
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