Monkey: The Journey to the West
Probably the most popular book in the history of the Far East, this classic sixteenth century novel is a combination of picaresque novel and folk epic that mixes satire, allegory, and history into a rollicking adventure. It is the story of the roguish Monkey and his encounters with major and minor spirits, gods, demigods, demons, ogres, monsters, and fairies. This translat...more
Why regret it when I enjoyed it? I could have enjoyed MORE of it. You see, I found out much later that Monkey is an abridged version of Journey to the West. This is one of the four classic Chinese novels. I've read (and generally loved) the other three: Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Outlaws of the Marsh, and Dream of Red Mansions. Now I've r ...more
After this break I then went back about 20 pages and started again. This time it stuck, I sailed through the rest of the book, and really enjoyed it. I think if I hadn't of struggled it might have been 5 stars, but all in all I think 4 is a fair mark.
The only difficulty with MONKEY comes from trying to remember all of the various deities and sub-sections that Heaven is made up of. Almost every ch ...more
In any case, the "monkey" of the title is Sun Wukong. This story, which is so well known is Asia, is usually known as "The Journey to the West" (without "monke ...more
For those who are wondering about the *complete* translation of this classic: There have been multiple versions of this, because authorship in the old China is not what you assume. People added their own fancy as they hand-copied the book(s), and it's hardly possible to distinguish which part is authenti ...more
I should also note this is an abridged version. I'm ...more
This particular translation is prefaced by a very interesting essay about the translator, a Christian missionary who found (and thus inserted) various Christian messianic themes into the story.
Sadly, this translation has practically no characterisation; it is told as a series of events with very little drama or descriptive language.
Very i ...more
There is also this abridged version of the Yu translation: slightly longer at 528 pages.
Copying directly from Wendy - sorry, Wendy, it's just that it was really interesting:
The most popular, though much-abridged version (in translation anyway?) is Monkey: The Journey to the West. I did some research and have decided on this non-abridged version instead: The Journey to the West, Volume 1 and just take it on one volume a...more
I think I read a different book four years ago. It definitely was a different translation.
This time around, I really enjoyed the Journey to the West, or better known as "Monkey" translated by Arthur Waley.
The story was easy to follow and quite funny. I never lost track of what was going on.
I'm glad that I give this another chance. Monkey is a powerful, ingenious rascal, whose only faults are his self-absorbed regard of himself. I especially loved the beginning ...more
"I first heard the story in the Japanese drama, Saiyuuki back in 2006, MONKEY MAJIK / Around The World theme song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afnj1...
The books is even better so far!"
Just loved the book, it's tone is perfect and Monkey is such a great character, while Pigsy supplies plenty of laughs. My favorite part of the book is the three Taoist deities, the trick that Tripitaka's three disciples play on them and how the competition between them turns out.
The writing style and characters are all great and it's surprisingly funny for an ancient work about Buddhism but ultimately it's quite repetitive and this provides little mo ...more
Wu layers this earnest, grueling undertaking, with legend, gossip, superstition, religion, and concocts a rollicking bit of satire. The central irony of the ...more
As we Buddhists will tell you, it is very difficult to describe the indescribable but I will try. First of all life is humourous, the best part of life is laughter, and this book has plenty of that, and what is more uses it as a gentle didact ...more
This was great, though not my usual fare. I was never chomping at the bits to read it, and kind of had to make myself get back to it sometimes, but every time I started again, I was loving every minute of it. That doesn't make a lot of sense and I can't explain it, but there it is. It ...more
What it doesn't do is capture the mystic charm of the original text (which admittedly is less accessible to English or casual Mandarin readers), or expound upon the profundity of the journey in its parts. A lot of the scenes ended almost as abruptly as they began and left me with questions hangin ...more
1) The monk warns Monkey against something
2) Greedy Monkey does whatever is prohibited
3) the Monkey suffers and everyone must have an unexpec ...more
I really enjoyed the first half on the origins of the Monkey King before he joined up with th ...more