Monkey King

By Wu Cheng’en, Julia Lovell (translator),

Book cover of Monkey King: Journey to the West

Book description

One of the world's greatest fantasy novels and a rollicking classic of Chinese literature, in a sparkling new translation and published in a Clothbound Classics edition.

A shape-shifting trickster on a kung-fu quest for eternal life, Monkey King is one of the most memorable superheroes in world literature. High-spirited and…


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Why read it?

1 author picked Monkey King as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

In addition to the novel's comedy and adventure, it has been enjoyed for its biting satire of society and Chinese bureaucracy and for its allegorical presentation of human striving and perseverance. Just as the stories of ancient Greece have left their mark on Western culture, so too do their traditional myths and legends deeply resonate in China. Monkey and Pigsy delight but they are accompanying Tang Sanzang who is based on the Buddhist monk Xuanzang ( 602-664CE) who travelled to India in the seventh century. I’m biased because I also use him in my Oxford /India novel Sculpting the Elephant…

From Sylvia's list on the heart and soul of China.

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