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Monkey King: Journey to the West By Wu Ch'eng-en

Monkey King: Journey to the West by Wu Ch'eng-en

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Monkey King: Journey to the West Summary

Monkey King: Journey to the West by Wu Ch'eng-en

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 omni-talented, he can transform himself into whatever he chooses and turn each of his body's 84,000 hairs into an army of clones. But his penchant for mischief repeatedly gets him into trouble, and when he raids Heaven's Orchard of Immortal Peaches, the Buddha pins him beneath a mountain. Five hundred years later, Monkey King is finally given a chance to redeem himself: he must protect the pious monk Tripitaka on his journey in search of precious Buddhist sutras that will bring enlightenment to the Chinese empire.

Joined by two other fallen immortals - Pigsy, a rice-loving flying pig, and Sandy, a depressive river-sand monster - Monkey King does battle with Red Boy, Princess Jade-Face, the Monstress Dowager, and all manner of dragons, ogres, wizards and femmes fatales; navigates the perils of Fire-Cloud Cave, the River of Flowing Sand and the Water-Crystal Palace; and is serially captured, lacquered, sauteed, steamed and liquefied - but always hatches an ingenious plan to get himself and his fellow pilgrims out of their latest jam.

Comparable to The Canterbury Tales or Don Quixote, Monkey King is at once a gripping adventure, a comic satire and a spring of spiritual insight. With this new translation by the award-winning Julia Lovell, the irrepressible rogue hero of one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature has the potential to vault, with his signature cloud-somersault, into the hearts of a whole new generation of readers.

Monkey King: Journey to the West Reviews

A monument of world literature, Monkey King is also one of the funniest, most subversive satires ever written ... If you've not read Journey to the West, prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime and know that like Monkey himself, you are about to be transformed. Even if you have read it, Julia Lovell's magnificent new translation becomes its own cloud somersault, its own gold-hooped staff -- Junot Diaz
Visit one of the greatest countries in the world through the pages of this Chinese epic [and] Julia Lovell's new contemporary translation, with exquisite maps of 'somewhat mythical lands' by Laura Hartman Maestro -- Piers Torday * Guardian *
A new translation of Monkey King is a cause for joy! Imaginative and mischievous, exhilarating and timeless, this sixteenth-century superhero saga is a delight to readers of all ages. -- Yiyun Li
An exhilarating new translation of my favourite of all the classic Chinese novels - a great, wild epic that expands and fires one's imagination -- Ha Jin
The Monkey King, one of Chinese literature's great characters, should add many new disciples to his existing fans through this compelling new version of his adventures. Julia Lovell here conveys a vibrant sense of the richness and also the sheer fun of this Ming dynasty text, a classic of world fiction -- Craig Clunas, University of Oxford
An all-new translation of one of the greatest stories ever written . . . An out-and-out fantasy adventure that has captivated audiences and influenced creatives for centuries * Bustle *
Jam-packed with outrageous danger and outlandish transformations . . . Lovell does an admirable job condensing the original text . . . while capturing the essence of Chinese fantastical storytelling and parody. Readers who enjoy nutty adventures and nonsensical plots will get a kick out of this madcap fable * Publishers Weekly *
Uproarious and action-filled, this highly readable new translation captures the most beloved of Chinese characters in all his impossible charm. Irrepressible and irresistible, Monkey speaks to us across the centuries, and here makes us laugh anew
This new translation . . . breathes fresh life, humour, wit and charm into the 16th-century classic. . . . If you did not know that this was an abridged version you never would. . . . [It] is exactly as long as it needs to be, with the fat cut and the story paced perfectly. . . . If you've ever wanted to read Journey to the West but have been put off by fears of it being too long, too dense, too dry, then put those fears aside. Julia Lovell's translation is nothing but fun, frantic fantasy writing. . . . I can't imagine having more fun than I did with Lovell's hilarious translation -- Will Heath * Books & Bao *
Monkey King: Journey to the West is rich with imaginative world-building that evokes the best Pixar films... With this new readable version of 'Monkey King,' Western readers will also have plenty of fun * San Francisco Chronicle *

About Wu Ch'eng-en

Wu Ch'eng-en (Author)
Very little is known about Wu Ch-eng-en (c. 1505-80). He was a Chinese novelist and poet of the Ming Dynasty, and is considered by many to be the author of Journey to the West (Monkey King), one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.

Julia Lovell (Translator)
Julia Lovell is the translator of The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China: The Complete Fiction of Lu Xun, and is the author of Maoism, for which she won the 2019 Cundhill History Prize, and The Opium War, for which she won the Jan Michalski Prize. She is Professor of Modern China at Birkbeck College, University of London, and writes about China for The Guardian, Financial Times, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. She lives in Cambridge.

Additional information

NGR9780141393445
9780141393445
0141393440
Monkey King: Journey to the West by Wu Ch'eng-en
New
Hardback
Penguin Books Ltd
2021-02-11
384
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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Customer Reviews - Monkey King: Journey to the West