The Story of the Three Buddhist Monks: Based on a Traditional Chinese Folk Tale

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It reminds me of Don Quixote in that it was written hundreds of years ago in a land far away, yet parts of it are laugh-out-loud funny to this 21st century American. The "journey to the west" in question is a trip from China to India to fetch some scriptures. Why four stars instead of five? There are times when the writing feels stilted to me. I'm guessing that Waley was trying to translate literally as literally as one can translate from Chinese to English, that is , and so the prose at times feels dense.

I'm very glad to have read this; I'm very glad that I have now joined the billions of people who know this whimsical tale. Oct 09, Akemi G.

Chinese Books | Story Books | Folk Tales

I read this in Japanese, so I cannot comment about the quality of the English translation. Part adventure journey, part human comedy disguised as fantasy. People added their own fancy as they hand-copied the book s , and it's hardly possible to distinguish which part is authenti I read this in Japanese, so I cannot comment about the quality of the English translation.

People added their own fancy as they hand-copied the book s , and it's hardly possible to distinguish which part is authentic. Again, I cannot comment about this specific version, but it just might be a good idea to start with this rather than the longer version. Nov 19, Morgan rated it it was amazing Shelves: owned-books. I'm not sure about this translation, wasn't a fan, however, I really enjoyed the story.

It's a fun book with plenty of humor, adventure, and fantasy. Most people probably know the story already without realizing it because the story of the Monkey King has been retold numerous times, most notably Dragon Ball Z takes several ideas from this story.


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Besides the Monkey, I also enjoyed Pigsy and Sandy, s this has a unique cast of colorful characters. I should also note this is an abridged version. I'm I'm not sure about this translation, wasn't a fan, however, I really enjoyed the story. I'm not sure I'll ever find or want to read the full version. As much as I like the story, if I'd ever read the full version it'd have to be a really good translation. Fans of the fantastic 'Monkey Magic' series might enjoy reading this early English translation of the classic Chinese folk tale -- one based on historical fact. 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 Fans of the fantastic 'Monkey Magic' series might enjoy reading this early English translation of the classic Chinese folk tale -- one based on historical fact. Very interesting if you're hoping to get closer to the source material, disappointing if you want the fun and drama of good storytelling.

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Aug 31, Katie Lumsden rated it liked it. An interesting, if strange read, like nothing I've read before. It's funny, historically interesting and at times very engaging, if somewhat hard to get into. Oct 27, Alex marked it as to-read Shelves: china. Waley's abridged version is widely There is also this abridged version of the Yu translation: slightly longer at 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?

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 Waley's abridged version is widely 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 at a time.

The Story of the Three Buddhist Monks

During the bombings his grandfather had distracted him with Journey to the West during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. He tells a great anecdote from JttW where Monkey pees on Buddah's hand--it was the translator's favorite part as a boy of course! Yu, is substantially the same as what is thought to be the first edition, in chapters, published the author was anonymous at Nanjing in Yu's version differs from this mainly by the addition of a single episode, drawn from a short version of the novel dating to about the same era.

That's alllll from Wendy. View all 8 comments. Dec 04, Yigal Zur rated it really liked it.

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Apr 14, Missy J rated it really liked it Shelves: asia-related , classics , books , china-related. It definitely was a different translation. 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 of the book, when Monkey rules over his own kingdom and causes chaos in Heaven which is supposed to symbolize the government.

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Out of the four Chinese classics, this is by far my favorite book. And it's not a long read! I chose this book, because I'm right now going through a "read books set in Asia" phase. Among the many books set in China, this wasn't about the communists, Cultural Revolution, torture, It's one of China' most popular folktale.

So I thought, ok I'll give it a try. The way the story was told was unusual, no suspense, filled with old words. It maybe the fault of the translation. Reading this reminds me of "The Fugitive", which was really not exciting as well.


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    6. View 2 comments. Mar 05, Kevin rated it really liked it Shelves: classics , fantasy , humor , audiobook , buddhist. The books is even better so far! 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. Apr 23, Plots and Points rated it liked it. This is an interesting little read that provides a small window into what is presumably a much more complete work.

      This is an abridgement of journey to the West and as such gives you the key plot beats but it's an allegorical novel at it's core so cutting out massive chunks of the allegory really damages the overall effect. 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 This is an interesting little read that provides a small window into what is presumably a much more complete work.

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      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 more than you would get from a brief story summary. It's worth a go if you're wanting to dip your toe into the Chinese classics but leaves a lot to be desired. Monkey - Great Sage and Equal of Heaven. I watched the classic Japanese TV series when I was a kid to buying the complete series on DVD so my children wouldn't miss out on the fun And I can say it is still as good today as it was when I was young.

      But until now I had not read the book itself. The original was written in the 's by a Chinese author Wu Ch'eng-en and was called 'Journey to the West'. The original was chapters long and after trying to read more scholarly translations I foun Monkey - Great Sage and Equal of Heaven. The original was chapters long and after trying to read more scholarly translations I found to be too literal and way too dry It reminded me of reading the scholarly translations of Gilgamesh I chose to go with an abridged version - and I am glad I did.

      The version I went for is the Arthur Waley translation. It is 30 chapters long and captures the beginning and ending quite when and provides a good insight in to the characters. It was the ending for me that I really wanted to read as the TV series was cut short and I never found out what happened. The Waley version of the story keeps this story to a well paced read and includes a couple of the adventures of Tripitaka, Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy and horse that clearly define the characters, their relationships and the spirit of adventure that has made this one of the most read and adapted stories in and out of Asia.

      If you have watched the TV show or want to know what the fuss is about regarding this amazing story then I recommend the Arthur Waley abridged version. The hope is to retrieve sacred scriptures by which the Chinese people may be enlightened so that their behaviour seen as greed, hedonism, promiscuity, and sins may accord with the tenets of Buddhism.

      The young monk Tripitaka Who has his own story volunteers to undertake the pilgrimage. Along the way, Tripitaka encounters and frees Monkey, and he and Monkey thereafter recruit two more companions, Pigsy and Sandy. There is another member of the group that is encountered and takes on the name and form of a Horse Formerly a Dragon that had been punished and cast out of his father's palace.