am 29. April 2000
This is a really interesting novel. It seems that I can't write a review without telling the whole story along with it. This story is about the monk Tripitaka who is sent out to gather scriptures from the Buddha in the Thunderclap temple in India. It mostly starts out by telling about the Handsome Stone Monkey King (a.k.a. Sun Wu-Kong or Pilgrim) and how he had learned magic and caused havoc in the Heavens while nobody can stop him. Finally, the Buddha is forced to stop him himself and the monkey is caught. Then, Kuan-yin tells him that he will be saved by a monk journeying to the West who will help him make up for his misdeeds. He later meets Tripitaka and he is saved, but he will not listen so he is forced to wear a golden fillet on his head to control him. Then, after a while, they meet Chu Pa-cheh( the pig monk also referred to as Chu Wu-Neng and Idiot) and Sha-Monk(or Wu-Ching) and the White Dragon Horse who had also broken the laws of Heaven. Altogether, they are forced to face 81 calamities while journeying to India. It is really neat and filled with action, adventure and magic. There are 4 volumes total and just about anyone is capable of reading it( I'm 10 and I finished it in less than a month). This is a must read for everyone.
am 27. Oktober 1999
Yu's translation is quite good, though I prefer the comic edge Arthur Weylan gives the story. Interestingly enough, Monkey does not eat a peach of immortality, but rather gains immortality from a guru, after which he destroys a peach banquet in heaven. Nor is his quest really a punishment (that is all a very western slant on the story) but an act of karma AFTER his imprisonment. The story, attributed to Wu Cheng-en, is quite hilarious on the surface, full of creatures, jokes and foibles, and on the other hand it is a deeply religious plot. This is the finest piece of Chinese literature I've come across.
am 16. Dezember 1999
Journey to the West has the same status in Chinese popular literature as Dickens, the the Wizard of Oz and the Superman comics combined. Everyone knows it. The epsiodes are featured in countless theatre pieces, comic books, and cartoon shows. The story is of a Budhist monk who journeys to India (the 'West') to get the true scriptures. He is helped by four heroic animal discples: the Handsome Monkey King, the Marshal of the Heavenly Reeds (a Pig), Sha Monk (also a former Heavenly official and some sort of fish), and a Dragon horse. They are all criminals who have all transgressed the laws of Heaven and have been given a chance at redemption by the merciful Bodhissatva Kuan Yin.
This is the first of the four volumes. It was first published in 1592. It's an fascinating mixture of prose, poetry, comedy and monster filled adventures-- don't expect a realistic account of the historical monk ór historical India!
am 5. Februar 1999
The only English translation I've found of the Chinese classic "Journey to the West". If you are interested in Asian studies, you must read this novel. Many modern Asian anime, comics, and stories are adaptations of this one or are based on it. The main character is a mischievous monkey who becomes immortal by eating a peach of immortality from the garden of the gods. He studies Taoism and gains special powers. His punishment is to escort a priest from China to India in search of the Buddhist scriptures. On the way they encounter many different monsters, funny adventures, and two more companions: a pig, and a sea monster.
This translation includes an extensive explanation of certain Chinese terms.