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  • Published: 18 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9780141393445
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $45.00

Monkey King: Journey to the West




One of the greatest classics of Chinese literature, in a new translation by the award-winning Julia Lovell

One of China's Four Great Classical Novels, Monkey King was written anonymously during the Ming dynasty and is most commonly attributed to Wu Cheng'en, the son of a silk-shop clerk from east China. It recounts a Tang-dynasty monk's quest for Buddhist scriptures, accompanied by an omni-talented kung-fu Monkey King called Sun Wukong; a rice-loving divine pig; and a depressive man-eating river-sand monster.

Comparable to The Canterbury Tales or Don Quixote, the tale is at once a comic adventure story, a humorous satire of Chinese bureaucracy, a spring of spiritual insight and an extended allegory in which the group of pilgrims journeys towards enlightenment.

  • Published: 18 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9780141393445
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $45.00

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Praise for Monkey King: Journey to the West

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 Díaz

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

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

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

Gish Jen

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