Journey to the West is a mythological novel based on many centuries of popular tradition. It was probably shaped into its present form in the 1570s by Wu Cheng'en (1500-1582). This lively fantasy relates the amazing adventures of the priest Xuanzang as he travels west in search of the Buddhist sutras with his three disciples: the irreverent and capable Monkey, the greedy Pig, and the Friar Sand. The main story, the journey, takes the priest through all kinds of entertaining trials and tribulations, mainly at the hands of monsters and spirits who want to eat him. Only the courage and powers of his disciples, especially Monkey, save him from death. Monkey is the hero of this fantasy, and the reader will soon learn why he has been so loved in China. Will the pilgrims reach the Vulture Peak and obtain the scriptures? The answer will only be found at the end of the 100-chapter novel. The 36 pages of illustrations are from a 19th century Chinese edition.
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