This audiobook contains the complete contents, in Chinese, of all 31 books in the best-selling Journey to the West series by Jeff Pepper and Xiao Hui Wang. It is over 36 hours long. The audiobook is available on Audible.com and other online audiobook sellers.
If printed as a standard paperback, this book would run over 2,000 pages. These stories have been written for people who are learning the Chinese language and want to enjoy a fascinating story while gaining a better understanding of Chinese history and culture.
Journey to the West is probably the most famous and best-loved novel in China and is considered one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature. Its place in Chinese literature is roughly comparable to Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey in Western literature. Wikipedia sums up the book’s role perfectly, saying, “Enduringly popular, 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 by the power and virtue of cooperation.”
This book is not a literal translation of the original novel, which was written in the 16th century and uses many archaic words that are difficult for modern listeners. The story has been retold using a limited vocabulary of Chinese words and a simple sentence structure. It starts off relatively easy and gradually increases in complexity. For example the first story, “Rise of the Monkey King”, covers the events in the first two chapters of the novel and uses a vocabulary of just 507 words. The second story, “Trouble in Heaven”, covers the next two chapters and uses only 431 words. Each chapter adds, on the average, about 30 new words, and so by the time you finish the final story, called “The Last Trial”, you will have heard more than 2,000 different Chinese words.