This is the 8th book in the Journey to the West series of stories for students learning to read Chinese. It is based on the epic 16th century novel of the same name by Wu Chen'en. The novel is loosely based on an actual journey by the Buddhist monk Tangseng (formerly called Xuanzang), who traveled from the Chinese city of Chang'an westward to India in 629 A.D. and returned 17 years later with priceless knowledge and spiritual texts. Over the course of the book Tangseng and his companions face the 81 tribulations that Tangseng had to endure to attain Buddhahood.
In this, the 8th book in our series, we meet the pig-man Zhu Bajie, who becomes Tangseng's second disciple. In his previous life, Zhu was the Marshal of the Heavenly Reeds, responsible for the Jade Emperor's entire navy and 80,000 sailors. But unable to control his appetites, he got drunk at a festival and attempted to seduce the Goddess of the Moon. The Jade Emperor banished him to earth, but as he plunged from heaven to earth he ended up in the womb of a sow and was reborn as a man-eating pig monster. This book tells the story of how Zhu was married to a farmer's daughter, fought with Sun Wukong, and ended up joining Tangseng and Sun Wukong in their journey to the Western Heaven. Zhu is the embodiment of stupidity, laziness, lust and greed. But he is brave and loyal, and also provides a bit of comic relief in the novel.
The story is written using a limited 1200 word vocabulary, roughly equivalent to HSK4. It is presented in simplified Chinese characters and pinyin, and includes an English version and a complete glossary. Complete audiobooks of all books in this series are available on YouTube and can also be downloaded from the Imagin8 Press website.