Monkey by Wu Ch'eng En

MonkeyIf you enjoyed the TV series 'Monkey' you might like the book. It's a shortened version of the much longer 'Journey to the West', a classic Chinese fantasy novel based (very loosely) on the real-life journey of Xuan Zang, a Buddhist monk who travelled from China to India to collect Buddhist scriptures.

In this fantastical version of the story, the peace-loving Xuan Zang is replaced by the naive young Prince 'Tripitaka' (which means 'Three Baskets' the name given to the complete collection of Buddhist scriptures).

As he travels along the 'Silk Roads' in the wilds of central Asia, he is guarded by three unruly disciples: Pigsy, Sandy and Monkey. Together they come up against a series of dragons, bandits, demons and evil wizards who threaten to foil them in their quest for enlightenment.

Monkey the book is as weird and wonderful as Monkey the TV series - a dazzling combination of nonsense and profundity, slapstick comedy and spiritual wisdom.