Updated December 14th! New ePub version, optimized. Adobe Digital Editions is now just as responsive at chapter 99 as it is at chapter 1.
Journey to the West is sort of the source of all the Kung-fu kool and kookiness, embodied by the enigmatic Monkey as he accompanies a monk, a sentient tool-using pig, a fallen seneschal of Heaven, and a dragon horse. ((A dragon hiding out in horse form. Cool, but not as often as it could have been. Ah well.)) The story is around 400 years old, but still kickin’ it. You can read more about it at this kick-ass Tor.com post by Jason Henninger, Wu Cheng-en Ain’t Nuthin To Fuck Wit:
Xiyouji can be read by those who know nothing about Chinese religion or folklore as an epic adventure, full of humor, monkey violence and poetry. For those who study Asian culture, the story provides an even richer experience, as the subtext offers a fascinating look at the perplexing religious multiplicity of Chinese society. And poop jokes.
Now quite a few people are interested in reading it, and given that in print it’s a rather thick book—100 chapters long, and in print some 1200 pages—an ebook would be ideal. But while there is a version up at Munseys in ePub, Mobipocket, and many other formats, they’re all poorly formatted. Some reading software will actually crash on page turns (including FBreader, calibre, Stanza, Adobe Digital Editions, which is a very wide swath of software to do wrongs to).
Thus, I decided to create new ePub and Kindle/Mobipocket versions of Journey to the West. Through much scripting (and re-scripting, and re-scripting) and editing (power-Vim user here), I reformatted things as nicely as I could. I think you’ll like the new versions better; here’s a side-by-side comparison gallery of the Munseys version versus mine as displayed in Adobe Digital Editions (clicky to embiggen):
|Table of Contents|
The ePub version is also completely compliant with the ePub standard, which is not a small feat when you’re flying without Adobe InDesign.
And here are screenshots of the Mobipocket version on the Kindle. I tend to read at the font size of “3”, which is a little bigger than most people (who would read at a font size of “2”); the differences are very noticeable, mostly because I’ve chosen to indent the poetry inwards (and the subtitles in the Table of Contents), a choice I may revisit.
|Font size 3||Font size 2|
|Table of Contents|