Journey to the West: New ePub and Kindle/Mobipocket Versions

Updated December 14th! New ePub version, optimized. Adobe Digital Editions is now just as responsive at chapter 99 as it is at chapter 1.

Downloads:

Journey to the West Downloads
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5
Attribution: Based from work copyrighted 2005 by Silk Pagoda (also CC Attribution Non-Commercial 2.5 Licensed).

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.

[continue reading]

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):

Munseys S∂
Title Page Journey to the West - Munseys Title Journey to the West: Sd Title
Table of Contents Journey to the West: Munseys Table of Contents Journey to the West: Sd Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Journey to the West: Munseys Chapter 1 Journey to the West: Sd Chapter 1
Mountain Poem
(Chapter 1)
Journey to the West: Munseys Mountain Poem Journey to the West: Sd Mountain Poem
Chapter 15 Journey to the West: Munseys Chapter 15 Journey to the West: Sd Chapter 15

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.

Kindle Home
Kindle Guides
Title Page
Journey to the West - Kindle Home Journey to the West: Kindle Guides Journey to the West: Title - Kindle
Font size 3 Font size 2
Table of Contents Journey to the West: Table of Contents - Kindle Font Size 3 Journey to the West: Table of Contents - Kindle Font Size 2
Chapter 1 Journey to the West: Chapter 1 - Kindle Font Size 3 Journey to the West: Chapter 1 - Kindle Font Size 2
Mountain Poem Journey to the West: Mountain Poem - Kindle Font Size 3 Journey to the West: Mountain Poem - Kindle Font Size 2
Chapter 15 Journey to the West: Chapter 15 - Kindle Font Size 3 Journey to the West: Chapter 15 - Kindle Font Size 2