i'm very sorry that i didn't like this more. many people seem to think this is a good translation, which disappoints me because i was quite willing to lay the blame at my inability to get into this book on arthur waley though it may be that they are lauding the book for its accuracy in translation rather than in its artistry. i'm not sure why i didn't enjoy it as much as i didn't: i love folklore, and monsters and fighting and adventures but despite all that, this book's take on those things kept making me want to pass out every time i read it. it's abridged but it still felt really long, and inconsistent, and repetitive. the only thing that really interested me was when the priest tripitaka lied to monkey with ease even though he was very pious about not eating meat, or doing other things that were contrary to what he had learned in buddhist monastery.
it may be that i just don't get it, i don't know. maybe i am just too ensconced in the traditions of western literature to really appreciate it. but it just fell flat.