The 3 Great Classic Chinese Novels: A Must-Read List


Exploring the classics means you will go on an adventure, go through history, and jump into the minds of characters that have been living in imagination for years only.

Along this line, these three classic Chinese novels have demonstrated that they are timeless works of art that have gone beyond the confines of time and space. Indeed, they are not only stories but the doors to knowledge about human nature, courage, loyalty, and the complicated world of life in general.

Whether you’re a seasoned reader or exploring these for the first time, here’s why these books should be on your must-read list.

3 Great Classic Chinese Novels:

People enjoy reading Chinese classic literature for many reasons. It’s like opening a treasure chest full of stories from long ago. These old Chinese stories have cool characters that seem larger than life. Think of brave heroes, clever tricksters, and wise men and women. They go on exciting adventures that can make your heart race or fill you with laughter.

When you read these classics, it’s also a bit like traveling without leaving your home. You get to see what China was like hundreds of years ago. The traditions, the way people lived, and what they believed all come to life in the pages. It’s a fun way to learn about a different part of the world.

And there’s something else special about these books. They often teach lessons about life, like how important it is to be loyal to friends or to stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard. These stories remind us of important values no matter where you are from.

So, people read Chinese classic literature to enjoy great stories, travel back in time, and learn lessons that still matter today. That’s why these old books from China are loved by our writers at the Alpha Book Writers and so many other people as well.

Dynasty Warriors: Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三国演) by Luo Guanzhong

“Dynasty Warriors: Romance of the Three Kingdoms” isn’t just a title that might remind you of a video game—it’s a cornerstone of Chinese literature. It is a thrilling depiction of a tumultuous period in China’s history. Penned by Luo Guanzhong in the 14th century, this epic novel delves into the political and military struggles of the late Eastern Han Dynasty.

This narrative isn’t just about battles; it’s about the characters who have become almost mythic in their personalities and ideals. Featuring heroic figures like Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei, the text explores themes of brotherhood, loyalty, and the quest for justice.

“Dynasty Warriors: Romance of the Three Kingdoms” is a saga that captures the complexity of human emotion.

Monkey Business: Journey to the West (西遊記) by Wu Cheng’en

Next on our must-read list is “Monkey Business: Journey to the West,” a fantastical adventure that has enchanted readers for centuries. Authored by Wu Cheng’en in the 16th century, this novel blends mythology, folklore, humor, and spiritual insight.

At its heart is the mischievous and immensely powerful Sun Wukong, or the Monkey King, whose escapades form the backbone of this narrative.

He travels with a monk and other amazing characters to find important religious texts. Their trip is full of funny moments, exciting parts, and lessons about life. This book gives a big picture of Chinese culture and beliefs.

Bad Boys for Life: The Water Margin (水浒传)by Shi Nai’an

The third classic Chinese novel you must add to your reading list is “Bad Boys for Life: The Water Margin.” Created by Shi Nai’an in the 14th century, this powerful narrative is set against the backdrop of the Song Dynasty. It revolves around 108 outlaws who, despite their criminal status, are depicted as honorable men resisting corrupt officials and fighting for justice.

The stories of these rebels, living on the margins of society, are compelling for their action and bravery and their exploration of moral ambiguities. The characters, from the noble-hearted Song Jiang to the fierce Lu Zhishen, bring to life the conflicts between personal honor and societal expectations.

“Bad Boys for Life: The Water Margin” is a riveting exploration of right and wrong, camaraderie, and the quest for righteousness.

Why These Novels Matter

The three big classic novels from China aren’t just old tales. They have helped shape Chinese culture and tell us about people’s lives in ways that still matter now.

“Dynasty Warriors: Romance of the Three Kingdoms” shows us clever battle plans and big decisions. “Monkey Business: Journey to the West” takes us on a magical trip with lessons about life. “Bad Boys for Life: The Water Margin” makes us think about right and wrong, even when life is tough.

Each book gives us a different look at how to live, lead, and stay true to friends.

Engaging with the Classics

Reading these classic Chinese novels is like going on an amazing trip through ancient China’s history and thoughts. It’s not only about enjoying a good story. These books are like doors into deep human feelings and ideas. The people in these stories are so real, and their adventures are so big; they take you into a world that’s exciting and makes you think hard about life, right and wrong, and what being brave means.

Why put these books on your must-read list? They’re much more than just fun stories. They give you a chance to see life in new ways, to understand how people from another place and time see the world.

Reading these tales, you learn about China’s big role in the world’s story. But even more, you find wisdom, thrilling action, and moments to stop and think about your life.


“Dynasty Warriors: Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” “Monkey Business: Journey to the West,” and “Bad Boys for Life: The Water Margin” are not just important books in Chinese literature; they are gems in literature around the world.

They have led to many different versions, including plays, movies, and video games, proving they are loved by many. These stories take readers to places filled with courage, honor, and wisdom in exciting situations.

Don’t skip these great stories that are more than just ordinary. They make you think about people’s bravery and imagination.

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