Is there a good translation of Water Margin?

I mean the book that the Suikoden games are based on. The 108 Bandits of China book. It’s considered one of the 4 great Chinese novels, and I’d like to read it (I’ve already read Journey to the West and Romance of the Three Kingdoms). I guess while we’re at it, if anyone knows a good translation for Red Chamber, that would be interesting too.

I think I found a good one here:

The Shapiro edition seems to be about the best available, but it’s from the 80s. Since this book is called by many names, if anyone has a better version, let me know.

I can’t comment on the quality of translations, but there’s a really good (mainland) Chinese tv series based on the novel that’s apparently quite faithful. It deserves special mention because I thought at first that it would be a low budget, cheesy thing, but after I’d watched it, only with much cajoling from my wife (who has a Masters in Chinese literature), I had to admit that it’s actually pretty good. The problem is I have no idea if the thing is even available in English.

There’s also a popular series for Journey to the West, but I don’t think that’s available in English either. Sadness. As popular as these things are over there, you’d think we’d have more options over here. It seems like everything else gets translated.

Everything else? I can think of a whole lot of Hong Kong films that have been translated, but you’d have to point me at mainland Chinese films, and I can’t think of a single Chinese TV series that we’ve gotten. (Doesn’t mean there isn’t one, of course.)

Sorry, I meant every other nation’s best stuff. China’s popular culture always seems to remain hidden to me.

Just to discuss “The Water Margin” a bit more, I’m honestly curious whether or not westerners would even find it appealing. I mean, even Zhang Yimou’s “Hero” got a bad rap here for seeming to justify the rule of a despotic emperor. The characters in “The Water Margin” behave in ways that would be extremely odd by Hollywood standards.

One of the 108 bandits for example, and hence one of the supposed good guys, is a woman who operates a bar/restaurant that drugs customers from out of town and chops them up for meat! She meets one of the toughest of the 108 bandits, attempts to drug and kill him, fails, and they have an epic fight, and then immediately become great buddies in acknowledgment of each other’s fighting skills!

There are plenty of conventional good guys among the 108 bandits, but there are plenty of murderers and rapists too, and the one thing that the bunch value above all is brotherhood and loyalty to each other. All of which I suspect might make this a hard sell to Western audiences.

I’ve read Water Margin and just can’t make it through 3 Kingdoms. Outlaws of the Marsh has so many cool characters, like the Black Whirlwind and that monk with the huge staff. Sure it was weird to see the stuff like the cannibalism, but I just compared it to the bizarre stuff in the bible and moved on.
I can say that if you’re interested, try it out. If you can’t take it, you don’t have to read all 2,400 pages, but give it a shot.
Also, get it from the library, because these books are PRICEY.