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The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters

Written by C. S. Lewis

Narrated by Joss Ackland


The Screwtape Letters

Written by C. S. Lewis

Narrated by Joss Ackland

ratings:
4.5/5 (686 ratings)
Length:
4 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 21, 2012
ISBN:
9780062243737
Format:
Audiobook

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Description

A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C. S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the ­worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging and humorous account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written.

Publisher:
Released:
Aug 21, 2012
ISBN:
9780062243737
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

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Reviews

What people think about The Screwtape Letters

4.6
686 ratings / 97 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    A "what not to do" guide for Christians. Gotta love it.
  • (4/5)
    "The Screwtape Letters" was interesting, challenging, clever, and funny.Each short chapter is a letter written by devil/demon Screwtape, sent to his nephew, Wormwood, regarding the latter's work. The nephew has a human he is supposed to protect from becoming a Christian, but doesn't do a good job of it despite his uncle's advice and suggestions.I wasn't sure about this book at first: it sat on my shelves for probably ten years, unread. As I read each chapter, I began to see how well the author described humans and their nature, and used that knowledge to create an amusing little book about how people think, react, and justify themselves. It doesn't whitewash how those who consider themselves Christians don't always act in a Christian manner, either.The additional material at the end, "Screwtape Proposes a Toast", was marvelous. C.S. Lewis just nails human nature as it truly exists.This book is recommended for all, religious or non-religious.
  • (5/5)
    Written from the POV of a devil tempting a Christian. Very witty and funny, even if you're not a Christian, but sometimes you need some Christian background to be able to understand what he's talking about.
  • (5/5)
    A subtle and profound exploration of the nature and causes of sins, reflecting a lifetime of thinking about the subject by a powerful intellect. Interesting even to this atheist.
  • (4/5)
    In a series of letters to his nephew, Wormwood, the demon Screwtape provides advice to his nephew on how to tempt an unnamed human and separate him from the Enemy that is God.An interesting approach that is both a good read and prompts some serious thought on any believer's relationship with God.
  • (5/5)
    what a reflection! shows how easily we are manipulated into wrongdoing.
  • (5/5)
    The Screwtape Letters was written by C.S.Lewis in 1942 with WW2 as the backdrop. This is a series of letters (epistolary style literary work) written by Screwtape to his young nephew, Wormwood, advising him on how to secure the soul of 'the patient'. It also contained the sequel, Screwtape Proposes a Toast in which Screwtape addressed the graduating class of tempters. This was published in 1959 and addresses the politics of the post war world. C.S.Lewis uses this satirical format to address the Christian life. Many of the chapters discuss love. Letter 19 addresses God's love for humanity. Letter 26 addresses courtship. I also very much enjoyed the letters on time, reality, music and noise. There is so much in this little book that rereading it many times would not exhaust the nuggets of truth.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent full-cast dramatization of this C. S. Lewis classic."Diabolical" Radio Theater at its best."The story is carried by the senior demon Screwtape played magnificently by award-winning actor Andy Serkis (“Gollum” in Lord of the Rings) as he shares correspondence to his apprentice demon Wormwood." (from audio jacket)4.5 ★
  • (5/5)
    Incisive, brilliant, and entertaining.
  • (5/5)
    READING THIS FOR MY C.S. LEWIS CLASS!!OMG this is my favorite CS Lewis book of all-time!!! *fangirly time*Seriously, this book is incredible, eye-opening, memorable, a little creepy, and very insightful! If you like CS Lewis, or are interested in reading some of his more "grown-up" books, please please give this one a shot! I promise you, you'll never read anything else like it again.
  • (4/5)
    A good book that I would suggest to anyone. The premise of the book is a set of letters that Screwtape (a demon in the administrative department of hell) is writing to his nephew Wormwood (who is a demon new to the tempting job). At first the introduction of it made me wonder exactly how Lewis wrote these letters since it made me think that he did not write them himself at all but instead derived them from some outside source, this was not the case though. The letters were great to read and touched on every small aspect of temptations and the Christian life. There were many times I could see how these things have played themselves out in my life and made me want to re-evaluate many things. Along with the book being an easy read while still personally challenging it had many quotable quotes found within the pages. About every other letter there would be one line that would just jump out at me. Looking back I wish I had of written each of these down since they encapsulated the major points in the book to me at least. For instance, one set of advice Screwtape gave was "do not allow your patient (which was how they talked about the man to whom Wormwood was assigned) to pray in a fashion of not to who I think you are but to who you know you are". That's very fuzzy and I cannot quite get my words down in the way I would want them to be said. Secondly on the second part of the book, Screwtape proposes a toast, this was written several years after the letters and was included in the book I have. It was short, only a few pages long in the edition I have, but if I skipped it I do not feel as though I would have lost any value in reading the book. So if you do read this book and you are tired at that point, I would recommend not reading that part simply because I did not see much value in it and found that Lewis was trying very hard just to get something out on paper. Lastly in the way it was written, you will know that it was written in an old British proper language, but this did not hinder my ability into being able to read and understand the book
  • (5/5)
    An entertaining bit of fiction with a real world insight into the spiritual warfare behind our surface existence. If you choose to listen to a recorded version of this, be sure to get the one recorded by John Cleese: priceless.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed reading this book, especially because it took on such a different view of Christianity. CS Lewis does a great job at really contrasting God and the Devil. In church I have come to hear God referenced as 'Our Heavenly Father' and the devil as 'The enemy.'. This book shows it from the point of view where God has now become the enemy. I had never thought about in that way before. Just as God desires for humans to resist the temptations and sins given by demons, the demons desire for humans to cling to this temptation. While God is viewed as one who cares about others, the devil is one that only cares about himself. He feels that God has an alternate plan that he has not disclosed and the devil wants to find out what it is. He doesn't believe in hope or even love, only sin, desire, and selfishness. I felt that this was a really good book to read for someone who feels strong in their beliefs and can really take the time to analyze and think about this book.
  • (5/5)
    Or, How To Drive the Living Hell Out of Thoughtful Christians. As a moral theologian, this is Lewis at his absolute best. Unlike his other more theological works, here he gets to mix in fiction and fantasy with his musings, and he does so wonderfully. The "plot," as you probably know, is the temptation of a man by a Junior temptor who is given advice by his uncle and senior, Screwtape. Lewis lays bare many traps of modern thinking as well as the traps of ancient moral spirituality. (The Seven Deadly Sins were once the Eight Deadly Ideas, the point being that it is our thinking that gets in our way.)
  • (5/5)
    Oh the cunning of Satan and his evil minions. Lewis helps us see a large host of ways in which those little buggers can get at us and hopefully helps us be wiser to evil influence!
  • (5/5)
    Amazing book which tells how the Devil thinks and how he manipulates us in order to try to keep us away from God.
  • (4/5)
    I don't know where to start with reviewing The Screwtape Letters. Perhaps with the fact -- probably already well-known to people who get my reviews in their inbox -- that I am not a Christian, but a Unitarian Universalist. But I do love reading C. S. Lewis' work: I think he was very good as using cool intellect and reason to examine himself in his faith (not just the faith of others, which would likely be unbearably holier-than-thou), a process myself and other UUs tend to value highly. He was ready to think about his faith, and seek answers -- or understanding, at least -- of things others deem unfathomable, the whys of things.

    The Screwtape letters is a fictional frame for more of that work, really. He examines the ways that people are lead away from their faiths, not just through large sins like unchastity but through being proud of humility, for example... And the way he puts this makes it not only an examination of Christian goodness, but general moral goodness.

    Definitely worth a read for that, and amusing in it's own way, as well -- old Uncle Screwtape's unfortunate transformation, for example.
  • (4/5)
    This short little book (160 pages)took me 5 days to read. That isn't because I wasn't interested but I found I had to read some passages two or three times to grasp what Lewis was saying. At other times his writing was very easy to understand and I enjoyed his sense of humour. The idea of the book is that a senior devil, Screwtape, is giving pointers to a junior devil, Wormwood (you have to love the names given to the devils), about how to encourage a young English man to sin in order that his soul will belong to the devil upon his death. The time is during the Second World War and this young man has recently started attending church. For a while it looks like Wormwood will succeed as the young man falls in with a crowd who are "thoroughly reliable people; steady, consistent scoffers and wordlings who without any particular crimes are progressing quietly and comfortably towards" Hell (our Father's house as Screwtape refers to it). Then the young man falls in love with a Christian woman ("...such a Christian--a vile, sneaking, simpering, demure, monosyllabic, bread-and-butter miss") and the plans start to unravel. Screwtape gets so exasperated with Wormwood at one point that he turns into a large centipede. As the book proceeds a clear picture of the struggle between good and evil is drawn. "It does not matter how small the sins provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts." C.S. Lewis was an atheist who converted while at college and described himself as "the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England". That may be but he went on to write some wonderful books that illuminate thoughts decades later. If you ignore the references to the Germans the time could almost be now with war in Iraq and Afghanistan and many other places. Even if you are an atheist (or an agnostic as I am) you can't help but worry about where our world is headed. As another Englishman, Edmund Burke, said "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing."
  • (4/5)
    This book was very creatively done. It is a humorous read from a devil's point of view. Not only that, but it has a way of making you stop and realize when you are exhibiting some of the traits / actions / vices that the senior devil (Screwtape) is describing to the junior devil / tempter (Wormwood). A terrific read, though the style of English used in the letters slowed me down a little bit.
  • (4/5)
    Nothing like reading the Screwtape Letters to renew to see how fickle we are and how much we need to approach one another with a good dose of humility and forgiveness. I typically read it once a decade as a reminder.
  • (4/5)
    enjoyed it although it was hard for me to get through it
  • (5/5)
    A unique book. I have read it over and over again for the past 20 years. There is so much truth in it.
  • (5/5)
    A truly phenomenal study. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
  • (4/5)
    This would actually be 3.5 stars if I could give it. I tried reading this without knowing what it was all about and got really confused. I almost gave up then read about the book a bit and tried again. Lewis is definitely a smart guy and at a times an absolutely wonderful writer. The only thing that turns me off is his "heavy-handedness" or righteousness when it comes to religion/morality etc...So it was a cool idea to have a big demon giving a little demon advice on how to capture a human soul for "our father below" and the writing/insites was/were really amazing at times. The length was perfect, it was getting a little repetitive toward the end. But as a non-christian it wasn't as "moving" as it would probably be for chistians reading it.
  • (3/5)
    'The Screwtape Letters' was not an easy read for me. I thought the content and the perspective were interesting, but I don't think I fully understood everything so it was harder to appreciate it. I'll probably come back to this book in a few years.
  • (5/5)
    The Screwtape Letters was a really great story. It was insightful and convicting all the while being entertaining.Right off the bat, the unusual perspective had me hooked. A story about good, told from the perspective of evil; it's not something I would have ever thought of myself. Tucked between moments that made me laugh were also convicting reminders and insights on how sin finds its way into my life. I will definitely keep this book on my list of recommended reading.
  • (5/5)
    I often say that almost all of my theology comes from reading "The Narnia Suite," which I read for the first time at the age of eight, and more than a dozen times thereafter. I was particularly taken with The Last Battle, in which some people are very surprised indeed to learn that those they thought wouldn't be admitted into Aslan's Land because they fought on "The Wrong Side" of the aforementioned last battle, were in fact instantly admitted because it was their intention and their heart which was judged.When I was a little older, someone gave me a copy of "The Screwtape Letters," and I have read it probably a dozen or more times over the years as well. Brilliant, allegorical, hilarious in parts, and filled with gentle wisdom, it is a theological masterpiece. I recall the first time I the letter in which one devil brags that he will soon win his first soul for the devil because although the man continues to pray, he doesn't believe what he says any longer. The older, wiser devil releases a stream of invective and explains the younger devil is an idiot, because doesn't the know that "those are the prayers that God loves best!?" How relieved I felt, as a young person, that there was a possibility God might still embrace me, even with all my doubts. Just one of the many gifts Lewis's work offers to those of us searching for a deeper relationship with God.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent spiritual advice, memorable writing (sometimes extremely funny in a thoroughly deadpan way), and Calvin's first-grade teacher. I would say that the only problem with this book is that it isn't longer, but that would be a reflex -- it's diminuitive, at 209 pages of liberally-spaced type, but in that small space it does everything that it wants to, and then some. A masterpiece even by Lewis' standards.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyable read.
  • (4/5)
    A unique approach to appologetics!