The Screwtape Letters: With, Screwtape Proposes a Toast (Collected Letters of C.)
~C. S. Lewis
Click to enlarge...
List price: £5.67|
Average customer rating:
5.0 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0060652934
Manufacturer : Zondervan Publishing House|
Release data : 01 February, 2001
Search for related products
A selection of product reviews
A must-read classic of the 20th century.
C.S. Lewis is clearly one of the masters of 20th century prose. His theological ideas are very succulent in their purpose and while I may not agree with every doctrinal belief of his, the essence of his message is a very pure one - fulfilment comes only from submitting your will to the Father, through loyal service, dedication, and love (which He very happily returns to you in limitless abounds).
"The Screwtape Letters" is a collection of epistles from the senior devil Screwtape to his junior 'tempter-in-training' nephew, Wormwood. The contents of Scewtape's letters are various discourses on how to spiritually influence the tempter's human "patient" into staying as far away from God as possible.
Through this devil's advocate style of writing, we are given a very interesting glimpse into the workings of the evil one and how he can gradually pull people away from the Father through subtle tactical advances.
Many times through reading Screwtape's letters as he discussed the behaviour of Wormwood's patient, I would have to stop myself and think, "Wow, I have acted exactly the same in that situation before" and Lewis begins to open up your perception of your own behaviour with an accurate objective commentary of our human thought processes - and the way in which they can be turned against us, e.g. how realising one's own humility can easily turn into a form of spiritual pride.
Most surprisingly, was a passage where Screwtape discusses how God's only desire is for every human being to become exactly as his Son is, to the point where they realise that they are themselves sons and daughters of God. Lewis definitely understands the very core of Jesus' teachings, no matter how much Christianity has corrupted them over the years.
Fiction-wise, all of the characters mentioned are given to us in brief glimpses at different times in the book, to the point where while there may not be large amounts of detail on them all, you could give a good description of each at the end of reading the entire book.
Some of the more "story" focused elements are quite fun, and give us a glimpse into the 'mythos' that Lewis has obviously given some thought to before writing the "Letters". While some events are quite enjoyable, even humorous at times (such as when Screwtape's momentary anger causes him to involuntarily transform into a giant centipede) I felt slightly disappointed that there weren't more plot elements or details of this demonic "world" that Lewis' characters live in - although perhaps this was to preserve the authentic tone of the letters and the fluidity with which the book progresses.
Overall, some passages touched me so deeply that I would have to ponder on them for some time before continuing on. I must admit that some of Lewis' ideas were so profound; they went over my head completely (I'm only 17 and have no qualms about admitting that I still have much more to learn, spiritually and intellectually). I hope that with future re-readings of this book (which for me, there most definitely will be!) I will pick up on things I had missed last time and, with hope, have a few more moments of inspired revelation.
This is most definitely a classic which should be read by everyone, religious or not. It will open up your mind to many philosophical ideas about the nature of human beings and the psychological way in which we perceive spirituality.
For those looking purely for a fictional reading experience, this one may be a little scant on details to satisfy your curiosity.
I have no hesitations in recommending this book with a stellar 5/5 stars.
One of Lewis' best
Definitely one of the best of C. S. Lewis books I've come across, and the man has written a fair number of good books I think.
What stands out about this book is how it approaches the Christian life, and human experience in general, from the devil's perspective. The book is really a series of letters between a senior devil and a junior devil which lends insight into how the devil deceives man. As a Christian, I found the book both a challenge to be watchful and alert and also a reassurance of the Lord's ultimate power over Satan.
The book is an entertaining read as well, humorous in many part. A piece of literary genius and a great Christian devotional book. Highly recommended!
A book that every Christian should read
His Abysmal Sublimity Under-Secretary Screwtape is an old experiencedtempter, a highly respected expert in his field. And so, Screwtape takestime out of his hellishly busy schedule to send letters of advice to hisnephew, Wormwood, who is shepherding along his first human. This book is acollection of Screwtape's letters, giving sound advice on how a Christiancan be steered away from Heaven, and safely delivered to Hell. Along theway, the reader is treated to some of the most profound Christianreasoning that I have ever read!
To put it succinctly, this book is without a doubt one the greatest (ifnot THE greatest) works of practical Christian living that was everwritten. C.S. Lewis's use of a demon giving advice to his nephew is simplyinspired, allowing him to mix deep theology and reasoning with upbeat (andoffbeat) humor. I loved the book, and I love this audio version of it -John Cleese does an excellent job of playing Screwtape, adding in theemotions the role deserves, and now I can't even imagine anyone else doingit.
This is a great book, one that every Christian should read (or listen to)at least once in his or her life, and maybe even read on a regular basis.I've listened to it five times in a row, and want to hear it some more.This is practical Christianity!