Customer Reviews for

The Screwtape Letters

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Amazing

This is not a moralizing book trying to convert people to Christianity. Even as a Jew, I found Lewis's writing and religious beliefs to change my perspective on many things in life. It is a well-written book that can be enjoyed by anyone.

posted by Anonymous on January 25, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

not so good

I read and loved Narnia so I read this book in hopes that it would be just as good ... I was dissapointed. Much of the book oversimlplifies very difficult stuggles in the Christian life. Anytime I speak to a Christian about the book they think I am a bad Christian bec...
I read and loved Narnia so I read this book in hopes that it would be just as good ... I was dissapointed. Much of the book oversimlplifies very difficult stuggles in the Christian life. Anytime I speak to a Christian about the book they think I am a bad Christian because I do not love the book based of the faith of the writer. We should be able to say that some Christian liturature is poorly written without feeling like we are opposing god.

posted by Anonymous on August 19, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Good book...

    Love C. S. Lewis! It was a little hard for me to read & follow, but worth the time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2012

    INCREDIBLE!

    I have read most of C.S. Lewis's books, but this is by-far the best one. Lewis uses his wisdom and intellect to write a very realistic book on Spiritual warfare that captivates the reader. I definitely recommend this book to all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    A ReRead Must

    The Letters was recommended to me almost a year ago by a dear friend. Lewis knows how to write in a way that captures you from the beginning. But this is not a book to be sped thru. And reading it only once is a no-no. I will be rereading this book a few more times. My first read gave me a basic understanding, but now I am going to slow down and delve more into the messages that are on the pages. A must read for everyone who is curious to know of how the other side probably thinks in relation to us as humans.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    Swift

    I'm back...

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  • Posted January 2, 2014

    Interesting book showing our temptations and weaknesses. Well-wr

    Interesting book showing our temptations and weaknesses. Well-written!

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

    The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis was a school assignment that I was to read over a couple months. Considering school is now over (yahoo!), I finished this book a while ago.

    The entire book is a set of letters from Screwtape, a demon, to his nephew Wormwood, a fallen angel who's job it is to tempt a young man referred to only as the "patient." It takes place during World War II, and that plays a part in the events.

    It's interesting to read a book from the point of view of a fallen angel. The points made are undeniably good, and it feels like every other page is a slap in the face to the lifestyles of average "Christians." It's hard not to see many fragments of your own life in the life of Wormwood's "patient."

    Overall, The Screwtape Letters is a true showing of Lewis's genius and his knowledge in Biblical facts. I believe that the author put a lot of himself into the novel; into the life of the "patient." It's a great philosophical read, and I highly recommend it to anyone with a decent vocabulary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Very good

    Hillarious and ironically correct!

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    Great

    Great book , very interesting. It is a new spin on spiritural warfare. I would recommend this book to anyone :)

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Path To Hell...

    For a bit of 'inspirational' reading this Christmas, I picked up _The Screwtape Letters_. I've read some of the Narnia series as well as _Mere Christianity_ by Lewis and I knew the basic gist of Screwtape, but still wasn't 100% sure what was in store for me.

    The book is a series of letters written by the demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood. Both are demons of Hell and the letters are discussions of the practices used to tempt humans and lead them down to Hell rather than letting them make it to Heaven. Wormwood is a junior demon working on tempting a human man in 'contemporary' (to Lewis...~1940s) London. Screwtape is a senior demon no longer doing field work but now in a higher administrative role and full of good advice for the young Wormwood.

    The book is often humorous as you read about the follies of humans from the point of view of these immortal and immoral tempters. The humorous anecdotes are also subtly invasive as you realize just how true to life these comments are.

    Screwtape advises Wormwood to take advantage of the foibles of human nature to lead the man down the path to Hell while all the while letting him believe he's on his way to Heaven. The subversive realities these demons try to persuade the human to believe are strangely familiar to the social norms of the world in which we live.

    Screwtape admonishes that, unless the man is truly vile, Wormwood shouldn't try to push him away from religion but rather let him get puffed up in his religion to the point of self-exhaltation based on his own interpretations. The demons are wary of the truly penitent but are grateful for the many who go through the motions of religion for perception only.

    There are many good lessons to be learned through the book. Many poignant passages softly chastising humble pride, valueless bravery, hopeless nostalgic dreamers and others.

    It's a great satire on the state of the world.

    What was most sad and scary to me is that ~50-60 years later, not much has changed. The same subtle lies are being whispered through the world and countless humans (myself included at times) are believing them and gently paving our own way to Hell.

    I'd be interested to find some analysis of it that helps break out different letters into their themes...maybe I'll work on one. Something that could be used to pull out passages about some of the different temptations: Love/Romance/Sex, Religion, Pride, Nature, etc.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. There were a few sections that really seemed to drag on but generally it was a lot of fun to read and it left me in a state of deep thinking afterwards. Give it a try.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2008

    Very insightful

    C. S. Lewis shows his cleverness in the way he describes his vision of the devil's tricks on humans. It was not very exciting due to the fact that the whole story consisted of just letters, but it was intersting to me becasue I am a Christian and often ponder the spiritual world. Highly recommended for Christians.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2006

    The Screwtape Letters

    This is for school...sorry so long! I first encountered this book about 3 years ago, when my church put on a play based on it. To my dismay, I didn¿t get to attend this play, but I did get to read the script. Very intrigued, I decided to read the book. But the years went by and I still hadn¿t completed the task I had promised myself. Finally, when I noticed it on the college list, I decided to read it for my book project. C.S. Lewis uses one of the main literary elements, point of view, in a very interesting way in this novel. The entire book is a correspondence between two demons a novice called Wormwood and his uncle, a more experienced tempter called Screwtape. The letters are of course all in first person and all about how they can win the soul of a man-we are not told his name-whom Wormwood has been assigned to. He is referred to as ¿the patient¿. This point of view has an almost eerie effect on the story. I noticed that some of the things they write about I notice about myself-distraction, etc. Everything is backwards-God is referred to as ¿The Enemy¿, and Satan is referred to as ¿the father¿. The ruthless (though, in the end, fruitless) attempts to secure a spot in hell for this man are unsettling, but it helps put into perspective the struggle that goes on every day for our souls. For instance: ¿Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling and never let them suspect how much success or failure of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment. But of course the Enemy will not meantime be idle. Whenever there is prayer, there is danger of His Own immediate action.¿ It really helps make you aware of what¿s going on beyond what we can see. C.S. Lewis may have chosen this point of view, because, well without it, where is the story? If told from the man¿s point of view (who is more or less unaware of the attacks, until the end) we lose a lot of perspective as to the demon side of things. If told from a broader, third person point of view, we lose the same perspective, the ruthlessness and evil of the demons¿ efforts. This book has been called ¿a masterpiece of satire¿, and for good reason. All the letters are in the most solemn of tones, but it¿s so easy to foresee the demons¿ imminent failure, especially after the man becomes a Christian. You can¿t help but wonder¿¿do they really think they can snatch a soul away from God just like that? Is He not vastly more powerful than they could ever be?¿ And they are painfully aware of this, as they struggle to comprehend it: ¿It is the Enemy¿s most barbarous weapon, and generally appears when He is directly present to the patient under certain modes not yet fully classified. Some humans are permanently surrounded by it and therefore inaccessible to us.¿ So the main conflict of the novel isn¿t necessarily demon vs. man, but demon vs. God in the struggle for souls. Despite all their best attempts to poison the man¿s mind and distract him from God, God is all the more powerful. In the end, the man actually dies, and the conflict is resolved right there, as he goes to heaven, shedding Wormwood forever to be in the joy of the Creator for all eternity! The final letter describes this triumph to be utter dismay and excruciating pain for the demons. An eternity of terrible punishment is in store for Wormwood for having failed his task, and an eternity of the joy of the Lord for the man! The setting of the story actually isn¿t that important to the main themes and conflict of the book. In fact, we¿re not even sure what the setting is! We know it¿s in England, in the midst of a war-the ¿European War¿. As far as I can tell, this doesn¿t do that much for the book, except enhance certain opportunities the demons may have, as they discuss how to bring about cowardice, hatred, or even despair in their ¿patient¿. However, the war results in his death, and leads the ¿patient¿ closer to God. Personally

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2003

    This is a great book for Christians.

    This book has been a really good book to read. It was a great inspiration for me as a Christian. This book I would recommend for any Christian that feels mature in their faith. Even though some may think it could be a great witnessing tool, I personally don¿t. This book made me think about my faith and where all the ideas are coming from.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2003

    Giving The Devil His Due!

    I first read The Screwtape Letters in high school English class. It worried me. I still believed humanity was basically good, and was skeptical of the existence of angels, demons and the spiritual world. This book made me interested enough to make religion and spirituality a topic of study for much of my college career. Examining the wide range of beliefs on the subject that have existed throughout history, and the many 'new' ones that are popular in our time, I came to the conclusion that it was all just myth except perhaps the 'moral' aspect that seemed to run through most of the major religions. Having grown up more on the philosophies of Carl Sagan's COSMOS than anything else, I quickly found myself taking refuge in science and humanism, allowing me to dismiss speculation on any 'unseen realities' that could not be proven. It was not long before I realized that science, though it has made the world a better place in some respects by improving the quality of life (for some, though not all), it had failed to make people into better people. Moral issues again came into view, and I returned to this book, read it again, and then read Mere Christianity---never to be the same again. The Screwtape Letters addresses not only good and evil per se, but makes the reader wonder where many of his thoughts and beliefs come from. As an unbeliever and a skeptic, I was forced to rethink many of my preconceptions about life, especially the existence of God and His interaction in history. This book is a classic analysis of the human condition from a Christian perpective, but the demon's logic is stunning.

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    Posted September 14, 2011

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