The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is an essential read for any literary enthusiast. Descending from a highly placed assistant of “Our Father Below,” the novel offers profound wisdom and insight into the human condition from a perspective that shines with irony and wit. Culminating in a remarkable victory of temptation and malice, readers won’t soon forget their experience with this mesmerizing book. An entertaining story full of comic moments, The Screwtape Letters isn't just for advanced theologians - once you pick it up, anyone will quickly be drawn into its magical narrative arc. Whether you're looking for personal reflection or just looking for something new to read, The Screwtape Letters has everything needed to engage, captivate and inspire you to discover a whole new level of understanding life's greatest foibles!
As with all C. S. Lewis's books, though some are heavier with food for thought, there were interesting points and thoughts to be gleaned from The Screwtape Letters. I think his depiction of Hell, though, is rather unimaginative, and leaving off of any description or allusion would have done well. Then again, that the demons work like bureaucrats is thoughtful and comical.
The first time I read this book, as a student in high school, it blew me away. Certain passages have continued to stick with me all this time just for that first reading. For example, I learned that one should pray for physical needs for ones relatives and not only pray for their spiritual needs. Otherwise, our prayer time just turns into us dwelling on a person's faults! Yikes! (O Lord, please help my brother not to be so snobby...etc)
The second time I read this book, four years later, I had to put it down. For some reason, being put "inside the head" of a demon really creeped me out and put me in the wrong frame of mind. I still liked the theological content, but not the format. Maybe I would like it again next time, but I probably won't try again, as there's a lot of other books I would rather read.
A book offering a notable insight into morality and temptation! The Screwtape Letters really makes one think about both the world outside and the battle within, and I think every Catholic should read it at least once in one's life if at all possible!
Screwtape Letters remains one of my favorite books. With each rereading, I find new reasons to appreciate it.
The premise of the book is that a senior devil/tempter, Screwtape, is writing to his nephew, Wormwood, about Wormwood's "patient." Everything is backwards - what's good to Screwtape is NOT good to us. When he refers to Our Father Down Below, he's talking about Satan, and the Enemy is God. This alone is enough to delight me as a reader.
But wait, there's more!
The Screwtape Letters struck me, the first time through, as though it was one of the best examinations of conscience I have yet found (admittedly, I hadn't looked very hard). It made me consider sin in a whole new way. It made me think about angels and demons - especially demons - as workers with a stake, and as forces that I can beat, but not alone. It made me see the need for God in my life ever more, ever more.
The second time through, I was reading more carefully. Since I had listened to the audio version the first time, different things leapt out at me when I went back through it with the paper copy. I was again struck by the fact that this was, in effect, a description of ME, and it was a starting place for an examination of conscience.
This remains a book that inspires an examination of conscience in me. It's also a good reminder that there are forces of evil working against us all.the.time.
I love having a book that makes me think differently about the world around me. This book has the advantage of also inspiring a number of other works, and I am a sucker for reading source material. Besides that, C.S. Lewis is just fabulous. Need I say more?
Be sure to make time to read this book. It's relatively short, available even at my small town library, and the audio version is quite stunning.