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The Screwtape Letters: First Ever Full-cast Dramatization of the Diabolical Classic (Radio Theatre) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

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Editorial Reviews

From AudioFile

Master demon Screwtape, played by a marvelously diabolic Andy Serkis, can sound sympathetic, urbane, and ruthless (like the best of devils) all in a single breath when he offers a little advice to his nephew, Wormwood, regarding the temptation, persecution, and ultimate destruction of the human soul. In this clear and well-crafted dramatization of C.S. Lewis's 31 satirical letters, both story and moral journey are accentuated by the wonderful acting chemistry between Serkis, who voiced Gollum in THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and Bertie Carvel's deftly understated Wormwood. A superb supporting cast, sound effects, and music that re-creates the ambiance and gravitas of Lewis's war-torn 1940s England round out this intelligent production. This is audio theater at its best. B.P. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

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Product Details

  • Series: Radio Theatre
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tyndale Entertainment; Com/DVD edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589973240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589973244
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

PAUL McCUSKER is the Peabody Award-winning writer and director of the audio drama "Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom," along with the multiple award-winning audio dramatizations of "The Chronicles of Narnia," "The Screwtape Letters," "A Christmas Carol," his original series "The Luke Reports: The Life of Jesus" (honored as Best Audio Drama by the prestigious Audie Awards) and "The Father Gilbert Mysteries" (also an Audie Award nominee), all for Focus On The Family Radio Theatre.

Apart from dramatizations of C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" and "Screwtape," he also scripted the original audio drama "C.S. Lewis At War" and written the companion book "C.S. Lewis & Mere Christianity: The Crisis That Created A Classic." His work has extended to writing the detailed footnotes for "The Annotated Screwtape Letters" for HarperOne. (It is the first authorized annotated edition of any book by C.S. Lewis.)

McCusker is also a writer and director for the long-running children's audio program "Adventures in Odyssey," scripting over 250 episodes as well as 2 of the animated video series, authoring 18 spin-off novels, and serving as the general editor for "The Imagination Station" chapter books. For adults, he has written the Gold Medallion-nominated "Epiphany," "The Mill House" and, with Dr. Walt Larimore, "The Gabon Virus" and "The Influenza Bomb." His plays and musicals have been performed in churches and community theaters across the country. One, "A Time for Christmas," was a Dove Award nominee. His lyrics have been put to music by the Grammy Award-winning Michael W. Smith.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Sniffen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I have to be honest. When I come across something that takes me by surprise, I don't think I can do it justice. That is the case with Focus on the Family's Radio Theater version of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. The Screwtape Letters were a series of letters that C.S. Lewis wrote about Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood--both workers for the Devil about how to effectively lead people to Hell and away from God. They were originally published separately in a magazine and then compiled as a book.

I think the release of this audiodrama is very timely in our culture today. It brings to life C.S. Lewis' book from 60+ years ago. What amazes me so much about it is how true it remains today--even about our culture! I thought beforehand that there would be some very insightful comments made in it, but I had no idea how many!

I have not read the actual book, but it is on our bookshelf so I picked it up after listening to the audiodrama. It is amazingly true to the book. It is not a drastic abridgement as I had expected. The language they use is true to the book and the way Wormwood and Screwtape talk is also true to the book.

There is one particular point that struck me today that I didn't want to forget to mention. It was when Screwtape tells Wormwood that the best road to (Hell) is a very gradual one--not one marked by huge sins. Huge sins make people aware of their need for God. The gradual road (in my words) is like the frog in a pot that comes to a boil gradually--so he doesn't know he's dying.

What most struck me as I listened was that what Screwtape was really talking about is Cynicism. Cynicism is the Devil's best way to turn us away from the Lord. C.S. Lewis used other words, but essentially, that is what he was talking about.
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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Rick Vasquez on December 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am minister and purchased the Dramatized Screwtape Letters to use in an Adult Class for church members. I used it in the course of the lecture hour with the class, playing it near the beginning of the class and unpacking the meaning after. I also have a straight forward reading of Screwtape by an Englishman as well The Screwtape Letters.

For the C.S. Lewis purist, this is not for you. The Screwtape Letters are first of all "letters" and not a book of theatrical scripts. So, I think, if Lewis were alive, he might slightly object to the recasting of this work into a performance and dialogue. It is, I think, meant to be read and reread, like one would read a parable or a proverb, meditating, thinking, pondering and awaiting illumination.

Having said that, this performance is truly and amazingly entertaining and for a teenage audience (whom we also have in class), it is far more effective at engagement and learning. It is funny and the voice of Screwtape is not only recognizable, it also captures the sinister-ness of the the evil being he is.

I personally thinking reading the Letters is best. Listening it being read without the theatrics is next best. But I would also highly recommend this to Amazon customers. It is superb.

Let me also suggest this resource as well: and The Screwtape Letters Study Guide CD-ROM (CD-ROM). This one is excellent for assigning Screwtape as school lesson assignment.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By ashertopia TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 4, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Focus on the Family and Tyndale take C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, a series of imaginative and insightful letters from a senior demon, the title character Screwtape, to his novice nephew Wormwood, and add over four hours of audio by an accomplished cast of actors, like Andy Serkis, Gollum from the Lord of the Rings movies as Screwtape, and 10 original songs written for this production all in 5.1 surround sound. The Collectors Edition comes with 4 CDs and 1 DVD in a tri-fold case with original artwork with a slipcover. All 10 original songs are included in their entirety on disc four. Disc 5 includes behind the scenes featurettes.

Anyone familiar with the original book by Lewis will instantly recognize his witty and timely message; nothing is lost in the translation. The actors play their part just right - not too over the top and certainly not blandly. The original score hits just the right creepy note. The benefits of the 5.1 surround sound can not be over-stated.

The packaging is well done and gives the impression of worth even though the set only costs about $27 on ($39.99 MSRP.)

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this well done audio dramatization of Lewis' excellent book. So many times the publishers don't put in the effort on audio books and we end up with a lame soundtrack read by a boring voice actor. Not so with The Screwtape Letters. I highly recommend it to you.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Deborah VINE VOICE on October 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I am a HUGE fan of dramatic audio books. Audio books who have a narrator that does different voices are great (Jim Dale reading Harry Potter is an experience everyone needs to experience) but ones that have multiple actors and sound effects is like listening to a movie in your head. And the grand master of dramatic audio is Focus on the Family Radio Drama. They have put so many high quality titles ranging from beloved literary classics to original stories to historical events. I cannot get enough of them. Their production of the Chronicles of Narnia series is one of my absolute favorites. Therefore I was excited to hear that that they would be bringing another CS Lewis classic to audio life.

I'll be honest, I have never actually read the Screwtape Letters before. I've been meaning to but I've never gotten around to it. I had a bare bones idea of what the plot consisted of but I pretty much dove in mostly unaware. Well first off, I was extremely geeked that Screwtape was going to be played by none other than Serkis . His performance is totally awesome. He really gets into the role and you can just picture everything immediately. The voice cast is extremely talented and the sound effects really bring everything to life. I mean I could really see Screwtape and Wormwood talking or visualize the bombs over London.

Just the story itself is incredible. Seriously I think that everyone needs to read/listen to this book. It totally makes you think about everything you do and think about. Even if you're not a Christian, it's a good read. CS Lewis is simply brilliant the way he came up with this work. The reverse viewpoint of looking at things is just genius. What I thought was interesting is that Wormwood could do nothing to please his uncle.
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