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The Screwtape Letters Paperback – April 21, 2015
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This adaptation of C.S. Lewis's biting satire received a 1999 Grammy nomination for best spoken-word performance, and it's easy to see why--the story fits the format perfectly. It's relatively brief (the unabridged reading takes a mere four hours), and contains only one character--the demon Screwtape, who writes letters to his novice nephew Wormwood, instructing him on how to best tempt his "patient" (a wayward soul on earth) into the bosom of "our Lord below."
Obviously, the book wasn't written with former Monty Python John Cleese in mind, but it's hard to imagine a better Screwtape. Cleese's voice provides the perfect vehicle for Lewis's dry, razor-edged wit. His uncanny comic timing and ability to milk each phrase for maximum effect betray an infectious enthusiasm for the story. It's clear that he's having a great time reading, and it's impossible not to laugh along with him. This inspired pairing of two of the 20th century's greatest wits makes for a meditation on the dark side of spiritual guidance that's as relevant and funny today as it was in Lewis's war-torn England. (Running time: 4 hours, 3 cassettes) --Andrew Neiland --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
From Library Journal
Lewis's satire is a Christian classic. Screwtape is a veteran demon in the service of "Our Father Below" whose letters to his nephew and prot?g?, Wormwood, instruct the demon-in-training in the fine points of leading a new Christian astray. Lewis's take on human nature is as on-target as it was when the letters were first published in 1941. John Cleese's narration is perfect as he takes Screwtape from emotional height to valley, from tight control to near apoplexy. This will be a popular in most libraries.ANann Blaine Hilyard, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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Don't worry about reading about the devil, as I was concerned with when I started to read it. But the more you read it the better and closer relationship you can develop with God, which of course is what Mr. Lewis has intended.
The author is pure genius. I have read Mere Christianity, The problem with pain amd A Grief Observed. I have also read his space trilogy Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength; which are all wonderful.
Word of warning, A Grief Observed is a difficilt, depressing book. DO NOT READ IT if you are grieving about anything or one.
I hope this helps and helps people discover the genius, as I have, of C. S. Lewis.
The premise is that Lewis is reprinting letters written by Screwtape, a veteran devil, to his nephew, Wormwood, a novice demon. Lewis indicates in the preface that these letters fell into his hands and he has no intention of telling the reader how that occurred.
The series of letters is designed to assist Wormwood in tormenting and distracting a young man who goes through daily life stumbling in and out of the Christian faith. It is educational and humorous to read how a demon might easily dissuade a human from following Christ and encourage a man to focus on himself.
While experience with the thoughts of demons are rare, Lewis summons a very plausible outline of the contemplations and musings of Satan's minions. Such a believable account of the demonic is provided that the reader can find himself fearing for the author's psyche. In the afterward Lewis comments that his excursion into the minds of demons was an unhealthy trip he did not desire to duplicate.
Screwtape cheers as the man falls into temptation and jeers as the man progresses in his faith. While nothing in the book is foul or vulgar, it is admittedly a touch disturbing to wonder through the thought processes of a demon. If only to obtain a glimpse into the plausible mind of the enemy, this book is a worthy read and deeply engaging.
I've recommended this book to others so I finally decided to buy another copy and give it to one person, asking him to pass it to someone else after he has read it.
This book was so powerful to me that I couldn't finish it. I got the message quite clearly by 1/2 way through the book and just couldn't take it any more.
It is a spiritual book aimed to assist at the spiritual life by shedding light on the behind-the-scenes work of Satan. It's not long and not arduous. It may be a little shocking.