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The Screwtape Letters Paperback – September 1, 1990
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
This is not an easy read. It's not light or fluffy. Yes, it's a "satire," it's almost sarcastic, but it's still very thought provoking. I re-read so many passages because something would hit me so hard, I would need to read it again to make sure that I was understanding it properly.
Now I'm a religious person. I know that Satan is real. I know he has "devil's" who go about his awful work the same way God has "angels" going about His work. I believe I know a bit about how Satan works because he has done his best to tempt me to do wrong and many times succeeded. This novel was an interesting and, I personally believe, realistic take on how Satan goes about his work.
This book is good for any adult to read who is interested in expanding their knowledge of how Satan goes about trying to tear us, as humans, down and apart (individually and from each other).
During a series of instructional letters Screwtape gives step by step instruction to leading this human being down the path to damnation. Wormwood being an inexperienced tempter is sometimes chastised and at other times encouraged in his demonic antics. Screwtape shows to one and all that demonic acts can be cleverly disguised and will lead the faltering human to continue bad acts but without the person feeling any guilt or sense that he is doing something wrong which will lead him down below instead of high above.
Screwtape gets aggravated when Wormwood takes the easy ways of temptation which shows laziness and lack of attention to demonic detail. The forces of good are called the “enemy” in which Screwtape has much respect for and inspires Screwtape to be even more devious and hard on his young trainees such as Wormwood. His letters showed herein reinforces the forces of the devil are still very much among us.
We are using some materials from the internet to supplement their reading/understanding and to a person, the women are loving it. The fact that lLewis wrote this at the height of WWII for a discouraged English people who were fearing for their lives and the future of their nation is an asset for some in my two groups who remember those days quiite well. It is also interesting to all ages because Lewis "teaches" us as the senior demon Screwtape "teaches" his "nephew" Wormwood how to lure "the patient (mankind)" into despair, depression and evil, away from faith and spiritual health
in God (whom Screwtape refers to as the Enemy). All 12 of us are really getting into the discussions of each chapter and we anticipate spending at least six months on this selection, since each group only meets once a week. It's a great book, by a great writer, with a great message. [Since this is not a novel, per se, it does not have a plot/]