The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters

A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of Screwtape, a senior tempter in the service of "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C. S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his ne...

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Title:The Screwtape Letters
Author:C.S. Lewis
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Edition Language:English

The Screwtape Letters Reviews

  • Joanie Rich

    It's great to read fiction that gives you a punch in a gut! It's not often a book will hold up a mirror to you and show you some things you'd rather not see. The Screwtape Letters was that book for me.

    Every Christian needs to get a hold of this book and read it through! It's helped me gain a deep understanding of how the forces of darkness try to undermine joy and truth. I'd especially recommend it to readers new to C.S. Lewis, as this is a good sample of his writing and a good place to start fr

    It's great to read fiction that gives you a punch in a gut! It's not often a book will hold up a mirror to you and show you some things you'd rather not see. The Screwtape Letters was that book for me.

    Every Christian needs to get a hold of this book and read it through! It's helped me gain a deep understanding of how the forces of darkness try to undermine joy and truth. I'd especially recommend it to readers new to C.S. Lewis, as this is a good sample of his writing and a good place to start from when reading his work.

    One of the great things about C.S. Lewis is that, having not been born into the church, he comes with a gritty, logical look into Christianity and how the world operates, having been deeply entrenched in it himself. He understands where people are coming from and brings to light a lot of the contradictions people tend to say about the church (and intellectuals for that matter).

    Personally, I took away a number of lessons from the book, including some understanding about what it means to be charitable and caring towards my family and friends instead of doing things purely out of some spiritual pride (aka holier than thou philosophy) -- what an eye opener! In a good way though.

    One of the best points he makes is that the "Father Below's" main goal is to keep your from thinking for yourself, to go along with the crowd and to do what "the smart, the pretty, the bold and the powerful" say you should do instead of being an individual. What a powerful (and relevant) statement for today's culture!

  • MelissaS

    I love this book - it really makes you think. For those who have not read it, the book is written as a compilation of letters from a "tempter," Screwtape, to his nephew, a "junior tempter" named Wormwoood. In the letters, Screwtape gives Wormwood adivce and counsel on how to best tempt his "subject" - a young man who converts to Christianity, and then falls in love with a Christian woman. Through the letters, you are constantly reminded and made to think about how the adversary tempts us. What i

    I love this book - it really makes you think. For those who have not read it, the book is written as a compilation of letters from a "tempter," Screwtape, to his nephew, a "junior tempter" named Wormwoood. In the letters, Screwtape gives Wormwood adivce and counsel on how to best tempt his "subject" - a young man who converts to Christianity, and then falls in love with a Christian woman. Through the letters, you are constantly reminded and made to think about how the adversary tempts us. What is truly excellent about the book, though, is that the cunning plans are not centered around obvious sins, that so often are what we think about when we think about temptation and sin. Instead, the tempters focus on much more subtle forms of sins - vanity, pride, distraction, insincerity, forgetting God, and how these can achieve the same effect as more obvious sins ... to lead us away from God. Ultimately, the tempters in this story do not care what sins are committed by their subjects - so long as they accomplish their goal of separating people from God, and leading them to the adversary. In fact, they seem to prefer the more subtle means of leading people astray, as they sense that this is a more hidden and thus secure way to accomplish their ultimate design.

    You cannot read this book and not think of how extremely pertinent it is to your life. C. S. Lewis has thought deeply about the things we do each that lead us away from God, and he articulates them very well. As you read the book, you are in a constant introspection of your own life, and the things that are put before you daily that lead you away from what we all desire - a close, personal, consistent, and deep relationship with God, that leads to happiness now and the hereafter. I love this book!

  • Cary

    This is my first book of C.S. Lewis outside the Chronicles of Narnia Series. I want to balance my reading list with good, wholesome and inspiring Christian books so I decided to try the works of Lewis and look for an e-book. Fortunately, I was able to find one online so I started with Screwtape Letters.

    The Screwtape Letters is a series of letters written by Screwtape, a senior demon, to his nephew and a neophyte tempter, Wormood, about the different ways to tempt a newly converted Christian they

    This is my first book of C.S. Lewis outside the Chronicles of Narnia Series. I want to balance my reading list with good, wholesome and inspiring Christian books so I decided to try the works of Lewis and look for an e-book. Fortunately, I was able to find one online so I started with Screwtape Letters.

    The Screwtape Letters is a series of letters written by Screwtape, a senior demon, to his nephew and a neophyte tempter, Wormood, about the different ways to tempt a newly converted Christian they referred to as "Patient". Their objective is to secure the "Patient's" eternal damnation in hell. In this book, C.S. Lewis tried to describe the spiritual battles between Christians and the forces of evil in a different point of view.

    At first, I felt uncomfortable reading the parts where Lewis referred God as "the Enemy" and Satan as the "Father" because being a child of God, I know it's the other way around. But looking at it as a literary piece, this is actually the spice of the story and this what makes the book special to me, that I really can't help but admire Lewis for his wisdom and creativity.

    After reading the book, I was really enlightened and reminded of the truths that we humans should believe about God:

    1. God loves us and He does not want anyone of us to perish but He wants us to have eternal life with Him and so He his Son to die for us and pay for our sins (John 3:16). In order to have eternal life, we have to accept Jesus in our life and believe that He is our Lord and Savior. By dying on on the cross, he redeemed us and provided the forgiveness of our sins - past, present and future.

    2. God promised that for us who receive Jesus, He gave the right to be called His Children.No one can separate us from His love thus, our salvation through Jesus is assured and no one can take it away from us, not even Satan.

    3. What Satan only wants from every human is to steal, kill and destroy. He is like a lion who is always looking around for prey, ready to devour anytime thus we should always be on guard. He will try all possible means for us to turn away from God.

    4. God promised us victory. What Jesus did on the cross is already complete. Because of that, we are victorious in Christ so we have the power to win any battle including spiritual battle with the real Enemy. Therefore, we must not lose hope and stand firm on our faith that God has already given us the holy life through Jesus and all we have to do is to live it and stop doing the things that are not pleasing to Him. This book provided some examples of the unpleasant things that may seem insignificant but can eventually lead to our own destruction because the devil knows how to manipulate our thoughts so we really need to be careful.

    5. Of course, the best way to defeat the Enemy is to lay down all our battles to God by praying and petition. The Bible said,

    (Ephesians 6:10-18). This is actually the passage that keeps on popping out of my mind the entire time I was reading the book.

    This book only wants to point out that we need to recognize that just like Heaven, Hell is also real and Satan also exists. He is continuously looking for possible "recruits" and deceiving people by suggesting different lies in our minds to keep us from turning to God. But God is loving and gracious. He will never let His children fall if we will only remain in Him. God wants all His children to be reunited with Him in eternity, but sadly, not everyone can go to heaven because not everyone has accepted the Truth. He gave us free will to choose how are we going to live our life here on earth. So in every moment and every action of our lives, we are given two different options: to do His will or to follow our own will? And we need to choose well because one may be the highway to hell.

    If you are looking for a book about living a Christian life, then I highly recommend this one but of course living a holy life according to God's standard can only be achieved if we continuously seek to know our Creator an Savior more through reading his written Word.

  • Seemita

    Where do I begin unloading this colossal bag of thoughts that are raging in my mind since yesterday? Well, my friend, you seem to be the victim today. So be it. Don’t term me evil; it is just the scent of one, I lived with for the last five days.

    Actually, this work is hardly anything except for a bunch of letters, from a senior to a junior; it is nothing more than a series of succinct correspondence, gathered cannily and disbursed even more astutely to the promising newbies. Now, have we all not

    Where do I begin unloading this colossal bag of thoughts that are raging in my mind since yesterday? Well, my friend, you seem to be the victim today. So be it. Don’t term me evil; it is just the scent of one, I lived with for the last five days.

    Actually, this work is hardly anything except for a bunch of letters, from a senior to a junior; it is nothing more than a series of succinct correspondence, gathered cannily and disbursed even more astutely to the promising newbies. Now, have we all not rubbed shoulders with atleast once such genial senior in our lives? Incidentally, this exchange happens to be between Uncle Screwtape and Wormwood who, well, under a generous dignity granted by Lewis, call themselves “Tempters”; I refer to them as Devil (Spirit). And they are up against “Him”; the one who lives in the churches and to whom the world attributes its goodness and life.

    Essentially, this work chalks out some theories on how the Devil should lure the “patient” or the human, away from his allegiance towards "Him" and secure him firm and consistent with himself.

    This very concept takes my bow for it takes a lot to stand on both sides and view a situation without apathy or bias. In this deliciously curated work, the satire, the cynic, the comic and the subtle; all find place, and rightfully so. As for Screwtape, the breaking fragments of the world and the striking resemblance it holds to a colored hoax, is the doing of “Him”, and so he takes the fundamental ingredients of daily life like belief, love, marriage, gluttony, cowardice, fidelity, freedom, unselfishness and ownership and holds them, not aloft, instead face down. Screwtape draws sinister pleasure in observing the perpetual longing of the human to be star-struck about future and in the process, losing the all-important, all-pervasive present. He also makes a mockery of prevalent falsities in society where something as harmless as jazz can chain its women to strive for svelte figures at the expense of vitality; something as uplifting as art and fresco can underline the derisive palpability of nudity. He also takes a dig at the preconceived notions of love and marriage and the obtuse manner in which the happening of one is regarded as a prerequisite for justification of the other.

    He basks in the hackneyed idea of ownership that drives the callous human. He spells it eloquently:

    This book is a goldmine of veiled satire and I chuckled at the expressions, if not always at the latent intentions. Most of, what I call lyrical sarcasm, emanates from the failures of Wormwood and the wise senior never fails to pull him up. While explaining him the nuances of “Unselfishness”, he says:

    However, for all the chinks in “His” armour that Screwtape so vehemently drills into Wormwood’s head, there are certain things he himself cannot fathom and hence, cannot overcome. He admits that the power of love, which flows freely from “His” altar, is a puzzle Evil’s years of research have failed to crack. It is a kind of impregnable shield; a sort of ultimate immunity. The simple pleasures of life like reading a book, drinking tea or taking a stroll uplifts humans’ spirits to such insurmountable levels that reaching them becomes a distant dream; conquering them, then, gets out of question. There is also an all-numbing admission of “His” influence when Screwtape writes,

    I am not giving away what culminates at the end, not because it would foil interest but because it is not significant.

    The picture that Lewis paints by the time he puts his last stroke, is a mélange of ideas which although tilted to project one side as glorious, does not undermine the merits on the other. It is more of a congregation of two schools of thought on a line where students (and teachers) can change side at any instant. Even for a believer in Supreme Power, I paused at many points and examined the validity of the arguments earnestly. Let me say all said was not lost.

    Thank you, C S Lewis; I realized I was not all that wood after all.

    ---

    Patting the impact this work created, Time Magazine featured Lewis on its cover, five years post publication of this work, with a, Devil of course! :D

  • Iryna (Book and Sword)

    I just picked this up again to read through some of my highlights.

    I also wanted to mention that this book is dedicated to J.R.R.Tolkien.

    . If that doesn’t warm your bookish heart I don’t know what will.

    __________________________________________________

    I will be honest,

    . While the book itself is quite small, the ol

    I just picked this up again to read through some of my highlights.

    I also wanted to mention that this book is dedicated to J.R.R.Tolkien.

    . If that doesn’t warm your bookish heart I don’t know what will.

    __________________________________________________

    I will be honest,

    . While the book itself is quite small, the old English language and the style is written in, made me reread some of the paragraphs more than once.

    That said,

    .

    It makes you think of yourself in a way you might have never thought before.

    It makes you question all of your choices, because somehow you are finally more aware of them.

    It makes you question the government and it makes you question how you do life as a person.

    It is as if someone exposed all of your dirty laundry and made you go through it after, in public. Lewis points out

    But he also gives you the reasons of those flaws and how to overcome them.

    . It's not a light read, it's more of a "I gotta highlight the heck of some pages" kind of a read. I can't wait to go back and reread some of the hard truths over and over again.

    My

    My

    My

  • ❄️Nani❄️

    It's always the books that I randomly come across or the spur of the moment reads that almost always end up (pleasantly) surprising me.

    This book was so out of my range and certainly not the kind I usually pick up but I wanted something different and wow, was it that. It was thought-provoking (and very unnerving at times) with an interesting premise that had me questioning a lot of the things that we do without even realising and the effects of these actions.

    You know, there are many reasons why I

    It's always the books that I randomly come across or the spur of the moment reads that almost always end up (pleasantly) surprising me.

    This book was so out of my range and certainly not the kind I usually pick up but I wanted something different and wow, was it that. It was thought-provoking (and very unnerving at times) with an interesting premise that had me questioning a lot of the things that we do without even realising and the effects of these actions.

    You know, there are many reasons why I love Fantasy books, one of which is that it's a form of escapism. However dark and/or bleak [enter said world] is, it draws me in and gets me focusing on problems far different from anything to do with

    world. Well, this certainly was

    that kind of a read.

    is a purported collection of 31 letters written by a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew and protégé, a younger demon named, Wormwood. These letters were written for the express purpose of instructing the young demon on the finer points of how to corrupt the human soul, whose name is simply referred to as the "patient", and remains unnamed throughout the story.

    One of the fundamental insights of this story is that this Infernal Bureaucracy is founded on the principle of consume or be consumed and it gives us a look into the battle for souls from the other side of the trenches.

    Various letters explore the use of subtle distractions. Screwtape heavily emphasizes that the best, most efficient way to fully corrupt the human soul is to do this as subtly as possible rather than frontal attacks, and that Wormwood’s goal is to make the patient believe in the doctrine of Materialism.

    These letters are short and concise, written in a way that any reader will be able to relate to many of the temptations that these devils throw at the "patient". Lewis masterfully uses a unique and amusing style of writing to present many of mankind’s greatest weaknesses that we often fall prey to.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Screwtape Letters, Clive Staples C.S. Lewis

    تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ششم نوامبر سال 2016 میلادی

    عنوان: نامه های اسکروتیپ - نامه های یک شیطان عالیمقام به شیطان دون پایه؛ نویسنده: سی.اس. لوئیس؛ مترجم: شهریار روحانی؛ تهران، نشر اشراقیه، 1369، در 141 ص، موضوع: نامه ها ، مسیحیت، قرن 20 م

    نامه هایی ست از سوی یک مقام عالی رتبه ی وزارت شیطان (اسکروتیپ)، به یک شیطان کارآموز جوان (وارم وود). اسکروتیپ شاگردش را راهنمایی و روشهای فریب انسانها را برایش مینویسد. ا. شربیانی

  • Miranda Reads

    Young Wormwood is on his

    and is at a bit of a loss as to how to do this. There's

    , but which is the

    Luckily, he has his Uncle Screwtape to consult. Under Screwtape's gentle guidance,

    Young Wormwood is on his

    and is at a bit of a loss as to how to do this. There's

    , but which is the

    Luckily, he has his Uncle Screwtape to consult. Under Screwtape's gentle guidance,

    While I do not fully agree with everything said in this book, I do think that this was an

    into the small ways that corruption reaches out to us in everyday life. Those little things build up and if

    will certainly turn into something more.

    There was just so much

    packed into such a neat little package -

    Even if you are not particularly religious, the wisdom that C. S. Lewis imparts is applicable to all areas of our lives and this is certainly one of his better novels.

  • J.G. Keely

    If not for the fact that this is a satire in earnest, it would serve as a powerful absurdist invective against humanity itself. If this book improved my view of Christians it was only because it points out that all the faults conspicuous in the rabidly faithful are equally well-represented in the uninformed agnostic, if less readily apparent--Lewis does his best to drag everyone down to a common level.

    The sharp weapon of Lewis's rhetoric tears down humanity through all its self-righteous hubris,

    If not for the fact that this is a satire in earnest, it would serve as a powerful absurdist invective against humanity itself. If this book improved my view of Christians it was only because it points out that all the faults conspicuous in the rabidly faithful are equally well-represented in the uninformed agnostic, if less readily apparent--Lewis does his best to drag everyone down to a common level.

    The sharp weapon of Lewis's rhetoric tears down humanity through all its self-righteous hubris, denial, misdirected hopes, and easy mistakes. However, one begins to develop the impression, slowly at first, that Lewis has nothing to offer in return. There are scarcely words of alternatives, let alone improvements.

    Lewis does give us a house which disgusts the devils and redeems the sinful, but this perfect representation of Christian values is just a lack of badness, not a profusion of goodness. It is 'suffused' by some sort of magical glow which infects the cat, but magical glows do not a life philosophy make. I got the impression that Lewis hoped to fill in with the good parts later, but couldn't think of any.

    Human beings have a cognitive bias for avoiding punishment, even to the point where we will avoid a small punishment rather than seek a great reward. Perhaps this fear consumed Lewis, as it does so many people. That would explain why his books seem more concerned with avoiding small errors instead of seeking out grand achievements.

    But then, Lewis has a similar failing with grand villainy. Sure, he's able to point out all the little, foolish errors we make, but he seems to have no ability to understand actual malice or hatred. His demons, like all his villains, just do bad things because it's required of them. Lewis is unable to develop any motivation for them to do evil, which means that, in the end, his vision of evil is silly, petty, and dismissive. He cannot give us a vision of a truly dangerous devil, like

    or

    , just an arbitrary (and easily blamed) antagonist.

    Lewis said writing these letters was more unpleasant than any of his other books, and that he could not bring himself to write a sequel. I find little surprise in this, because one can see how, as the book goes on, Lewis more and more recognizes the failures of mankind but when he tries to express what makes him or his faith any different, cannot find anything to say.

    The 'suffusing glow' becomes a metaphor for Lewis's own righteousness, but whenever Lewis isn't basking in his own self-righteousness, he is ridiculing someone else's. Lewis' rhetoric is most deficient when he scorns one of man's many faults, then calls it a virtue in the next chapter.

    For example, the book begins with the demon advising that humans should be encouraged to think of things as being 'real' without ever questioning what that means. The term 'real life' is meant to act as a self-justification for assumptions, not as an introspective view. This is 'bad' because 'real' has no meaning beyond the opinion of the user, and hence it can be used to justify anything.

    Then Lewis begins to talk about how the Christians should make sure to follow what is 'natural', but fails to define what 'natural' is supposed to mean. Like 'real', 'natural' can be used to justify any idea or position, but Lewis does not turn a skeptical eye on himself.

    This can hardly surprise, as Lewis maintains a philosophy of Duality. Dualism presents the 'with us/against us' ideal by which any two groups may grow to hate one another despite the fact that they have relatively few differences. As long as one defines the other as bad, there is no need to define the self as good, as in the Dualistic system, there is only good and evil, and you are either one or the other.

    Lewis often falls back on this defense, showing how some men are bad, how he is different from them, and then assuming 'different' equals 'better'. He uses rational, skeptical argument to show how flawed his opponent is, but tearing down others is not the same as raising yourself up.

    That being said, it would still be refreshing to meet a believer who had put as much thought and work into attempting to understand and explain themselves. It is rare to find thoughtfulness and skepticism, believer or no. Atheists and scientists can be just as troubled, flawed, and deluded as anyone else.

    The lesson I will pull from this is that it is important for me to concentrate on myself and my own growth, because worrying about everyone else didn't help Lewis, and it isn't going to help me, either. I must not simply tear down those who are different from me, since this doesn't prove that I am right, any more than a bully proves his superiority by his insults and threats.

  • Nandakishore Varma

    To

    MR. SOURPUSS

    Most Revered Lower Secretary

    Ministry of Temptation

    Dear Sir,

    At the outset, let me express my deep regret at a set of my letters (to my wayward nephew Wormwood) having fallen into the hands of a loyal servant of the Enemy and getting published. I will take the liberty of saying most emphatically that this is not due to any lack of foresight from my part: Your August Person used to know Wormwood, and what a nincompoop he was. I must state with no little pleasure that our current set o

    To

    MR. SOURPUSS

    Most Revered Lower Secretary

    Ministry of Temptation

    Dear Sir,

    At the outset, let me express my deep regret at a set of my letters (to my wayward nephew Wormwood) having fallen into the hands of a loyal servant of the Enemy and getting published. I will take the liberty of saying most emphatically that this is not due to any lack of foresight from my part: Your August Person used to know Wormwood, and what a nincompoop he was. I must state with no little pleasure that our current set of tempters are built of much tougher material, and consequently we have been on the winning side in our struggle with the Enemy for the past few decades. One only has to cast one's eye over the world once.

    However, the affair of "The Screwtape Letters" (as they have come to be known) are a matter of no little anguish to my own person, and I make no hesitation in stating that I am willing to accept whatever punishment Our Father may seem fit to disburse. But it is gratifying to note that the human race, in its infinite stupidity, have not taken them seriously: indeed, it is described as a "humorous novella"! One just has to visit the Goodreads website where even people committed to the Enemy are heaping wholesome praise on it! So, in my humble opinion, we need not worry our heads on that account.

    One more thing. Let me take this occasion to congratulate Your August Person and similar dignitaries of the Lowerarchy on the new method of subversion which is working so brilliantly on humanity: that of subverting the love of the Enemy into hatred of all others who did not subscribe to that particular version of the Enemy! Humanity is indeed too dumb to understand that Love

    the Enemy (even though they display posters to that effect all over, as a platitude) and that Hatred is Our Father. Why the Enemy loves these idiots and wants them to attain everlasting happiness, one can only wonder!

    Your Obedient Servant

    SCREWTAPE.

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