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The Screwtape Letters: With Screwtape…

The Screwtape Letters: With Screwtape Proposes a Toast (original 1942; edition 2001)

by C. S. Lewis

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Title:The Screwtape Letters: With Screwtape Proposes a Toast
Authors:C. S. Lewis
Info:HarperCollins (2001), Hardcover, 224 pages

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The Screwtape Letters (with Screwtape Proposes a Toast) by C. S. Lewis (1942)


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In a series of letters to his nephew, Wormwood, the demon Screwtape provides advice to his nephew on how to tempt an unnamed human and separate him from the Enemy that is God.

An interesting approach that is both a good read and prompts some serious thought on any believer's relationship with God. ( )
1 vote MickyFine | Sep 27, 2015 |
A striking approach to literature about the devil, sin and evil in the world. The Screwtape Letters is a satirical Christian apologetics novel written in epistolary style by C. S. Lewis, first published in book form in February 1942. The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior "tempter" named Wormwood, so as to advise him on methods of securing the damnation of a British man, known only as "the Patient". C.S. Lewis provides a series of lessons in the importance of taking a deliberate role in living out Christian faith by portraying a typical human life, with all its temptations and failings, as seen from devils' viewpoints. Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy ("Lowerarchy") of Hell, and acts as a mentor to Wormwood, the inexperienced tempter. In the body of the thirty-one letters which make up the book, Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining faith and promoting sin in the Patient, interspersed with observations on human nature and Christian doctrine. While it resonates I did not find it compelling, merely entertaining at its best moments. ( )
  jwhenderson | Sep 25, 2015 |
"Junior tempter" Wormwood receives excellent instruction in the art and science of ensnaring an unsuspecting human soul in this epistolary theological classic.

Wormwood's human "patient", a young British man living through the dark days of World War II, is a new Christian. Wormwood's Uncle Screwtape believes that despite this man's conversion, he could still be brought back into Satan's camp through the proper combination of trying circumstances and demonic manipulation. To this end, the old devil tutors his protege in the exploitation of human weaknesses, such as gluttony, lust and pride.

Some find Screwtape's letters witty, even humorous, but I found this short book heavy going at times. ( )
  akblanchard | Jun 8, 2015 |
Nothing like reading the Screwtape Letters to renew to see how fickle we are and how much we need to approach one another with a good dose of humility and forgiveness. I typically read it once a decade as a reminder. ( )
  revslick | Jun 2, 2015 |
I'm really not sure what the author was going for but this was not fun to read. It was not funny or clever or even especially original. There was a point when I though Lewis was going to use a plot twist to improve the story (when Screwtape start apologizing for his excessive language) but that patched itself up too nicely.

There was really no conflict or antagonist (or even protagonist, for that matter). All in all it was a dull book that came of more like a poor man's sermon than viable literature. Truly disappointing! ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schreuder, J.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.'
-- Luther
'The devil . . . the prowde spirite . . . cannot endure to be mocked.'
--Thomas More
To J.R.R. Tolkien
First words
My dear Wormwood, I note what you say about guiding your Patient's reading and taking care that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine this LT work with any abridged edition, or with any edition that omits Lewis' additional piece, "Screwtape Proposes a Toast." Each of these variants should be combined only with similar LT works. Thank you.

Please note that some works titled simply "The Screwtape Letters" also contain "Screwtape Proposes a Toast". If your edition is combined here and should not be then please be certain to check and, if need be, correct your ISBN before separating. The following ISBNs are of editions titled "The Screwtape Letters" but known to also contain "Screwtape Proposes a Toast":
  • 0060652896
  • 0060652934
  • 0684831171
  • 0805420401
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Book description
"Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself; the Enemy wants a world full of begins united to Him but still distinct."

Thus is the eternal war for the soul of man explained by Screwtape, a professional devil and  self-described undersecretary of the department of temptation. His brilliantly conceived letters to his nephew Wormwood - a "junior temptor" - sparkle with the suavity of satanic logic and resound with the lofty, near cynical humor which invaluable accompanies a deep-sated knowledge of the human psych.

The Screwtape Letters gradually unfolds as  series of explicit directions adn plans through which Wormwood - may subvert and twist human soul to his own diabolical ends. Fascinating in its cunning and incredibly acute awareness of the flaws and foibles of man, this small masterpiece had been by millions since C S Lewis wrote the first letter for a newspaper during World War Two.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060652934, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:51 -0400)

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In this humorous and perceptive exchange between two devils, Lewis delves into moral questions about good vs. evil, temptation, repentance, and grace.--From publisher description.

(summary from another edition)

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