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

by C. S. Lewis

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11,346116244 (4.1)32
Member:naelythe
Title:The Screwtape Letters: With Screwtape Proposes a Toast
Authors:C. S. Lewis
Info:HarperCollins (2001), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:nonfiction
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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

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» See also 32 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Okay...so I've probably tried to read this book at least ten times over the years and never actually finished it. I started the book again this week and even tried the audio version by John Cleese on Youtube--didn't get very far as I kept thinking about Fawlty Towers, which I happened to have watched relatively recently, and therefore couldn't take him seriously as a devil.

I'm now analysing what it is about this book that I don't like as I usually know straight away. I'm wondering if I'm not sufficiently intelligent for the mental gymnastics required to see things from a demonic perspective. That does seem to be one of the stumbling blocks as I examine and re-read each sentence carefully reminding myself that I'm now Screwtape and that he is bad which means that everything is reversed.....But is that the key issue--my non-Lewis like brain power?

I mean, I should like this book for all the obvious reasons--it's meant to raise awareness of Satan's work, prevent Christians from falling to temptation, encourage Christians that God is more powerful and that the demons know it etc etc. So what exactly is my problem?

I guess I don't like the idea of a Christian author putting himself into character as the devil--apparently Lewis himself felt uncomfortable, maybe with good reason. I think the humourous, satirical approach undermines the deadly serious subject matter--the battle between good and evil is eternal life and death for all people whether they acknowledge it or not. Maybe Screwtape (despite the author being at pains to avoid this,) will still remind people of caricatures of the horned devil in a red-suit with a pitchfork as he rubs his hands together gleefully whilst composing his letters to Wormwood. Is that a helpful image considering the subject matter?

John Cleese recently stated that he didn't think much of organized religion and told he was not committed to "anything except the vague feeling that there is something more going on than the materialist reductionist people think." The fact that Cleese, a secular comedian and atheist (or at least agnostic) was able to read The Screwtape Letters aloud and find it amusing without apparently being convicted by its content probably speaks volumes more than I could write.

Oh, maybe I do know why I don't like this book after all. I think I will just accept that now and stop attempting to read it.





( )
  sparkleandchico | Jun 2, 2017 |
I find this book thoroughly entertaining. And of course insightful about how nefarious influences may lead us astray. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
C.S. Lewis’s classic can be found on many must read lists. It is the story of a demon apprentice named Wormwood who seeks the advice of an experienced devil, Uncle Screwtape, as he attempts to secure the fall of a new Christian.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Mar 22, 2017 |
Always a good read with insight into temptation and the human condition. ( )
  debs4jc | Feb 24, 2017 |
I will be honest, this was not the easiest read. While the book itself is quite small, the old English language and the style is written in, made me reread some paragraphs more than once. That said, this book is full of gems. It makes you think of yourself in a way you might have never thought. It makes you question all of your choice, 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 all of our human flaws, and he is not shy about it. But he also gives you the reason of those flaws and how to overcome them.
In the end, this book was nothing I thought it would be. 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 truth over and over again. ( )
  bookandsword | Jan 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963), hoogleraar literatuurgeschiedenis, schrijver van kinderboeken (de Narnia-verhalen) en apologeet van het christelijk geloof, heeft grote naam gemaakt met zijn 'Brieven uit de hel', waarin oom Schroeflik tegenover zijn neef de waarheden van het christelijk geloof omdraait en ze beschrijft als belemmeringen voor inlijving in het rijk van de duivel. Op paradoxale wijze en in een stijl die nog niets van zijn levendigheid heeft verloren, wordt hier een klassiek geworden apologie van het christelijk geloof gegeven. Toegevoegd is 'Schroeflik heft het glas'. Het nawoord en de aantekeningen zijn van de vertaler. De laatste vertaling dateerde uit 1947; deze vertaling is uit 2002 en sluit dus beter aan bij het hedendaagse taalgebruik. Paperback; normale druk.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schreuder, J.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
Last words
(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.
Haiku summary
Dearest Diablo,
Hope this letter finds you well.
Your servant, Screwtape.
(LeBoeuf)

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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