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The Screwtape Letters (1942)

by C. S. Lewis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,083691,073 (4.09)323
On its first appearance, The Screwtape Letters was immediately recognized as a milestone in the history of popular theology and has since sold more than a quarter of a million editions. Now 60 years old, it is stunningly repackaged to launch the Signature Classics range. A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world overwith its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to '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 nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. Dedicated to Lewis's friend and colleague J.R.R. Tolkien, The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.… (more)
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» See also 323 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Easier to read than some of his other stories but overly simplistic in theme so not that rewarding.

Also left wondering, to what afterlife do failed devils go? ( )
  eatonphil | May 8, 2022 |
I did not finish this book, although it was very good, but I can't figure out how to take it off my currently reading list without marking it read. Marking it not-reading doesn't do it!
  Wren73 | Mar 4, 2022 |
If I was a Christian, I think the Screwtape Letters would have meant more to me.

As it is, I read it as a lesson in "calling yourself a Christian does not mean you are a good person," or "calling yourself a Christian doesn't actually make you a Christian." Which, sure. Perhaps this was groundbreaking in the 1940's?

Lewis couldn't convince me of his other theory - that evil exists and motivates others. I believe that evil exists within people, and can very easily be expressed in small ways, even laziness, but Lewis couldn't convince me that there's an external Satan or evil force tempting everybody down that path. Which is why this falls apart for me. I can get behind the individual proofs of good and evil, I just don't buy the forces behind it.

It was a good reminder of the ways that I am not as good as I could be and how laziness and apathy can hurt others, so there's merit to the Screwtape Letters if you think of morality at all - it just wasn't groundbreaking for me. I probably should have read this as a teenager. ( )
  Tikimoof | Feb 17, 2022 |
Case 13 shelf 4
  semoffat | Sep 4, 2021 |
An interesting approach to a set of essays abut the difficulties of the Anglican life. Reminiscent of "A Guide to the Perplexed." I obviously had access to a reprint prior to1965. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Mar 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
"The devil," said Thomas More, "cannot endure to be mocked," and which, if correct, means that somewhere in the inferno there must be considerable annoyance.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, P. W. Wilson (pay site) (Mar 28, 1943)
 

» Add other authors (48 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ackland, JossNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cleese, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Papas, BillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuulio, TyyniTranslatorsecondary 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
All horrors have followed the same course, getting worse and worse and forcing you into a kind of bottleneck till, at the very moment when you thought you must be crushed, behold!  you were out of the narrows and all was suddenly well.  The extraction hurt more and more and then the tooth was out.  The dream became a nightmare and then you woke.  You die and die and then you are beyond death.
Do not be deceived, Wormwood.  Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.
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 includes Lewis' additional piece, "Screwtape Proposes a Toast." Each of these variants should be combined only with similar LT works. Thank you.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

On its first appearance, The Screwtape Letters was immediately recognized as a milestone in the history of popular theology and has since sold more than a quarter of a million editions. Now 60 years old, it is stunningly repackaged to launch the Signature Classics range. A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world overwith its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to '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 nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. Dedicated to Lewis's friend and colleague J.R.R. Tolkien, The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.

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