A treasury of wisdom penned to young Tempter Wormword by his worldly wise old devil of an uncle, Screwtape, The Screwtape Letters is a classic treatise on a human nature that is as old as the world.
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 the Audio Cassette edition.
It can be tough, grueling reading at times, but it so perfectly illuminates the sinful side of everyone...and can be an indicator of what NOT to do!
Written as a series of letters from old devil Screwtape to his apprentice nephew, Wormwood, Lewis's novel tells the story of Wormwood's increasingly desperate efforts to ensnare the soul of a young Englishman during World War I. Through this correspondence we follow Wormwood's "patient" through conversion, to doubt, love and his ultimate fate. The novel's suspense comes from the question of whether or not the young man will actually escape becoming a midnight snack for Wormwood, and besides being a genuinely fun read the novel is packed with ingenious observations about innumerable human fallacies: from lust to "falling in love," to cowardice to fanatic patriotism, piety to self-righteousness. One of Lewis's great literary gifts was his ability to pinpoint the subtle flaws in human nature that most of us probably don't think twice about but which we may end up regretting for all eternity. His eye for the touch of evil in the most seemingly innocuous areas of life lets Lewis hit all the major spiritual pressure points with amazing--and sometimes painful--accuracy.
Deliciously funny as only a grand parody can be, yet likewise terrifying in its implications, The Screwtape Letters is a must-read for everyone who ever even thought about religion. A magical novel of wisdom, encouragement, and dire warning, The Screwtape Letters has my wholehearted recommendation.