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The Screwtape Letters: Anniversery Edition [read by John Cleese] Audio Cassette

4.8 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574532618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574532616
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,008,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


'The book is sparkling yet truly reverent, in fact a perfect joy, and should become a classic.' Guardian 'Excellent, hard-hitting, challenging, provoking.' Observer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

The Deluxe Illustrated Edition of a Timeless Classic

First published in 1942, The Screwtape Letters has sold millions of copies world-wide and is recognized as a milestone in the history of popular theology. A masterpiece of satire, it entertains readers with 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, The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written. With beautiful color illustrations by the artist Papas throughout, this new edition also includes C. S. Lewis's own drawing of Screwtape, as well as a retrospective essay written twenty years after the original publication.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The only C.S. Lewis I had ever read up to this point was the Narnia series, when I was a kid. Those were great books that probably deserve a rereading at some point, even though I'm much older now. The Screwtape Letters find Lewis waxing on his favorite topic: Christianity. The book is a series of letters from Screwtape, a high-ranking administrator in Hell, to his nephew Wormwood, who is a tempter of man. The whole book is a wicked satire that Lewis pulls off well. Not only is this book fun to read, it has a serious message, too.
I found myself laughing quite a bit with this book, although the laughter tends to be the nervous sort of chuckling that comes from discomfort. Too many times I found myself described within these pages. Especially when Screwtape discusses the types of laughter found among man and how these can be turned to good use in gaining souls for Hell. The most useful type of laughter for Satan is flippancy, when man laughs because he can always see a ridiculous side to everything. It is most useful because men who do this will never take anything as seriously as they should, especially the "Enemy" (the term Screwtape uses to describe God). Another interesting chapter deals with Jesus and the tendency of moderns to try to define and describe Jesus in terms that should be alien to him. Screwtape delights in efforts to make Jesus a Communist, a social theoretician or a magician/philosopher. All of these efforts divert man from whom and what Jesus really was. Screwtape also cackles over intellectuals, who are corrupted by the historical point of view. Intellectuals don't look for truth in what they read; they analyze writing styles, context, and historicity. By not looking for the truth, they are confused and turned away from God.
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Format: Paperback
I often say that almost all of my theology comes from reading "The Narnia Suite," which I read for the first time at the age of eight, and more than a dozen times thereafter. I was particularly taken with The Last Battle, in which some people are very surprised indeed to learn that those they thought wouldn't be admitted into Aslan's Land because they fought on "The Wrong Side" of the aforementioned last battle, were in fact instantly admitted because it was their intention and their heart which was judged.

When I was a little older, someone gave me a copy of "The Screwtape Letters," and I have read it probably a dozen or more times over the years as well. Brilliant, allegorical, hilarious in parts, and filled with gentle wisdom, it is a theological masterpiece. I recall the first time I the letter in which one devil brags that he will soon win his first soul for the devil because although the man continues to pray, he doesn't believe what he says any longer. The older, wiser devil releases a stream of invective and explains the younger devil is an idiot, because doesn't the know that "those are the prayers that God loves best!?" How relieved I felt, as a young person, that there was a possibility God might still embrace me, even with all my doubts. Just one of the many gifts Lewis's work offers to those of us searching for a deeper relationship with God.
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Format: Paperback
C.S. Lewis is an awesome writer, both with fiction and non-fiction. In the Screwtape Letters, as you already know, Screwtape is writing letters of advice to Wormwood, about how to tempt and otherwise pervert the ways of his "patient".
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!
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because it was recommended to me as very funny and, having been a huge fan of The Chronicles of Narnia as a child, I wanted to read an example of C.S. Lewis's overt literary argument for Christianity. I thought I might find a Christian counterpoint to Twain's Letters from the Earth. I'm afraid I was somewhat disappointed.
The Screwtape Letters is an epistolary novel with the central conceit being that C.S. Lewis has recovered letters of advice that a Demon from the depths -- Screwtape -- had written to one of his foot soldiers -- Wormwood -- whose job it was to stick by a mortal and suggest certain lines of thought to him and exaggerate certain emotions in key moments, leading him astray. We are only privy to Screwtape's letters, and it is through his criticism of his apprentice's efforts, and his advice, that the reader is to divine the mortal's story, the efforts of Wormwood, and the nature and methods of Evil and Good.
But Screwtape is Evil, and thus his advice may not necessarily be intended to help his charge, and I think we are to take The Screwtape Letters as an investigation into the psychology of Evil as it reveals itself in the mischievous advice. The difficulty in knowing which advice is straightforward is illustrative of Lewis's epistemology, "A great human philosopher nearly let our secret out when he said that where Virtue is concerned 'Experience is the mother of illusion' ...." -- which is also a dig at the modernist concept of the untrustworthy author. In the final analysis there's not much you can do with liars outside of laugh at them. Hence, "A more modern writer -- someone with a name like Pshaw -- has, however, grasped the truth.
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