The Screwtape Letters Paperback – Apr 21 2015
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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 --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
From Library Journal
Lewis's satire is a Christian classic. Screwtape is a veteran demon in the service of "Our Father Below" whose letters to his nephew and prot?g?, Wormwood, instruct the demon-in-training in the fine points of leading a new Christian astray. Lewis's take on human nature is as on-target as it was when the letters were first published in 1941. John Cleese's narration is perfect as he takes Screwtape from emotional height to valley, from tight control to near apoplexy. This will be a popular in most libraries.ANann Blaine Hilyard, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
This book is highly philosophical, so don't pick it up when you're looking for some escape fiction. While some complain that the book lacks "excitment," I hold that you cannot blame a philosophical book for being just that: philosophical. All the excitement needed is in the intellectual stimulation and in the wealth of knowledge provided by this book. The seriousness of this subject is artfully highlighted with Lewis's characteristic wit and humor. This is a refreshing touch to the deep and somewhat disturbing questions Lewis dares to answer. If nothing else, The Screwtape Letters will force you to truthfully examine yourself. I highly reccomend this book anyone seeking Christian literature or philosophy. It is well worth the time you take to read it.
Most recent customer reviews
Lewis like no other shows how pride is at the root of many a great fall!Published 2 months ago by Christopher Lennon
This is the best account of how entities work in the background of all of our lives that I have ever read. Read it and believe that they are there.Published 10 months ago by White Rabbit
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