The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation, and triumph over it, ever written.
(P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Lewis' satire is a Christian classic....[his] take on human nature is as on-target as it was when the letters were first published in 1941." (Library Journal)
This book is a novel "insight" into the thoughts and workings of a dutiful Devil's minion. It goes pretty quickly from clever to droll as you realize every chapter is exactly the same. Each is basically a Christian Sunday school lesson preached by Lewis to his readers, presented in the guise of demon Uncle Screwtape teaching his demon nephew apprentice how to corrupt and convert souls.
I enjoyed the insight into the pitfalls and triumphs of the individual human as we wrestle with pride, lust, joy, selfishness, selflessness and all number of soul-twisting emotions. But that enjoyment was progressively lessened every time I was reminded that this insight was offered as a means to elevate Christianity, not Humanity.
I have not heard any of Ralph Cosham's other works but his voice is crisp, clear, and soothing. The material in Screwtape doesn't afford an opportunity to demonstrate any kind of emotional range or tempo, so I can't speak to his talent in those areas.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
I read this 17 years ago. I didn't care for it then, and did like it better now. The satire is fun, as Screwtape tries to coach his nephew Wormwood through trying to take a young man's soul for the devil. The letters go between encouraging to exasperated. What was good about this recording was the follow-up piece C.S. Lewis wrote that was Screwtape giving a toast to a group of graduating demons. The descriptions of consuming different types of sinners was good, and actually more cautionary for me.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
Like most people, I suspect, I was introduced to CS Lewis through Narnia, was instructed about his friendship with Tolkien and I had assumed until reading these satirical letters that this was the sum of the man. I was very wrong. These letters demonstrate a very adult, theological view of the world that is barely hinted of in Narnia. Certainly, the sarcasm drips off the page in parts. It is also plain that re came to (returned in fact) to orthodox Christianity as an adult because the verve is of what might be thought to have been a true believer.
Although this provided insight, I am not sure I enjoyed the Letters. I think that's the impression that Lewis meant to convey.
Some of the work is very witty and the language is very clever, but it leaves a bitter aftertaste in the middle of your tongue like a bad Shiraz. Of course, I admire the writing and I was amazed to detect in it so much of the reverse wit we see employed in some comics (I'm thinking of Don Rickles, but I'm sure you will know one or more who thrive on misadventure - Woody Allen's another). I also detected in it a cadence in language that seems to remind me of my father's generation (he's in his 70's now).
As for the performance, I think Ralph Cosham is an inspired choice. He has that Oxfordian drollness mixed with urbane serenity that so appropriately captures Screwtape's missive applause and castigation of his his erstwhile nephew, Wormwood. It is well worth the listen, but it won't be to everybody's taste.
A storyteller, reader, and writer (in that chronological order) since childhood, Audible helps me to bring all 3 together.
For many years, I had avoided reading this famous book by C..S. Lewis, in spite of my admiration for his Perelandra trilogy, and other writings. I was turned off by his too-orthodox Christianity. I consider myself a Christian, but a very heretical one. For me, Lewis takes the Bible a bit too literally.
Nevertheless, and in spite of my disagreement with certain passages (for example, where he implicitly attacks Hegel and Rousseau), this book totally captivated me. My disagreements seemed unimportant in the spell of such brilliant wit and deep insight. And I had to admit that many of Lewis's moral judgments and insights (i.e., the reverse of what the demon Screwtape likes or dislikes) were quite compelling and original. And the many moments of irony had me laughing at times.
The reader is excellent, and this book is a classic for anyone who is deeply interested in profound moral and social questions, whether or not they believe (as Lewis seems to) in the existence of Satan.
Incredible book. Highly recommended. What Lewis does in this book is unravel and expose the human being.... He shows how people think, and reveals the types of sins present in our hearts, even the sins that we are blind to. I've been a Christian for about 10 years, and I'd consider this book to be one of the few MUST READS for every believer.
This is C.S. Lewis's classic tale of the travails of an apprentice tempter as he tries to lead his charge to Perdition.
Truly original story, I listened and was in awe. If you don't know of the story, it is well worth the credit. In my top ten. A true classic.
C.S. Lewis must have been exceptionly strong to view devils as giving praise for evil doing without it taking a tool on himself. He protrays the cunning devices of the advarsary with skill. A definate re-listen.
A very solid reading of a wonderful book. I would recommend it to anyone who's a fan of C.S. Lewis and has an idea of the things he wrote other than the Chronicles of Narnia. I'm not saying anything against the Chronicles of Narnia--I love them. But for those expecting a fantasy novel, you'll not find it here.
Such an amazing description of how we can be fooled by the enemy, most often in subtle ways, sometimes in blatant ways. All believers should give this a hard listen and use it to strengthen our discernment.
"A true modern classic"
Believe it or not, it's hard to review a book that is this good. How do you find the right words to express how compulsive the listening expirience becomes by the end? How do you convey just how much it has effected and changed you as a person? Expressions like 'entertaining', 'thought provoking' and 'razor sharp satire' just don't do it justice. All I can really say is this: buy it now!
"in the Devil's mind."
I throughly enjoyed this book. The satire is clever, consistent and funny from the first page to the last. It depicts, in a likely manner, if such thing is possible, the thinking of a devil. C.S.Lewis is a Christian but the book can be enjoyed by anyone.
"Classic and insightful"
Highly recommend. A book that will transform how you think. Lewis' captures a world we don't know in a way that makes it real and causes you to reflect on cynical opinions.
"How not to be Screwtaped!"
I've listened to this before, about 5/6 years ago. At that time I was just discovering C S Lewis and found this very amusing. I re listened to it today and, because my personal circumstances have changed since I first heard it, I now heard it as a cautionary tale, as clues to some of my thinking or behaviour! It truly opened my eyes to the possible adverse influences in my life!
So, if this is your first venture into C S Lewis, or the first time buying this in audiobook - this is a great listen. Either as a lighthearted piece, or as a 'How not to be Screwtaped' both are invaluable - Enjoy.
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