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The Screwtape Letters | [C. S. Lewis]

The Screwtape Letters

A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life 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. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging and humorous account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.
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Publisher's Summary

A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life 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. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging and humorous account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.

©1942 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

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Performance
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  •  
    James JACKSONVILLE, AL, United States 08-22-12
    James JACKSONVILLE, AL, United States 08-22-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is the Best Audio Screwtape, a Masterpiece"
    Any additional comments?

    I've got the wonderful (no longer available) John Cleese recording of The Screwtape Letters, as well as the Ralph Cosham version, also very good. But this performance is the best; it's beyond expectation and it might now be my favorite audio book. Ackland's voice is calmer and less cheeky than Cleese, but with much more gravitas.

    Now, the case could be made that Cleese's less dignifiied Screwtape gives us a better laugh at the devil and thereby gives us a truer picture of the Underworld's ultimate loss of dignity. But for listening pleasure, which is an aid to absorption, this heavier reading is perfect. Very highly recommended.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jhwayne@bigfoot.com Jacksonville, NC 09-04-12
    jhwayne@bigfoot.com Jacksonville, NC 09-04-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Wonderfully imagined and well read"
    What made the experience of listening to The Screwtape Letters the most enjoyable?

    The subtle amusement of Lewis's exposition


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Screwtape Letters?

    The very beginning of the last letter.


    Have you listened to any of Joss Ackland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have seen him perform, but never heard him read before. He has a wonderful voice to express the chief character. He plays villains extremely well.


    If you could rename The Screwtape Letters, what would you call it?

    How to Tempt Into Evil.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an old book from the 1940's and some of it is clearly dated, but both enjoyable and instructive nonetheless.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Burns, TN, United States 10-08-12
    Melissa Burns, TN, United States 10-08-12
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    "Excellent"
    If you could sum up The Screwtape Letters in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful, Interesting, thought provoking


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Screwtape Letters?

    When Screwtapes plans were thwarted


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When scewtape was chastising Wormwood for letting his subject fall into the hands of a Godly woman whose house so wreaked of Gods presence that even the cat and dog were perfumed.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Screwtape Letters and why?

    Screwtape, his persistence in acheiving his goal


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Goose Kansas 09-30-13
    Goose Kansas 09-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Deep! Very intriuguing!!! Wonderful Listen!"
    What did you love best about The Screwtape Letters?

    It really made me think about my life and reflect... I love the dark perspective that it has because it makes you think of things in a completely different way...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well, Screwtape...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It changed my whole way of thinking about sin...


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 09-11-13
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 09-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A Classic Improved With Great Narration"

    This has always been one of my favorite books, and possibly, my favorite C.S. Lewis book. It is both amusing and deep.

    This is a fictional collection of letters from a senior demon to a junior demon about how to tempt humans. It is a study in human psychology and sin the likes of which I don't believe I have ever encountered.

    Somehow, C.S. Lewis created a book about sin and temptation without ever being judgmental or condescending about the topic. It is actually one of the funniest books I have ever heard on any topic. It could easily be converted into a stand-up comedy routine.

    The narration was perfect. Joss Ackland has become one of my new, favorite narrators.

    I would recommend this for anyone who wants a good laugh or a good understanding of how the spiritual realm interacts with the human psyche.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe HOOVER, AL, United States 03-04-14
    Joe HOOVER, AL, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Memoirs of a Devil"
    If you could sum up The Screwtape Letters in three words, what would they be?

    Real - As a Christian, my beliefs incorporate the subjects of CS Lewis's masterpiece and while I honestly haven't given "that side" much thought, I couldn't help but be impressed by the feeling of realness it gave me. When I first began reading I felt it a bit silly, but as I continued some of the letters really resonated with my life and the gravity of its implications grew very heavy.

    Frightening - This was my first word as I was indeed frightened by the whole thought of it.

    Surprising - I came into this book almost completely ignorant to the subject matter. My only clue was that it was CS Lewis and that it likely had some religious undertones.....and that turned out to be an underestimation.


    What other book might you compare The Screwtape Letters to and why?

    At first I wanted to say no book is comparable but then I thought of Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Both books describe the journey in life when walking in the faith of Christ.


    Which character – as performed by Joss Ackland – was your favorite?

    He played one actor, Screwtape, and he was masterful.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Screwtape Letters and why?

    Again, there was only Screwtape, a bureaucrat in Hell's Collection Department, and I simply would rather not think too long at his character. Evil has a new name, and its name is Screwtape.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must read for any Christian. An open mind is necessary but that is also essential to be Christian.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon United States 12-10-13
    Sharon United States 12-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Classic"

    I've had this one on my list for some time. I finally listened and was not disappointed. I'm not sure I could ever read the book after listening. Ackland did an excellent job narrating. His voice has a very dark, creepy quality to it. I could clearly picture both the writer and reader of the letters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tomboysuze Washington, DC 08-22-14
    Tomboysuze Washington, DC 08-22-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Masterful! A Classic done right!"

    This is a brilliant work written by a brilliant, perceptive author, C.S.Lewis. The work itself is a stand-alone masterpiece. However, the added bonus of Joss Ackland's flawless performance, as "Your Affectionate Uncle Screwtape" -- allows the words to leap from the page and pierce the soul. Rarely does the tambour, tone and texture of a voice fit so perfectly with the words on the page.

    The story is a first person reading of 31 letters from a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, also a demon, but inexperienced in the finer points of guiding a human toward hell.

    It is a Christian apologetic brimming with all the attributes of the brilliance of C.S. Lewis, a master storyteller/writer whose gifts border on the realm of the mystic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck B Hudson Valley, NY 06-04-14
    Chuck B Hudson Valley, NY 06-04-14 Member Since 2013

    Chuck

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    "Great Book!"
    What did you love best about The Screwtape Letters?

    Joss Ackland did a fantastic job narrating this book. He had the perfect voice for Screwtape.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Doty Chicago USA 05-20-14
    Lee Doty Chicago USA 05-20-14 Member Since 2011

    Author of Out of the Black

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    "I was not prepared for the awesomeness"
    Where does The Screwtape Letters rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best book I've read... ever. I've listened to it twice in the last four days.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Clever, insightful, funny... relevant today to an extent I wouldn't have thought possible for a book of this age.


    What about Joss Ackland’s performance did you like?

    His reading is flawless... he was screwtape. Again... never heard a better match of narration talent to a perfect role.

    He breathes the appropriate loathsome humor into the performance. There were a few times where he laughed or chortled at exactly the right time in exactly the right way and I laughed out loud.

    Perfect!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Half a century ago, through some unspecified espionage, C.S. Lewis discovered and published the playbook of the Devil. You will be amazed how much of this playbook is still in effect, and how successful it has been.

    You are warned... you are doomed.


    Any additional comments?

    Wow!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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