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The Screwtape Letters & Screwtape Proposes a Toast

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  3,301 Ratings  ·  378 Reviews
With a new preface by the author.
Mass Market Paperback, 172 pages
Published 1968 by Macmillan
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Stephanie
Apr 04, 2007 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Searchers who can take it
Let me preface by saying I do not follow any one religious path. I'm a searcher, and I'm not sure if I'll ever settle on one faith. That said, The Screwtape Letters, an intense rumination on good and evil, as told through the letters of one demon to another, is a work I feel everyone should read, if to do nothing but understand the true nature of evil. I'll admit, I picked up the book because I thought a tale told by a demon would be kind of cool... sexy in a dark fun kind of way. The experience ...more
Anca
Jan 12, 2009 Anca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: believers
This is one of the books you take notes while reading. C.S.Lewis is, as I so many times before said, the smartest Christian writer I ever came across to and underlining passages is worthless. You just have to re-read it all, if anything.

This book is writen for already convinced Christians (if not, it may open eyes upon some confusing aspects of Christian religion-did it for me, anyway) and it lingers upon matters of a Christian life and temptations that come with it. However, they're not looked
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Beth
Jan 31, 2008 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve had good intentions of getting around to reading this C.S. Lewis classic for a long, long while now; it’s been sitting on my shelf for years. Since I've been without a library card for a couple weeks, I finally picked it up and began to read in earnest.

As I started reading, I couldn’t figure out why I’d found the book so cumbersome before. The chapters were contained to small, manageable installments; the book itself is a short volume, a little over a hundred pages (plus with the article “S
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Laura
Sep 18, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! This will be a reread for sure. Very unique point of view. I read this in preparation to seeing it on stage which should be interesting.
Note to self: I think it's time for that reread. This and capote's holiday collection possible rereads for December 2016.
Chantal
I started reading this book on my way back from Christmas vacation. I was reading it on the plane which was filled with people leaving after the New Hampshire primaries. The lady next to me was a high-up leader in the Democratic party. I think when she saw that I was reading this book she didn't even ask if I was a Democrat.

I finished reading it after the semester was done while waiting for my car to get fixed. I was a few pages away from done when I got into a conversation with an amazing Afri
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Natalie Print
Apr 17, 2017 Natalie Print rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An astute, relevant and humorous piece of fiction, which helps us to consider the spiritual dimension of our lives. Whilst it was first published in the 1940s, the observations about human nature have a timeless quality and therefore still feel very contemporary. Well worth reading.
Luke Miller
Feb 24, 2017 Luke Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of letters written to a "junior tempter" named Wormwood from his Uncle Screwtape. As you read, you'll learn something about the bizarre relationship between uncle and nephew and the mostly fictional description of the demon (or tempter) world. But beside these purely entertaining bits, you'll also learn from Lewis' unique take on spiritual warfare.

If you've read other non-fiction books from Lewis, you will find common themes in this one. But these themes are transposed
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Jen
3.5 stars - good

I struggled with this book. Two Goodreads reviews I read before and after reading it both said - in different ways - that you need to read this book if you identify as Christian. Well, I identify as Christian, though I'm not religious, but this book flew mostly over my head. And it was depressing, but more on that later...

Thanks to this review, I learned that I did understand it enough to take away at least two important messages: 1. Thinking for yourself and doing things in y
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James
It's one of the most famous images in the collective consciousness: a person trying to make a difficult choice being advised by an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The Screwtape Letters proceeds from the idea that this fight for a person's soul is occurring at every moment, every day. This short novel takes the form of letters written from Uncle Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, advising him on how best to drag his "patient's" soul to hell.

This book is nothing more or less than Ch
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Michelle
Jan 23, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though this was a tough one to wade through due to the use of British terminology from Lewis' time period, not to mention Lewis' expansive vocabulary, I am really glad that I read this book. It would be hard to read it and not be inspired to be a better person. It was written from the perspective of Screwtape, one of Satan's head minions, to Wormwood, one of Satan's lower-ranked minions. The premise is that Screwtape is training Wormwood how to best tempt his assigned human. Here are some of my ...more
Kristie
May 18, 2011 Kristie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Brilliant.
It's amazing how the book is written as letters from Satan's POV, and all the while you could feel God's presence written in every line. It teaches without making a lecture.
There are some part i didn't understand (due to it's language, and as i don't bother to check words on dictionary), and there are some parts that i have to read more than once until i grasp what mr. Lewis is trying to say.
but, anyway, it's the kind of book that would make you close it every 15 minutes just to call y
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John
Apr 09, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this witty and profound classic for the umpteenth time. This edition includes "Screwtape Proposes a Toast," a deeply satiric short piece (but long toast) written much later. Its centerpiece appears to be an attack on the English system of education. I was surprised to read, in a note at the beginning, that his real target was the American system of education. If I could be so bold as to summarize what I think is the main message, it would be this: Modern Western education ...more
Joel Pinckney
Feb 14, 2014 Joel Pinckney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first read through this Lewis classic. A very helpful and insightful book; several times in reading I was convicted of lies of the Devil that I believe and submit to. Thankful for the impact this book has had and the deep truths therein. One of my favorite quotes and one of the most encouraging pieces of the book come from letter 8:

"He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away his hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not
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Brie
Joss Ackland narrated this audiobook and...wow. PERFECTION. I have always loved this book and I re-read it every couple years. It never gets old, and I notice something new every time I re-read. Perhaps this is because each time I re-read this glorious work of spiritual fiction, my own spirit is searching for something different every time. I look forward to continuing my journey with The Screwtape Letters over the years.
Josiphine/Tessa
This book scared me.

I knew of course about Satan and demons and all, but in an intellectual sort of way. I knew they were real, and I knew they were bad and I never really thought about it.

But this book changed my perception completely. The demons are personal and they are out to get you. The Christian's war against them is not a passive one.


Also, I saw a theater production with Brent Harris and he signed my ticket. It was pretty neat.
Shannon McDermott
A series of letters from one demon to another - clever, insightful, and at times satirically humorous. One of C.S. Lewis' brightest works, though not the deepest or most beautiful.
Jason
Oct 08, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Jason by: Heathclifford
Shelves: self-help, 2016
I got a lot out of this. Lewis focuses on the subtleties of bad thoughts, though he attributes them to demons. I don't want to get into that argument, though many would say that factor is crucial to my spiritual well-being; in fact it may be the linchpin. Fine, whatever. Call it what you will. I'm going with bad thoughts. I think I'm capable of coming up with good and bad thoughts on my own without an angel or demon pulling the levers.

Now, what to do with these bad thoughts that prevent me from
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William Schram
Apr 05, 2017 William Schram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Dawson
My church is currently going through a sermon series called "If There Were an Enemy" based on this book, and I figured it was a good time for a re-read. (I so very rarely re-read books!) This one will really get you thinking, as it's written from a senior demon to a younger one, and is all about how to trip up Christians and "win" them to the dark side, essentially. Really makes you think more seriously about how Satan is at work in our lives, and really helps you to better be on guard.
Sath
A series of letters from Screwtape, a demon, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior demon. The letters give advice to Wormwood on how to persuade or tempt his human subject away from G-d and towards their side.

Its an interesting fantasy piece, but mostly its a sort of satirical study of human nature, especially as regards to religion, vices and virtues.

I found it hard to simply read the book as it is. Found myself constantly trying to reverse every piece of advice that Screwtape gives in order to see
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Baldbullsbarber
As fiction TSL is entertaining. As a religious text it is quite, unsurprisingly, archaic and deadened in its messages. With any piece of religious apologia (Christian or otherwise) the author's most backward views will always be the most prominent. Views on homosexuality and desire for example are depicted as an evil drug that is coaxed into "the patient" by the hands of Screwtape's devil-nephew: "That is the kind of betrayal you should specially encourage, because the man does not fully realize ...more
Lolene
Mar 07, 2012 Lolene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If it was possible to award more than five stars, then I would certainly do it for this book. I have heard allusions to The Screwtape Letters all of my life, but little knew what treasure I was missing out on. Holy cow. To say I loved it is to sound lukewarm. I must admit I had a hard time getting into it for the first few pages...alas, I actually had to focus my brain and concentrate. But oh, what riches!

I could lift quote after quote (just like I do with scriptures!) to post on my bathroom mi
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Becca Kennedy
Feb 15, 2017 Becca Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had been picking this book up and putting it down again since high school. It was so good and convicting. It's funny and easy to read, but you also see so many of your own thought patterns in the things the demons say. I loved it and marked it all up, a sure sign of affection. The kind of book I will have to come back to again.
JJVid
May 06, 2013 JJVid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
For so short a book it seems fitting to say less.

What it is: A collection of letters from a senior in the bureaucratically ran administration of Hell to his nephew, "My Dear Wormwood", discussing strategies for securing souls for Satan/Lucifer/"Our Lord".

Why it's interesting: C. S. Lewis inverts morality and forces the perspective of a devil's advocate. Right = Wrong, God = "The Enemy", Satan = "Our Lord". It's a curious inversion that I've never seen before.

Why not 5 stars?: much, much too sho
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Jeremy
May 16, 2008 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: new Christians especially, but any Christian
Recommended to Jeremy by: Chris Page
Shelves: christian
Although the language in this book can sometimes be difficult to understand (it's somewhat dated, and, well, British), its principles are timeless. This book is especially good for a new Christian.

The book is written from the point of view of a senior demon giving advice to a junior demon about how to win the souls of humans for Satan. The tactics are especially chilling when one realizes that they can be seen in his or her own life. Nevertheless, the perspective from which the book is written
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Jamie
Interesting read, but a little scary too. Lewis's forward to his book kinda sets it up nicely: it's a little uncomfortable that a book about demons is so popular.

Since it is done in an epistolary format, it is quite easy to read 1-3 chapters and then put it away for several weeks (or even years) without too much "what-was-I-reading?" to catch-up on. What was particularly scary this time through was that several of the chapters dealt with issues I've personally been dealing with: relations with p
...more
Rebecca
Jun 08, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
C.S. Lewis was a spiritually brilliant man. He does a wonderful job of putting a new perspective on the process of temptation. Lewis wrote a preface to the book in the version I read where he talks about writing this work. He writes, "The strain produced a sort of spiritual cramp. It almost smothered me before I was done. It would have smothered my readers if I had prolonged it." I strongly agree with this statement. While it was quite interesting to read and ponder everything that Lewis so eloq ...more
Stef
It's almost chilling how well C.S. Lewis manages to capture the human condition in words (even if they are those of a lying demon). The Screwtape Letters is a satire, and a very amusing one, but it's also truthful - breathtakingly hard hitting, and boy, does it throw a punch! If this book doesn't make you take another look at yourself and your motives, then you're reading it wrong.

I listened to the first half on audiobook read by John Cleese, and I can definitely recommend that edition (Cleese d
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Markham Anderson
The Letters were insightful and delightful. Screwtape Proposes a Toast, however, was worth three king's ransoms. Brilliant and cutting.

(Let us recall that although Lewis makes Screwtape say he that he describes English education, the material was actually targeted at American education. As an American having passed through the American education system, may I say, that things have not changed for the better. I guess the politicians on this side of the water didn't get the message.)
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature
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