Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Screwtape Letters” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
The Screwtape Letters
C.S. Lewis
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Excerpt* *Different edition

The Screwtape Letters

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  186,767 ratings  ·  7,078 reviews
A series of congenial letters from Screwtape, an elderly devil, to his apprentice and nephew, Wormwood, The Screwtape Letters is a humorous and inventive work that sparkles with wit and satire. It has remained an enduring revelation of human weaknesses and foibles.
Paperback, 1 page
Published February 2nd 1988 by Signet (first published 1942)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Screwtape Letters, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Leandro Guimarães Faria Corcete DUTRA
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Michelle In my personal opinion, he chose that style because he was originally posting the letters in 'The Guardian' and that style was easiest to manage week…moreIn my personal opinion, he chose that style because he was originally posting the letters in 'The Guardian' and that style was easiest to manage week to week. You wouldn't have had to read the previous weeks to understand what that weeks said.

As for the second question, Lewis himself was disturbed with what he had written, which is why it was so very important that it was written. The two most important things in any war are knowing the terrain that is being fought upon and the enemy one is fighting. What better way to learn one's enemy than to imagine the world in their eyes? By writing from evil's perspective Lewis opens our eyes to the tactics often used by the enemy (the Devil and his demons) to entrap us. The book, and the writing of it, greatly disturbed him for how easily it came. He had very little trouble imagining the demons and their particular schemes to trip their respective humans up. It opened his own eyes to the Evil surrounding him and how easily the devil could trick and trip a mind with the most simple of thoughts. Writing from that style also allowed us as a reader not to feel as though we were sitting in a lecture about what we shouldn't do and instead let us, if we so chose, to compare our own lives with the unfortunate characters in the book.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Joanie Rich
Oct 10, 2007 Joanie Rich rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's not afraid of the truth
It's great to read fiction that gives you a punch in a gut! It's not often a book will hold up a mirror to you and show you some things you'd rather not see. The Screwtape Letters was that book for me.

Every Christian needs to get a hold of this book and read it through! It's helped me gain a deep understanding of how the forces of darkness try to undermine joy and truth. I'd especially recommend it to readers new to C.S. Lewis, as this is a good sample of his writing and a good place to start fr
Jan 22, 2008 MelissaS rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I love this book - it really makes you think. For those who have not read it, the book is written as a compilation of letters from a "tempter," Screwtape, to his nephew, a "junior tempter" named Wormwoood. In the letters, Screwtape gives Wormwood adivce and counsel on how to best tempt his "subject" - a young man who converts to Christianity, and then falls in love with a Christian woman. Through the letters, you are constantly reminded and made to think about how the adversary tempts us. What i ...more
J.G. Keely
If not for the fact that this is a satire in earnest, it would serve as a powerful absurdist invective against humanity itself. If this book improved my view of Christians it was only because it points out that all the faults conspicuous in the rabidly faithful are equally well-represented in the uninformed agnostic, if less readily apparent--Lewis does his best to drag everyone down to a common level.

The sharp weapon of Lewis's rhetoric tears down humanity through all its self-righteous hubris,
This is my first book of C.S. Lewis outside the Chronicles of Narnia Series. I want to balance my reading list with good, wholesome and inspiring Christian books so I decided to try the works of Lewis and look for an e-book. Fortunately, I was able to find one online so I started with Screwtape Letters.

The Screwtape Letters is a series of letters written by Screwtape, a senior demon, to his nephew and a neophyte tempter, Wormood, about the different ways to tempt a newly converted Christian they
Where do I begin unloading this colossal bag of thoughts that are raging in my mind since yesterday? Well, my friend, you seem to be the victim today. So be it. Don’t term me evil; it is just the scent of one, I lived with for the last five days.

Actually, this work is hardly anything except for a bunch of letters, from a senior to a junior; it is nothing more than a series of succinct correspondence, gathered cannily and disbursed even more astutely to the promising newbies. Now, have we all not
Apr 04, 2007 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Jason Koivu
More fun and playful than I'd anticipated.

As a platform upon which to discuss his beliefs and thoughts on theology, government, society and the nature of mankind in general, C.S. Lewis constructed The Screwtape Letters, an epistolary novel in the form of instructive letters from senior demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a sort of demonic trainee. For all intents and purposes, they are lectures, but lectures jazzed up and made more palatable for the student's mind.

It was about 20 years ago
Original post at One More Page

Ah Screwtape. I've heard so much about this book but I never got to buy it because the print copy was just too expensive for something so thin. I remember splurging on the ebook instead a couple of months ago, but true to form, it took me a while to read this. I know a Lewis book is never easy reading. What better time to read this one than during the Lenten season, right?

The Screwtape Letters is an epistolary novella that contains the letters of a demon Screwtape
I didn't particularly enjoy this book but am glad that I read it. In fact, at times the book made my skin crawl. For those who have not read it, the book is written as a bunch of letters from a tempter, Uncle Screwtape, to his nephew, a tempter in training, named Wormwoood. Screwtape tutors Wormwood on how to tempt the "patient" he is assigned. Through the letters, you are constantly reminded and made to think about how the adversary tempts us. What is poignant is that the cunning and evil plans ...more
Feb 25, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone training to be the mildest mannered of devils
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: my friend almost Dr Holly Miller
*slightly ashamed face and twisting of foot in the dirt*
So I didn't actually finish this book. I was looking forward to reading it and it has been on my bookcrossing wishlist for a while but when it finally arrived I found that the anticipation had outweighed the the delivery of the end product to such an extent that I gave up. Shame on me? Well maybe.

I read all the Narnia novels when I was a child and my parents never told me that it was all metaphorical, allegorical and many other -als for Ch
Nandakishore Varma
Most Revered Lower Secretary
Ministry of Temptation

Dear Sir,

At the outset, let me express my deep regret at a set of my letters (to my wayward nephew Wormwood) having fallen into the hands of a loyal servant of the Enemy and getting published. I will take the liberty of saying most emphatically that this is not due to any lack of foresight from my part: Your August Person used to know Wormwood, and what a nincompoop he was. I must state with no little pleasure that our current set o
I really really like this book. It's such an interesting perspective on Christianity and CS Lewis is a phenomenal story teller! I listened to the audiobook for part of this read, narrated by John Cleese, and I would highly recommend it. He is such an amazing narrator!

I began The Screwtape Letters many years ago and only ever managed to begin three or so pages of it before finding the style too difficult for my younger self. It is a sign to me, therefore, of my development as an individual and reader, that I was able to sit down this afternoon and finish it off in two sessions.

The Screwtape Letters is perhaps, C.S. Lewis' most nuanced and subtle work. Through providing a narrative that covers advice from a senior devil to his junior nephew, Lewis explores iss
I loved this book! It's a collection of letters written by a senior demon (Uncle Screwtape) to his nephew, junior demon (Wormwood). Wormwood is assigned a young man to tempt and the letters turn into a kind of study on how spiritual warfare works. I've always heard that C.S. Lewis was a great Christian apologist, and now I see why. This book gave me so much to think about. I think it's the kind of book you have to read at least twice to really appreciate the gems of wisdom. So glad I finally got ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Sep 15, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Patrick
They say that there are two types of literature: escapist (entertainment) and meaningful (life-enriching). Some books are either one of them. However, many are somewhere in between like most of C.S.Lewis works. For example, his children's book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is more of an escapist rather than meaningful while his Mere Christianityis more, if not purely, meaningful rather than escapist.

In my opinion, this book, The Screwtape Letters is exactly in the middle. Thus, I rated t
3.0 stars. I was a little baffled by this book as I went into it thinking it was supposed to be humorous. Apart from a few places where I believe the author was trying to evoke a laugh, I did not come away from this thinking that the author was shooting for funny. Therefore, from that standpoint, the book was a let down. That said, from the standpoint of a serious piece of "Christian fantasy" the book succeeds much better. It is very well written and the arguments used by the writer to explain m ...more
I have read this book twice before but after my worship pastor mentioned a quote that I had forgotten in one part of the book Wormwood writes his uncle Screwtape with great fear that his subject has begun going to church, his uncle quite easily assures him that the best thing to do is keep him in church, but keep him proud of the fact that he always attends the services or sits in the same area, as long as Wormwood keeps him in the building and away from God.
I think Lewis is one of those authors
Jul 05, 2012 Anca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Mike (the Paladin)
Fantastic book! C. S. Lewis' first "novel" (actually Pilgrim's regress was first but it's a rather oblique allegory). It was and still is a best seller. I can recommend it to Christians and non-Christians alike. It's full of (yes I know it's a cliche, but here it's just true) "wit and wisdom". You'll see yourself and everyone else you've ever known well. You'll see situations that come up in everyday life. I recommend it highly!

This is probably my second favorite novel by Lewis...after The Great
[Listened as an audiobook from Overdrive / library]

Solid insight into humans and faith. Some of it seemed more like C.S. Lewis' thoughts about education and moral and intellectual decline, BUT for the most part, it stayed on course with Screwtape telling his nephew how to get the "patient" to live their way. I thought it was also interesting that Screwtape called God "the enemy." Mostly because in church, you hear people call Satan "the enemy". It's also a good study of how we define right/wrong
Douglas Wilson
I don't know how many times I have read this, but the last time was listening to it on audio in May of 2015. Crammed with wisdom.
This book has probably one of the easiest premises around to understand: The senior devil, Screwtape, writes advise to a junior devil, his nephew, Wormwood. The letters are his advice to Wormwood how to prevent a human from reaching his full Christian capabilities, and to turn the human to their "side", as it were. Screwtape is one of the best villains in literature, and the epistolary format of this book helps to see the world through the demon's eyes.

Apparently C.S. Lewis had a hard time writi
Robyn Blaber
Honestly, I haven't enjoyed reading less since giving the book of Mormon a try. C.S. Lewis tries to write from the point of view of an agent of Satan, a tempter trying to subvert the faith of selected humans. Lewis complained that he didn't like the 'feeling' of being in character to do the writing... and you can tell. The story reads like a Dungeons and Dragons player that has simply failed to grasp idea of the Lawful Evil alignment.

As a result of Lewis' lack of Lawful Evilness he simply descri
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
Gary Patton
"People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within." ~ Ursula K. Le Guin (1929- ) US children's author

C.S Lewis is a theologian and the fantastic writer of the series, "The Narnia Chronicles". This book is very helpful in learning the wiles of Satan’s demons, despite it being a novel, because of the author's experience in resisting them.

Ephesians 6:10-19, in the Christian Bible at, clearly explains who and what are every human's R-E-A-L en

I'm not a big fan of Clive Staples Lewis, either of his writing or his philosophy. I wouldn't even really commend the book's does quite a bit to make one think that the entire world is a paranoid conspiracy run by ACTUAL satanic beings, trying with their every effort to sabotage one's mind.

Like, there's a part when the senior demon reminds the novice demon that a good place to be able to get a foothold into someone's thoughts is to infiltrate them while they're minding their ow
Jul 04, 2007 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This was my first C.S. Lewis book - I kept meaning to read the Narnia Chronicles, but never got around to it. Now I'm completely addicted to his writing, and plan to read many more of his books.

The Screwtape Letters is written from the perspective of an advanced demon (Screwtape), writing to his nephew, Wormwood. It takes a minute when you start the book to wrap your brain around the point of view - but once you realize what is going on, it really makes you think from different angles.

I knew L
Samuel Barlow
Dec 18, 2007 Samuel Barlow rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This book really opened my eyes to the ways Satan tries to entrap people into sinning. Some sins were rather obscure, but most were very common that I myself am struggling with. I just realized that I do have a choice no matter what happens and that is all that counts. Once you no longer desire to do evil, you win, Satan loses. That is the adventure in this story. Screwtape and Wormwood, the tempters, are finally thwarted when the Christian, their subject, dies in righteousness (from what I gath ...more
Jessica Journey
In a short, inefficient word that must suffice: wow.

No book, short of the Bible, has ever done so much for my relationship with God.

This is powerful stuff, a story of opposites. Viewing our world from the dark depths of hell, from the hateful eyes of a demon, emphasizes incredibly the light of heaven and love of God.

I was moved to tears nearly every time I sat down to read a few chapters. He, God, loves me. I have never understood that so fully as when Lewis allowed me a glimpse of what life m
Paakhi Srivastava
C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters – which consists of epistolary advice from a senior demon Screwtape to the junior demon Wormwood on the damnation of a human soul – is frequently described as a satire. But I don’t see any satire at all in The Screwtape Letters.

What I do see is a brilliant and generous exploration of human nature, a miniature portrait of Britain as the Phoney War comes to an end, and some of the most perfect prose you are going to find in English.

Satire uses exaggeration and int
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Orthodoxy
  • The Practice of the Presence of God
  • ESV Study Bible
  • Lectures on Faith
  • Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity
  • Searching for God Knows What
  • The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
  • The Imitation of Christ
  • The Master Plan of Evangelism
  • Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
  • Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God
  • Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale
  • Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
  • Jesus the Christ
  • The Cost of Discipleship
  • God Is Love--Deus Caritas Est: Encyclical Letter
  • Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message
  • How Now Shall We Live?
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 at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th ...more
More about C.S. Lewis...
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3) The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6) Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

Share This Book

“She's the sort of woman who lives for others - you can tell the others by their hunted expression.” 1226 likes
“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,...Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.” 552 likes
More quotes…