Not quite what I was expecting. I've been told many times over the years how funny "Screwtape" is, and while I admit it's got a very humorous side, th...moreNot quite what I was expecting. I've been told many times over the years how funny "Screwtape" is, and while I admit it's got a very humorous side, there's also something very dark and insidious about it (no doubt made more so by Joss Ackland, whose velvety, malevolent voice was reading the audiobook).
As a non-Christian, I find Lewis' take on faith surprisingly hypocritical at times: he criticizes those who have their own take on Christianity as merely taking a long road to hell, but his own faith is certainly cherry-picked from his own theories and the parts of Christianity he found appealing. At the same time, he talks about how any man who loves any simple graceful thing purely and wholly - a shared sunset, an evening cup of cocoa - has "a bit of heaven about him" (I'm paraphrasing, but it's close). So Lewis' view on Christianity is skewed even from a narrative standpoint, let alone a theological standpoint.
That said, it's a good solid story, with many memorable sections - a real feat for a book told from one-sided correspondence. "Screwtape Proposes a Toast," the follow-up story, isn't quite in the same league; to just about any modern audience, Lewis' criticism of public schooling is going to be seen as parochial and upper class. There's still some good imagery, and it makes sense to collect it together with "The Screwtape Letters," but it doesn't really add that much to the experience.(less)