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The Screwtape Letters: includes Screwtape Proposes a Toast

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  4,052 Ratings  ·  471 Reviews
Dedicated to his friend J.R.R. Tolkien, this masterpiece of satire has entertained and enlightened millions of readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of the demon Screwtape. At once wildly comic and strikingly original, the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood shows C.S. Lewis at his darkest and most pl ...more
Paperback, 60th Anniversary Edition, 209 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by HarperCollins (first published February 1942)
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Stephanie
Apr 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Ross Blocher
When I was a child, I thought like a child, I read like a child, and that included at least four complete runs through the entire Chronicles of Narnia series. C.S. Lewis played an outsized role in my early understanding of faith and remains a major figure in Christianity; a modern-day Paul in his influence as an expositor of belief. I had also consumed the Space Trilogy, The Problem of Pain, The Great Divorce, and repeatedly watched our VHS copy of Shadowlands, a 1993 film in which Anthony Hopki ...more
Anca
Jan 12, 2009 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
...more
Brian
Lewis always brings a unique perspective. Here we have a demon, the “Affectionate Uncle Screwtape,” who writes letters to his nephew, a demon in training. The story centers on a man’s life who, in the unfolding of the story, becomes a Christian, falls in love with a woman, and fights in WW2. I imagined these demons as civilized men, with perfect suits and bow-ties, talking as civilized, sophisticated human beings. It gives a new perspective into the popular term “spiritual warfare,” which compri ...more
Beth
Jan 31, 2008 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
...more
Cheryl
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
In anticipation of reading it with a group (hypothetically/someday) I'm giving this four stars. I don't think I, alone, got as much out of it as all that, though, tbh. And I admit that I found it a slow read, despite the epistolary style and the brevity.

However, there were plenty of bits I did appreciate. And, yes, I did lol a couple of times. And if I'd been reading it with other ppl around, I would have read bits to them. I do recommend it, to Christians, atheists, and others... it's full of
...more
Laura
Sep 18, 2015 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.
C.S. Wachter
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, I enjoyed this book. Some of the language reduced the rating from five stars to four. But that's only because I am an American reading this in 2018.
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
...more
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
...more
John
Apr 09, 2008 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
Julianna
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Christian Classics; Satire
Reviewed for THC Reviews
I’m a big fan of C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series, but until now those were the only books of his I’ve read. They’re very enjoyable, but they’re aimed at a younger audience. Since Mr. Lewis was a prolific author, primarily of many non-fiction books that are considered classics of the Christian faith, I thought it would be interesting to try out something different. The Screwtape Letters have been at the top of my list, so when it was chosen as our latest church b
...more
Bailey Marissa
A very interesting (but theoretical) book about how Satan tries to draw Christians away from their faith and the very common tricks that he could use.

Recommended 13+ for mentions of wars, romance, and sins in general.
Natalie Print
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
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
...more
Michelle
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Fey
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
...more
Kristie
May 18, 2011 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
...more
Joel Pinckney
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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 rated it really liked it
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
...more
William Schram
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nancy
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
I found this book full of insights about the foibles of human nature and how they can either add to a person's faith or destroy it. I found the backdrop of an uncle teaching his nephew how to be a better temptor of souls a most delightful and creative way to share these insights. Even though this is a relatively short book, I took my time reading it because each letter was so thought provoking I wanted to take time to digest its contents. The best kind of books are those that make us take a deep ...more
Batmangoodwin
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well-presented and very plausible account of the strategies demons use to separate us from loving God with all our hearts, minds, and souls, and with loving our neighbors as ourselves. I won’t say it’s a quick read because of all the times it makes you stop and think, but it’s definitely a worthwhile read. And maybe even a refresher if it’s been a while for you!
Grace
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was especially insightful and convicting. It speaks to so many of us Christians today, young or old. I really had no idea the relativity of this book and the issues covered until I read it. Great classic from one of the best authors, C.S. Lewis.
Jason C.
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to an audio version that was brilliantly done. This is such a unique, poignant book. I've always wanted to read it, and it will stick with me with the depth of thought in it.
Anduril81
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic that needs neither my approval, nor recommendation to be so. But they are there all the same.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #90 - The Screwtape Letters by C.S.Lewis 2 3 Jul 31, 2015 08:15PM  
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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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“Oh God, make me a normal twentieth-century girl!' Thanks to our labours, this will mean increasingly, 'Make me a minx, a moron, and a parasite'.” 10 likes
“The master demon Screwtape identifies elitist humanity's tendency toward "an ingrained habit of belittling anything that concerns the great mass of their fellow men.” 8 likes
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