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The Screwtape Letters

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  396,103 ratings  ·  13,950 reviews

The Screwtape Letters by C.S.  Lewis is a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles 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's The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging acco

Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published May 28th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published February 1942)
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Sarah Matter This book is not only catered toward believers but also, non-believers because of the way C.S. Lewis writes. He tells the story of how Satan will take…moreThis book is not only catered toward believers but also, non-believers because of the way C.S. Lewis writes. He tells the story of how Satan will take control of your mind and how detrimental it will be when he has finished his work. It is interesting to hear/see it through the potential perspective of Satan's eyes. (less)
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)

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Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Screwtape Letters, Clive Staples C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters is a Christian apologetic novel by C. S. Lewis and dedicated to J. R. R. Tolkien.

It is written in a satirical, epistolary style and while it is fictional in format, the plot and characters are used to address Christian theological issues, primarily those to do with temptation and resistance to it.

The Screwtape Letters comprises 31 letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood (named after a star in
Miranda Reads
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Young Wormwood is on his very first demonic mission and is at a bit of a loss as to how to do this. There's so many ways to corrupt, but which is the right way to do evil?
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.
Luckily, he has his Uncle Screwtape to consult. Under Screwtape's gentle guidance, Wormwood hopes to bring another soul to their Dark F
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this as a green young kid in the summer of 1963.

I was thirteen.

I was amused by it, but not forewarned by it -

Bemused by the Screwtapian segues into coolness - but not, unfortunately, convicted of my obviously myopic venial sin in my confusion.

Sound familiar?

I now need a reread.


This is NOT a comic novel.

If you think it is, you ultimately don’t know if you’re punched, bored or reamed.

You must UNLEARN your myopia - before it’s Too Late.

I’m serious.

Perhaps you don’t know you’
It's always the books that I randomly come across or the spur of the moment reads that almost always end up (pleasantly) surprising me.

This book was so out of my range and certainly not the kind I usually pick up but I wanted something different and wow, was it that. It was thought-provoking (and very unnerving at times) with an interesting premise that had me questioning a lot of the things that we do without even realising and the effects of these actions.

You know, there are many reasons why I
Nandakishore Mridula
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
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jon Nakapalau
This book helped open my eyes...how often do we become distracted by the actor and not the act? If a script is written you still have to agree to follow it as an actor...but no one can force you to read lines you do not want to. Satan often just wants us to improvise - no lines to learn - a vanity fair always ready to accept dunces as 'understudies'. ...more
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
Iryna *Book and Sword*
Feb 23 , 2018
I just picked this up again to read through some of my highlights.
I also wanted to mention that this book is dedicated to J.R.R.Tolkien. One of the biggest literary influences dedicating his book to another one of biggest literary influences, who also happens to be his friend. If that doesn’t warm your bookish heart I don’t know what will.

I will be honest, this was not the easiest read. While the book itself is quite small, the ol
Natalie Vellacott
Okay...so I've probably tried to read this book at least ten times over the years and never actually finished it. I started the book again this week and even tried the audio version by John Cleese on Youtube--didn't get very far as I kept thinking about Fawlty Towers, which I happened to have watched relatively recently, and therefore couldn't take him seriously as a devil.

I'm now analysing what it is about this book that I don't like as I usually know straight away. I'm wondering if I'm not suf
With infatiguable British wit and the king of unreliable narrators, C.S. Lewis harrows Hell to tell us how a demon’s mind works in The Screwtape Letters.

Years ago I thought this book was about possession, but it turns out to be far more concerned with that nagging little voice inside us that makes us mistrust our friends and family, encourages regrettable decisions, and makes us feel alone, adrift from our fellows and from God.

Screwtape is a masterfully written character, revealed as much but w
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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.” 

The classic correspondence between the fiend Screwtape and his diabolical nephew Wormwood.

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ” 

Entertaining and original, and also thought provoking.

Oct 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
My heart goes out to those that will never pick this up for one reason or another. Many may never know about it, having never bothered to look at Lewis’ work beyond Narnia. Of course, many others will see how this book is categorized on Goodreads and in libraries - religion, Christian, theology, faith. What reaction that causes, I am sure we all have some idea. Strong, deeply embedded reactions on both sides of the spectrum - taking it as gospel or taking it as propaganda. Both are equally damag ...more
Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
The Screwtape Letters is essentially a work of Christian Apologetics written as a satire. The premise is that a series of letters are being written by a master "tempter", Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood, while he is trying to lead the life of a Christian, called the patient, astray. Like any work of Christian Apologetics, it is clear the intended audience is people who are already Christian and its purpose is to reinforce the beliefs that its audience already has about Christianity and provi ...more
Jason Koivu
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humor
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

Well, it's not for everyone, but considering that this was meant for uptight Christian prigs from 50 years ago, it's pretty good and timeless.

Enter Satan, AKA Screwtape, and listen to him extolling or deriding his demon nephew on the virtues of corrupting his human charge.

It's okay! Some of it is really funny and some of it just feels dated. But we need to put this kind of thing in its proper time and audience. The points are still valid but the people they're about are all dead. :) ... w
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, favorites
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
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is the great writer who can mix effective satire with the seriousness of religious philosophy. C.S. Lewis seems to be able to do this, while pulling the reader into the discussion on every page. This is a collection of letters, from a senior devil to his lowly nephew who seems eager to get on with the art of luring a man to the side of evil. The elder Screwtape uses his experience to inculcate young Wormwood about the details of winning over a soul and the nuances of doing so without being ca ...more
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 Screwta
Emily Coffee and Commentary
A witty, sarcastic commentary on “the nature of human life.” Although a grave and serious story at its core, the tone is still kept quite light and funny at times, with its “how to damn a human soul” instructions being laced with office-style banter and complaint. Interesting arguments on religion, ethics, philosophy, and politics, especially for the time it was written.
*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
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Brian Eshleman
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Five stars. Always five stars. If it doesn't get five stars from me, I've been hacked, or possessed. ...more
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
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, i-own
Topsy-turvy. Caddywampus. Nefarious. Thought provoking. The Screwtape Letters are a compilation of letters written from an uncle to his nephew. And oh, yeah, they're demons.

C.S. Lewis said, had the book been any longer, and he hadn't stopped when he did, that this would have taken a dangerous toll on his mental health and psyche. He also said, in order to be balanced, he should have written a juxtaposition of an archangel writing to his angel nephew. He did not, as he felt he could never be up
Katrina Michelle
This one's a life-changer. ...more
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Clive Staples Lewis 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

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