Mel's Reviews > The Screwtape Letters: Also Includes "Screwtape Proposes a Toast"

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
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's review
Nov 15, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 1st-person, to-read
Recommended for: People interested in Christianity, morality
I own a copy

The premise behind this book is that each chapter is a letter written by a devil, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood, instructing the younger demon on how to corrupt his "patients"- us humans. Written by the author of the Narnia series and Mere Christianity, it is a clever way to point out some of our less honorable actions and activities.

I'm not deeply religious, but I am interested in how to lead a moral life. In that sense, I enjoyed this book. Rather than list all the things a Good Person should do, it highlights all the little negative things that can erode an otherwise upstanding character. The writing was a little hard to follow in some cases, and there were one or two chapters where I simply had no idea what the author was trying to tell me. (You have to keep reminding yourself that the book is written from the negative standpoint, so what the devil instructs as "good" is really "bad" and vice versa.) I took notes throughout and highlighted passages in each chapter.

All in all, I recommend the book for people who have in interest in Christianity, morality, and an appreciation for quirky humor. I wouldn't recommend it as a beach book or light reading, though, as it takes some thought and commitment to get through.
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