Published by HarperCollins on 1942
Genres: Classics, Social Issues
Source: Owned Audible Book
The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior "tempter" named Wormwood, so as to advise him on methods of securing the damnation of a British man, known only as "the Patient".
Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy ("Lowerarchy") of Hell, and acts as a mentor to Wormwood, the inexperienced tempter. In the body of the thirty-one letters which make up the book, Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining faith and promoting sin in the Patient, interspersed with observations on human nature and Christian doctrine. Wormwood and Screwtape live in a peculiarly morally reversed world, where individual benefit and greed are seen as the greatest good, and neither demon is capable of comprehending or acknowledging true human virtue when he sees it.
I have more books than I can possibly read, but there’s so many I want to read all at once. Story of our lives, right? I made a TBR Jar to help me decide which book to read next. Here’s what I picked out back in April:
My best friend Bittner and I share a love for reading. We both feel passionately about the books we love and authors we admire. But our taste in books don’t line up about half the time. I’ve wanted to read The Screwtape Letters for awhile simply because it’s one of Bittner’s favorite authors and I remember talking to her about this book. As far as C.S. Lewis goes, I’ve only previously read his Chronicles of Narnia series- which I loved.
So after discussing this book, years ago, with Bittner, I purchased a paperback cover or it. And I picked it up several time over the years and started it… but I just couldn’t get into it.
My solution? Audiobook!
The narrator was fantastic and it helped me get over the initial hump of the book. I liked the dry humor and polite demon lessons from uncle to nephew. There were several times I found myself pausing the audiobook so that I could think of an issue raised by the author. There are many levels of enjoyment to this book, so you definitely don’t have to be a Christian to enjoy it. Even though I am a Christian, I don’t read many non-secular books, since many don’t have sexy vampires or hot gargoyles (sorry, I’m thinking about Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Dark Elements series again). I don’t normally like my books to feel… preachy? And this applies to plenty of secular books too, there’s plenty of ideals and beliefs that some authors like to force upon the reader. For example one book that shall remain nameless, which was about fairies, felt like it was being sponsered by Amnesty International. Now, I like and support Amnesty International, but that doesn’t mean that I want to read a whole book where the main character mentions it every two or three pages. So, what I’m trying to say by this rant is that The Screwtape Letters can be read for fun because it’s sarcastic and witty.
So glad I finally got to this book! My tbr pile is feeling a little lighter- the longer a book sits on my shelves, the more weight it seems to take on, right? It feels good to accomplish this one small tbr read!
The Screwtape Letters gets a Midnight Book Rating of:
Next read from my TBR Jar: