Saturday, May 21, 2011

Book Review: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Title: The Screwtape Letters
Author: C.S. Lewis
Publisher: Macmillian
Genre: Religious
Rating: 5/5
Why I read it/how I found it: A religion professor of mine used a quote from it that I loved, so when I saw my roommate had a copy, I nabbed it.

Description:  Screwtape is a senior demon who writes a series of letters to his nephew, Wormwood, a beginning demon, who is given a newly converted Christian man, his "patient", to tempt. Screwtape instructs Wormwood in the art of tempting in these letters, in order for this human soul to be cast down to hell for the devils' consumpion.

Review: While my last week's review, The Picture of Dorian Gray, focused so much on blatant sin, The Screwtape Letters instead relies on the subtle ways of temptation. In this book, there is so much truth that is skewed through the eyes of a devil. I continually stopped reading and thought about all of the little ways that temptation can make humans fall. Cleverly written, with a strong voice and character, as well as witty satire, this book is eye-opening and even a little bit scary. I was absorbed in it whenever I picked it up to read and could not stop thinking about the many different aspects of what Screwtape said, always trying to twist it back into the truth, and finding a great insight into devils, humans, and the higher powers.
Should I read it?: Only if you want to read something that is both eye-opening and witty.
Should I buy it?: It may not be something all will want to read and re-read again, but in whatever way possible, I say get a hold of this book.
Other information: Focus on the Family Radio Theatre has produced a radio dramatization of The Screwtape Letters with Andy Serkis as the voice of Screwtape. You can find out more about it here. Also, in my copy of the book, there was an additional piece called "Screwtape Proposes a Toast" in which Screwtape gives a speech at the devil school's graduation and speaks on education.