Book Review: The Screwtape Letters

by C. S. Lewis, and read by Ralph Cosham

An Audiobook Review by Jackie Houchin

  • Length: 3 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-01-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.

C.S. Lewis mentions in the opening remarks that this was the hardest of his books to write, because in it he had to ignore the good and true and godly, and “instruct” a junior devil on how to lead people away from God and especially away from the Savior Jesus, and to commit the worst of sins.

But in writing The Screwtape Letters (and the included “Screwtape Proposes a Toast”) Lewis unmasked many of the tricks and devices that the Evil One uses to defeat and discourage us and lead us instead into pride, selfishness, self-pity, and all kinds of ungodliness.

In this short book the seasoned demon, Screwtape, writes letters to his nephew Wormwood to instruct him concerning all the devilish methods he must use to keep the human assigned to him from first, becoming a Christian, and then if he does (drat!), to make him sin and turn away from his salvation.

While we smile at the sometimes humorous ways the author does this – condemning “good” behavior and praising the down and dirty – there is a seriousness to consider too. Hopefully I am more alert to the sly, hardly-noticed temptations to sin!

The best moments of the book are at the very end when the “patient” dies and is gloriously whisked away to the presence of God and his Savior. The junior devil failed, failed, failed! and now must face the consequences.

Although readers wanted Lewis to write a second volume, he just couldn’t do it. He did however – according to the second author’s note – add the included “Toast” which first appeared in a magazine article. In it Screwtape is at the graduation ceremony of new demons, and “encouraging” them to do their “damnest!”

FIVE stars





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