Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis

(pb; 1941)

From the back cover:

"The letters of the infernal Screwtape, a senior devil from a highly organized, computerized Hell, deftly instructs his nephew Wormwood, a junior demon, in the artof winning over a young man's soul -- not by a sudden fall into mortal sin, but by the routine and undramatic temptations of daily life.

"The Screwtape Letters takes us into a world that is immediate, familiar, and amusing, and so exposes the true nature of evil. . . and the very real devils in all our lives."


Lewis, through the fictional demon Screwtape, dryly skewers the vanities of mortal men, Christians and non-Christians, while exposing chinks in the spiritual armor and methods of both men and God, aka "the Enemy".

A must-read for anyone who's interested in Christianity, or just looking for a worthwhile satire. My only nit about this effective, word-taut work is that near the end of the 93-page novella Lewis/Screwtape begins to repeat his clever observations, albeit in a different form. A few chapters could've easily been trimmed from this; that said, this is one of my all-time favorite satirical works.

Check it out.

Followed by Screwtape Proposes a Toast.

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