Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Screwtape Letters-C S Lewis

By Keith N Fisher

If you are a member of the LDS Church, You’ve heard this book quoted from the pulpit. I wanted to review it on my Dead Authors Society feature because it’s full of insights. Many people respect the author because of his religious writing. Many others don’t realize he’s the same man who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia series.

In the Screwtape letters, Clive Staples Lewis created a world filled with characters who reveal the struggles of being a Christian. It is a series of letters between Screwtape, a master tempter in the employ of the devil, and his nephew, Wormwood, an apprentice tempter.

In the story, Screwtape offers advice to Wormwood, on how to lead his patient, (the man he was assigned to), down to hell. This is a good read, because it’s so true. Many of the examples of the weaker side of human character are right on. That’s why, I suppose, Screwtape is often quoted in church meetings.

C S Lewis died in 1963 and was considered to be one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century. That would explain, at least to me, why The Chronicles of Narnia seemed a little dry and clinical.

Although Lewis has received notoriety for that series, I think his other writings. Like the Screwtape Letters, are what sets him apart. His struggles with faith and religion are evident throughout. Even in the Narnia series.

In my copy, there is a dedication to J R R Tolkien, which I find revealing, because I’ve heard that Lewis and Tolkien were critique partners.

I recommend this book to everyone, but read it slow. If you’re like me, the text will float over your consciousness and major points will be missed. Savor the insights but don’t take it too seriously. In the preface, Lewis warns, The Devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle.


CL Beck, author said...

This is a fantastic book, but to get the most from it, you have to digest it in small sections. So many things that Lewis wrote in it are still valid today. Maybe even more so.

Thanks for the review; this is one of my favorite books! And it's a great motivator to improve one's life, too.

JoLynne Lyon said...

I took a more superficial approach to this book and listened to it on CD in the car, which was a great way to appreciate its humor. I should probably read it slow now to make sure I don't miss anything, but the quick listen was worth it; I remember laughing a lot on the drive to work.