Wednesday, April 10, 2013

{2013 TBR Pile Challenge Review} The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

ISBN #: 978-0060652937
Page Count: 224
Copyright: March 6, 2001 (First published January 1, 1920)
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C. S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.

Mandy's Review:

I think there's something seriously wrong with me. I'm reading books for my 2013 TBR Pile Challenge, that I've heard rave reviews about, that are not striking a chord within me. First was Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson), which was one of the most controversial books at the time it came out, and now The Screwtape Letters (C. S. Lewis), which was another controversial book in its time. I really thought with all the controversy and back-and-forth over these books that I'd find them engaging. Sadly, that's not the case.

What I liked the most about this book was how C. S. Lewis got his point across. He took the idea of a person's struggle with Christianity, twisted it, and wrote about it from a demon's point-of-view. I really thought this format was ingenious. Each chapter is a letter from Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood. It's evident that Screwtape is writing these letters in response to Wormwood's missives, but we don't exactly know what Wormwood had to say. We only see Screwtape's responses ... which is part of what I didn't like about this book. I would've enjoyed reading Wormwood's letters to Screwtape. Of course this book is called The Screwtape Letters so I should have been prepared.

Sadly, this book bored me. The chapters really aren't that long so it shouldn't have taken me long to read, but I kept finding my mind drifting off to other things. If I'm doing that while reading then I know the book isn't my cup of tea. I almost didn't finish it; but, for the purposes of this challenge, I made myself read it to the end.

I hope I have better luck with my third TBR selection.


  1. I've wanted to read this one for a long time, too. I'm not really a fan of Christian fiction, although its allegory, when done right, can be quite beautiful (I'm thinking Milton's Paradise Lost, for instance - or Marlow's Dr. Faustus). This one has always sounded intriguing to me, though... sorry that it wasn't a great fit for you. I think, based on our description of it, I still might give it ago.

    Congrats on crossing another one off your challenge list!

    1. Thanks! Please don't take this the wrong way, but ... I hope it's better for you than it was for me. =)


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