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

The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis, is a collection of letters written by a “devil” named Screwtape.  Screwtape is an important official in Satan’s realm, who refers to himself as “His Infernal Excellency, Mr. Screwtape.”  The letters are addressed to Screwtape’s young nephew, Wormwood.  Wormwood is a “junior devil” on earth, who is trying to tempt his “patient” into committing sin.  Each chapter is a letter of advice to Wormwood from his “affectionate uncle,” Screwtape.

I found this book to be very insightful and amusing.  I think it was very clever to imagine what words of advice one devil might give to another, as to how one might properly tempt a human into committing sin.  As it becomes clear that Wormwood’s patient is in danger of choosing good over evil, we see that the devil will stop at nothing to lead his patient astray.  We gain many insights into the devils’ tactics and methods of attack.  At the same time, I was amused by the dignified and affectionate tone of Screwtape’s letters, despite his evil intentions.  I also found it funny that one devil would have seniority over another, as though they aspire to positions of high status within their evil realm.

This book is a short read, but full of profound insights and witty observations.  From the devil’s perspective, we can learn a lot about human nature and frailties.  We can also learn about how to overcome evil tendencies.  This book offers a very unique and imaginative portrayal of the battle between good and evil.  I highly recommend it.

-Oliver H.

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

  1. I appreciate your articulate commentary and agree that C.S.Lewis offers us remarkable insight into human frailty in this classic satire.
    J.S.H.

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