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The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters

Geschrieben von C. S. Lewis

Erzählt von Joss Ackland


The Screwtape Letters

Geschrieben von C. S. Lewis

Erzählt von Joss Ackland

Bewertungen:
4.5/5 (476 Bewertungen)
Länge:
4 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Aug 21, 2012
ISBN:
9780062243737
Format:
Hörbuch

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Beschreibung

A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life 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 and humorous account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Aug 21, 2012
ISBN:
9780062243737
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

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Über den Autor

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and have been transformed into three major motion pictures. Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales más importantes del siglo veinte y podría decirse que fue el escritor cristiano más influyente de su tiempo. Fue profesor particular de literatura inglesa y miembro de la junta de gobierno en la Universidad Oxford hasta 1954, cuando fue nombrado profesor de literatura medieval y renacentista en la Universidad Cambridge, cargo que desempeñó hasta que se jubiló. Sus contribuciones a la crítica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantástica y teología popular le trajeron fama y aclamación a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribió más de treinta libros, lo cual le permitió alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aún atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada año. Sus más distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las Crónicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.

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476 Bewertungen / 86 Rezensionen
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  • (5/5)
    A "what not to do" guide for Christians. Gotta love it.
  • (4/5)
    "The Screwtape Letters" was interesting, challenging, clever, and funny.Each short chapter is a letter written by devil/demon Screwtape, sent to his nephew, Wormwood, regarding the latter's work. The nephew has a human he is supposed to protect from becoming a Christian, but doesn't do a good job of it despite his uncle's advice and suggestions.I wasn't sure about this book at first: it sat on my shelves for probably ten years, unread. As I read each chapter, I began to see how well the author described humans and their nature, and used that knowledge to create an amusing little book about how people think, react, and justify themselves. It doesn't whitewash how those who consider themselves Christians don't always act in a Christian manner, either.The additional material at the end, "Screwtape Proposes a Toast", was marvelous. C.S. Lewis just nails human nature as it truly exists.This book is recommended for all, religious or non-religious.
  • (5/5)
    Written from the POV of a devil tempting a Christian. Very witty and funny, even if you're not a Christian, but sometimes you need some Christian background to be able to understand what he's talking about.
  • (5/5)
    A subtle and profound exploration of the nature and causes of sins, reflecting a lifetime of thinking about the subject by a powerful intellect. Interesting even to this atheist.
  • (3/5)
    I've put this on my shelf to re-read in print. Not all books can be thoughtfully processed while driving. It was not dense, but the style, a one-sided correspondence, brooked no distraction. I don't believe in the devil, and the depiction of the bureaucracy devoted to his service was comical. The insight into man's behavior and faith, and how they might be manipulated, and are in fact constantly manipulated by the forces of good and evil, was cogent to the point of discomfort at times. Will be looking for a copy at a book sale.
  • (3/5)
    "Junior tempter" Wormwood receives excellent instruction in the art and science of ensnaring an unsuspecting human soul in this epistolary theological classic. Wormwood's human "patient", a young British man living through the dark days of World War II, is a new Christian. Wormwood's Uncle Screwtape believes that despite this man's conversion, he could still be brought back into Satan's camp through the proper combination of trying circumstances and demonic manipulation. To this end, the old devil tutors his protege in the exploitation of human weaknesses, such as gluttony, lust and pride.Some find Screwtape's letters witty, even humorous, but I found this short book heavy going at times.
  • (4/5)
    In a series of letters to his nephew, Wormwood, the demon Screwtape provides advice to his nephew on how to tempt an unnamed human and separate him from the Enemy that is God.An interesting approach that is both a good read and prompts some serious thought on any believer's relationship with God.
  • (4/5)
    For a bit of 'inspirational' reading this Christmas, I picked up The Screwtape Letters. I've read some of the Narnia series as well as Mere Christianity by Lewis and I knew the basic gist of Screwtape, but still wasn't 100% sure what was in store for me.The book is a series of letters written by the demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood. Both are demons of Hell and the letters are discussions of the practices used to tempt humans and lead them down to Hell rather than letting them make it to Heaven. Wormwood is a junior demon working on tempting a human man in 'contemporary' (to Lewis...~1940s) London. Screwtape is a senior demon no longer doing field work but now in a higher administrative role and full of good advice for the young Wormwood.The book is often humorous as you read about the follies of humans from the point of view of these immortal and immoral tempters. The humorous anecdotes are also subtly invasive as you realize just how true to life these comments are.Screwtape advises Wormwood to take advantage of the foibles of human nature to lead the man down the path to Hell while all the while letting him believe he's on his way to Heaven. The subversive realities these demons try to persuade the human to believe are strangely familiar to the social norms of the world in which we live.Screwtape admonishes that, unless the man is truly vile, Wormwood shouldn't try to push him away from religion but rather let him get puffed up in his religion to the point of self-exhaltation based on his own interpretations. The demons are wary of the truly penitent but are grateful for the many who go through the motions of religion for perception only.There are many good lessons to be learned through the book. Many poignant passages softly chastising humble pride, valueless bravery, hopeless nostalgic dreamers and others.It's a great satire on the state of the world.What was most sad and scary to me is that ~50-60 years later, not much has changed. The same subtle lies are being whispered through the world and countless humans (myself included at times) are believing them and gently paving our own way to Hell.Two other things I found very interesting in this book:
    1. This edition included a short epilogue from C. S. Lewis. In it, he discusses the difficulty of writing from the point of view of a devil. He wrote of the darkness he felt in trying to shed all semblance of goodness in order to portray such a viewpoint. Perhaps one of my favorite themes in the book was that of Screwtape trying to understand "God's Love." He just couldn't believe that God truly loves us and that it is that Love that is at the heart of his motivations. I think Lewis truly threw himself into the role of Screwtape and did a great job embodying the demon. I don't envy him that difficult task.
    2. This edition also included Lewis' one follow up to the Letters. It was a short work called "Screwtape Proposes a Toast" and the setting is a graduation commencement for novice demons just out of training and ready for assignments. Screwtape is giving the commencement speech and toast. His language and themes were again very relevant and honest satires on the world we live in. A few paragraphs really caught my attention...He talked about the education system of humans and ways they (the demons) might undermine it. He talked of standardized testing and lowering the scale to the least common factor such that the most inept student could succeed (only with that bare minimum) while the average and excellent students will leave school with no educational increase. He talked about undermining the true study and learning by replacing it with rote memorization of facts and figures to the point that any ability to truly think would be diminished and thus humans would not be able to see through the flimsy temptations. Sadly, a lot of the language in this section sounded far too similar to the No Child Left Behind legislation and other similar practices in the school system today. How sadly prophetic Lewis was on this front
    I'd be interested to find some analysis of it that helps break out different letters into their themes...maybe I'll work on one. Something that could be used to pull out passages about some of the different temptations: Love/Romance/Sex, Religion, Pride, Nature, etc.Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. There were a few sections that really seemed to drag on but generally it was a lot of fun to read and it left me in a state of deep thinking afterwards. Give it a try.****4 stars
  • (5/5)
    A very clever way to look at Christianity. What kinds of things or attitudes would a devil look for in you that would help him to tempt you? Each letter is a quick read but very thought-provoking ... and humorous!
  • (5/5)
    One of the great works of moral instruction of the past, or any century. Lewis' fame as an explicitly Christian apologist, has led to him being tremendously neglected as a moralist. He understands how our vices from ourselves, how easily we can be swept up in selfishness and pride ourselves on the flimsiest virtues. If you are reading this book honestly, you will at times find it very painful. It is also often very funny. Highly recommended, perhaps even more so for non-Christians (like myself).2.25.09"In the heat of composition I find that I have inadvertently allowed myself to assume the form of a large centipede."
  • (5/5)
    “The Screwtape Letters” was my first foray into the mind of C. S. Lewis and I found it interesting and timeless. Written at the height of WWII in 1942, Lewis’s warnings about the false hope and change of “social justice” and “self-esteem” (then referred to as parity of esteem) have unfortunately become fulfilled predictions. In “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” (added twenty years later) Lewis again points to the then (1962) disturbing trend of everyone being equal, this despite obvious and significant differences. No one can be – or at least can be thought of as being – better than another, and he goes on to reinforce the notion that salvation of Democracies (free people) lies in the salvation of the individual – not the collective. A very refreshing, enlightening and timeless read.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful perspective on man and Satan.
  • (5/5)
    what a reflection! shows how easily we are manipulated into wrongdoing.
  • (5/5)
    The Screwtape Letters was written by C.S.Lewis in 1942 with WW2 as the backdrop. This is a series of letters (epistolary style literary work) written by Screwtape to his young nephew, Wormwood, advising him on how to secure the soul of 'the patient'. It also contained the sequel, Screwtape Proposes a Toast in which Screwtape addressed the graduating class of tempters. This was published in 1959 and addresses the politics of the post war world. C.S.Lewis uses this satirical format to address the Christian life. Many of the chapters discuss love. Letter 19 addresses God's love for humanity. Letter 26 addresses courtship. I also very much enjoyed the letters on time, reality, music and noise. There is so much in this little book that rereading it many times would not exhaust the nuggets of truth.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent full-cast dramatization of this C. S. Lewis classic."Diabolical" Radio Theater at its best."The story is carried by the senior demon Screwtape played magnificently by award-winning actor Andy Serkis (“Gollum” in Lord of the Rings) as he shares correspondence to his apprentice demon Wormwood." (from audio jacket)4.5 ★
  • (5/5)
    Incisive, brilliant, and entertaining.
  • (5/5)
    READING THIS FOR MY C.S. LEWIS CLASS!!OMG this is my favorite CS Lewis book of all-time!!! *fangirly time*Seriously, this book is incredible, eye-opening, memorable, a little creepy, and very insightful! If you like CS Lewis, or are interested in reading some of his more "grown-up" books, please please give this one a shot! I promise you, you'll never read anything else like it again.
  • (4/5)
    A good book that I would suggest to anyone. The premise of the book is a set of letters that Screwtape (a demon in the administrative department of hell) is writing to his nephew Wormwood (who is a demon new to the tempting job). At first the introduction of it made me wonder exactly how Lewis wrote these letters since it made me think that he did not write them himself at all but instead derived them from some outside source, this was not the case though. The letters were great to read and touched on every small aspect of temptations and the Christian life. There were many times I could see how these things have played themselves out in my life and made me want to re-evaluate many things. Along with the book being an easy read while still personally challenging it had many quotable quotes found within the pages. About every other letter there would be one line that would just jump out at me. Looking back I wish I had of written each of these down since they encapsulated the major points in the book to me at least. For instance, one set of advice Screwtape gave was "do not allow your patient (which was how they talked about the man to whom Wormwood was assigned) to pray in a fashion of not to who I think you are but to who you know you are". That's very fuzzy and I cannot quite get my words down in the way I would want them to be said. Secondly on the second part of the book, Screwtape proposes a toast, this was written several years after the letters and was included in the book I have. It was short, only a few pages long in the edition I have, but if I skipped it I do not feel as though I would have lost any value in reading the book. So if you do read this book and you are tired at that point, I would recommend not reading that part simply because I did not see much value in it and found that Lewis was trying very hard just to get something out on paper. Lastly in the way it was written, you will know that it was written in an old British proper language, but this did not hinder my ability into being able to read and understand the book
  • (4/5)
    I don't consider myself a particularly religious person, but I enjoyed The Screwtape Letter immensely. It has a lot of great observations on life and what it means to be a person that can be enjoyed by everyone, not just the Christians or prospective Christians that Lewis was writing towards.

    Favorite quote:

    "All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be. This is elementary."
  • (5/5)
    An entertaining bit of fiction with a real world insight into the spiritual warfare behind our surface existence. If you choose to listen to a recorded version of this, be sure to get the one recorded by John Cleese: priceless.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed reading this book, especially because it took on such a different view of Christianity. CS Lewis does a great job at really contrasting God and the Devil. In church I have come to hear God referenced as 'Our Heavenly Father' and the devil as 'The enemy.'. This book shows it from the point of view where God has now become the enemy. I had never thought about in that way before. Just as God desires for humans to resist the temptations and sins given by demons, the demons desire for humans to cling to this temptation. While God is viewed as one who cares about others, the devil is one that only cares about himself. He feels that God has an alternate plan that he has not disclosed and the devil wants to find out what it is. He doesn't believe in hope or even love, only sin, desire, and selfishness. I felt that this was a really good book to read for someone who feels strong in their beliefs and can really take the time to analyze and think about this book.
  • (5/5)
    Or, How To Drive the Living Hell Out of Thoughtful Christians. As a moral theologian, this is Lewis at his absolute best. Unlike his other more theological works, here he gets to mix in fiction and fantasy with his musings, and he does so wonderfully. The "plot," as you probably know, is the temptation of a man by a Junior temptor who is given advice by his uncle and senior, Screwtape. Lewis lays bare many traps of modern thinking as well as the traps of ancient moral spirituality. (The Seven Deadly Sins were once the Eight Deadly Ideas, the point being that it is our thinking that gets in our way.)
  • (5/5)
    A unique approach but the plot is a little thin and the book is short
  • (5/5)
    I am not being facetious when I say that The Screwtape Letters is like nothing I have ever read before. Even for Lewis, who, after all, wrote everything from literary criticism to sci-fi, from practical theology to children’s fiction, this is a unique and fascinating achievement. The book exists in the form of a series of letters by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, the novice Wormwood. These letters are filled primarily with advice as to how to tempt Wormwood’s “patient,” how to keep him from eternal salvation and instead seal him unto eternal damnation. For Lewis as well as myself, the spiritual matters dealt with in these letters are very real, but he uses the fictional framework of Screwtape and Wormwood’s correspondence in order to explore them. That’s where the book becomes difficult to classify: Is it fiction or nonfiction? Fantastical or practical? Serious or a farce? At times, it’s hard to tell.Although I would probably identify right living in the light of eternal judgment the major theme, it is really incredible the number of topics Lewis touches on over the course of the Letters. I wrote a heading for each letter as I read, and ended up with such varying titles as “Jargon,” “Church/New Believers,” “Family,” “Prayer,” “War,” “Extremism/Fear of the Future,” “The Demons’ Existence,” “Undulations,” “Exploring Troughs,” “Worldly Friends,” “Laughter,” “Falling Away,” “Real & Redemptive Pleasures,” “Humility,” “Time,” “Church-[S]hopping,” “Gluttony,” “Eros,” “The [Un]reality of Love,” “Desire & Temptation,” “Time & Ownership,” “Love, Noise, & Centipedes,” “Corrupting Christianity,” “Spiritual Pride,” “The Same Old Thing,” “Marital ‘Unselfishness,’” “Piety & Perception,” “Persevering,” “Fear, Hate, & Despair,” “Fatigue & Reality,” and “Final Destinations.” I do not list all of these to show off or to boost the word count of my review (though the latter is, I admit, a strong temptation), but merely to show how much is here. Because of Screwtape’s complexity and diversity, it makes for a very good group read. That was how I read it this summer, and I was continually astonished at how many great insights the varied perspectives brought to the table.These would be impossible, of course, without Lewis’ own insights, which are often mind-boggling and convicting. I found that the chapter on “Prayer” in particular haunted and pursued me, making me think harder about how I pray. For the most part I agree with what he has to say—unfortunately the exception to this is an assumption that underpins a great deal of The Screwtape Lettters: the idea that, once a Christian, you can lose your salvation. This has been an underpinning of the Anglican Church since the get-go, but this concept simply isn’t scriptural (2 Corinthians 1:21, John 10:28, John 6:39, 2 Timothy 2:19) and cheapens the power of God’s saving grace. I do not believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater, however, and after noting this discrepancy, I calmly proceeded and gleaned all I could from the rest—which was, I repeat, a not inconsiderable amount.Along with the insights, the humor was great throughout. You know a book is going to be good when it begins with a disclaimer like, “I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands.” Oh, Jack, you were a funny one, weren’t you?The thing that surprises me most about this book is the fact that a large number of atheists and agnostics seem to have read and enjoyed it, judging from various online reviews. In a way this makes me glad, for it shows Lewis’ relevance and how, to quote The Washington Post, “he seems to speak to people where they are.” Yet, looking over said reviews, I cannot help but wonder if they’re missing the point. Screwtape (and, by extension, Lewis) says multiple times throughout Letters that the issue is not the individual sins, but where we are ultimately going. I am glad if, in reading this, it helps others become “better people,” but in the great scheme of things this is not purpose or message. Take it, leave it, but don’t misrepresent it.In closing, I will mention that certain editions feature an essay following the letters entitled “Screwtape Proposes a Toast.” I had heard other Lewis fans make a great to-do about whether this was included or not, but while it contained some interesting thoughts on education, I didn’t find it to be anything special. Anyway, the Letters have such a great ending already that it seems a shame to add anything to them: they make such a perfect whole as is.Highly recommended to all who are attuned to its message.
  • (5/5)
    Oh the cunning of Satan and his evil minions. Lewis helps us see a large host of ways in which those little buggers can get at us and hopefully helps us be wiser to evil influence!
  • (4/5)
    A thoroughly enjoyable read even for the non-Christian. The Screwtape Letters provide an insightful look at the human tendency to undermine ourselves morally and psychologically. Lewis describes clearly, in plain understandable terms, all the little ways in which we justify and hide our own inadequacies, making ourselves ever more unhappy even in the pursuit of happiness. The book is food for thought even if you don't agree with all the Christian dogma - whether the goal is the salvation of an immortal soul or the attainment of a truly happy and balanced life here on earth, the details are ultimately much the same. What I took away from the book was the idea that no human impulse is inherently good or bad, but each can be shaped by circumstance or will into one or the other. By achieving a clearer awareness of ourselves, and openly acknowledging both our weaknesses and strengths, we are better people for it than if we merely try to smother our weaknesses and pretend to strengths we do not have.I suspect I will return to this book in the future when I need to put life in perspective. Lewis's argument that human beings are ultimately a good bunch and that it is indeed possible to stop screwing yourself over is reassuringly convincing.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing book which tells how the Devil thinks and how he manipulates us in order to try to keep us away from God.
  • (4/5)
    I don't know where to start with reviewing The Screwtape Letters. Perhaps with the fact -- probably already well-known to people who get my reviews in their inbox -- that I am not a Christian, but a Unitarian Universalist. But I do love reading C. S. Lewis' work: I think he was very good as using cool intellect and reason to examine himself in his faith (not just the faith of others, which would likely be unbearably holier-than-thou), a process myself and other UUs tend to value highly. He was ready to think about his faith, and seek answers -- or understanding, at least -- of things others deem unfathomable, the whys of things.

    The Screwtape letters is a fictional frame for more of that work, really. He examines the ways that people are lead away from their faiths, not just through large sins like unchastity but through being proud of humility, for example... And the way he puts this makes it not only an examination of Christian goodness, but general moral goodness.

    Definitely worth a read for that, and amusing in it's own way, as well -- old Uncle Screwtape's unfortunate transformation, for example.
  • (4/5)
    This short little book (160 pages)took me 5 days to read. That isn't because I wasn't interested but I found I had to read some passages two or three times to grasp what Lewis was saying. At other times his writing was very easy to understand and I enjoyed his sense of humour. The idea of the book is that a senior devil, Screwtape, is giving pointers to a junior devil, Wormwood (you have to love the names given to the devils), about how to encourage a young English man to sin in order that his soul will belong to the devil upon his death. The time is during the Second World War and this young man has recently started attending church. For a while it looks like Wormwood will succeed as the young man falls in with a crowd who are "thoroughly reliable people; steady, consistent scoffers and wordlings who without any particular crimes are progressing quietly and comfortably towards" Hell (our Father's house as Screwtape refers to it). Then the young man falls in love with a Christian woman ("...such a Christian--a vile, sneaking, simpering, demure, monosyllabic, bread-and-butter miss") and the plans start to unravel. Screwtape gets so exasperated with Wormwood at one point that he turns into a large centipede. As the book proceeds a clear picture of the struggle between good and evil is drawn. "It does not matter how small the sins provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts." C.S. Lewis was an atheist who converted while at college and described himself as "the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England". That may be but he went on to write some wonderful books that illuminate thoughts decades later. If you ignore the references to the Germans the time could almost be now with war in Iraq and Afghanistan and many other places. Even if you are an atheist (or an agnostic as I am) you can't help but worry about where our world is headed. As another Englishman, Edmund Burke, said "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing."
  • (4/5)
    This book was very creatively done. It is a humorous read from a devil's point of view. Not only that, but it has a way of making you stop and realize when you are exhibiting some of the traits / actions / vices that the senior devil (Screwtape) is describing to the junior devil / tempter (Wormwood). A terrific read, though the style of English used in the letters slowed me down a little bit.