The Screwtape Letters: a Riveting Tale of Demons
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I picked up The Screwtape Letters at Barnes and Noble and immediately fell in love. Created by the writer behind The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis has created another spectacular book that will last for generations.
It is a challenge to read with the deceit and constant negativity and it is emotionally taxing to think in the perspective of a demon. In the author’s note, C.S. Lewis writes how excruciating it was for him to write, and towards the end he began to resent that he was writing it in the first place, hating that it could only be from one sinister point of view.
The entire book is just half of a story, each chapter a different letter that Screwtape has written to his nephew, and the reader never gets to hear his response. Even so, each letter tells the complete story and teaches his nephew the best tips and techniques to tempt the human that he has been assigned.
This book talks about courage, love, fear, and how nothing is good or bad until the intentions and actions of a person turn it into something that benefits either the kingdom of God, or the wishes of Satan. It provides an interesting perspective on worldly events and puts even the biggest struggles into perspective.
I especially liked the part where Screwtape writes about diminishing returns, suggesting that his nephew should tempt his human with activities that become less and less pleasurable until the human is trapped, doing “neither what he ought to nor what he wants to”, and that is when the demon will know that he has complete control.
Similar to his use of a wardrobe, C.S. Lewis introduces the reader to this world by a disclaimer that he will not share where he had found these letters, and that he paid no particular attention the the order in which they appear.
Every detail was considered in the craftsmanship of this novel, and in the particular copy I purchased, the pages are wrinkled and different lengths, which helps the reader to be completely immersed into the story.
This powerful Christian message delivered in a gut wrenching story about human existence is a page turner, and I would highly suggest it to anyone who enjoys the immersive writing style of C.S Lewis.