The Screwtape Letters – CS Lewis

CS Lewis –
Firstly, I have to say I am a big fan of CS Lewis and have read a number of his books including his autobiography ‘surprised by joy’. So this was on my list.

I had been given the 60th-anniversary edition for Christmas and couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Especially as I had some say it was worth a read. I can say I was not disappointed.
The book itself is a collection of letters from a demon called Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood (a junior tempter). The story centers around Wormwood land his attempts to tempt a man called ‘the patient’.

The scene is set as wormwood is seen as trying differing methods to promote sin and undermining faith in the patient. Whilst all time reporting back to his mentor Screwtape.

Wormwood is not always successful, even when he thinks he has set the perfect trap! Screwtape being the elder more experienced tempter, continues to share his experience and tries to steer his nephew in a way that will bring the most damage to both the patient and the enemy (God).

CS Lewis tackles many scenarios from sex, love, pride, gluttony to war. From a Christian perspective, it gives a little insight into the spiritual battle which is around us and unseen. Not that all our bad choices come from demons? As I am sure you can agree, we can make most of them on our own.

Certainly, this being a classic in its own right, is worth a read both for its literary construction and its content. In the 60th anniversary edition, you also get the story of Screwtape proposing a toast at an official graduation ceremony for the tempters. It’s also worth noting that when it was published, it was dedicated to another literary great JRR Tolkien.
By C Tuck