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The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis Can I just ask why Goodreads is being such a bad word so far as routinely freezing up in the middle of reviews is concerned? Seriously. Every time I find a book and mark it "read," Goodreads asks me to rate and review it. I try to oblige. And every single time I do so, I end up having to delete it and quit out and try again, because during the course of every single review, it refuses to let me type any more. And I don't mean I've run out of characters. Nor has my computer frozen up. Goodreads just decides, often in the middle of a sentence, that I'm done now. Anybody else?

What I should do is wise up and write all my reviews in a Word document and then just copy them out here. Or just shut up and limit my reviews to "Awesome!!! Totes!!!" or "Meh."


If you're going to read Screwtape, this is a good edition to get. The annotation is thorough, and the additional material gives a good context as to how and why Lewis wrote this work.

The premise, if you're not familiar with it, is that Screwtape is a major demon with what's basically a desk job in Hell. He's exchanging letters with his nephew in the field, who's acting as the evil opposite of a guardian angel to his first human. This book is Screwtape's side of the correspondence.

Lewis is a clear-eyed observer of humanity, and this book is probably his most scorching work in that respect. I'm in a hurry to get this back to the library with my errand-runners, but I do love the bit where Lewis heaps scorn on Werther-like Romantics. Screwtape warns his nephew to protect his human charge "from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes' genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were."

I also admire Lewis' idea of Christianity at its finest. A perfect Christian, he says here, is one who would "design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another."

Lewis also includes some searing warnings against selfishness, self-righteousness, and malice in its many disguises, none of which I have time to find because I've just been asked to get some directions to a destination for my resident errand-runners. So I'll end by recommending this book to anyone who'd like a better understanding of Christianity in general and C.S. Lewis' take on it in particular.