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The Screwtape Letters

Written by: C. S. Lewis
Narrated by: Joss Ackland
Length: 3 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1942 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

What members say

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  • Overall
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Best audiobook I’ve ever listened to

The narration is phenomenal and a perfect choice for this book — he really sounds like a devil!

Furthermore, the story itself is not only creative but also profoundly encouraging. I think I’ve listened to this audiobook four times now - can’t recommend it more highly!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Book Thought Provoking

So much in this book I absolutely loved it. Will definately need to relisten.

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Hauntingly perfect satire read masterfully.

Haunting and sweet at the same time. What a perfect description of the struggle to be a Christian, from the point of view of the devils who try to tempt us. And the narrator's performance is so perfect in every note. Well worth it.

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C.S. LEWIS The SCREWTAPE LETTERS

Everyone Alive needs to listen to C.S. Lewis, All. You can't hear a bad rendition of C.S.Lewis and you do not need to be Christian, though you will walk away with more than you came for. Entertaining dramatic enthralling solid entertainment to revel in, to consider, and breath from. #Audible1

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Get on this roller coaster of a book! #Audible1

This book will keep you on track. So put your hands up and take the adventure

#Audible1

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Delightful

I have always enjoyed this book but listening to it being performed seems even more appropriate. It justs seems so deliciously real when I am listening in on their conversation. Well done!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Greater Perspective

It was eye opening hearing a book written this way, and helped me reflect on my own beliefs and actions.

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Wickedly good and spiritually instructive fiction

This is typical C.S. fiction; an enjoyable story, but also one with a distinct point to it, and several underlying messages to take away.

The story is simple: a highly experienced, 'senior' tempter by the name of Screwtape sends a series of letters to his novice tempter nephew, advising him on how best to tempt and guide his 'patient' (a.k.a a human living in wartime Britain) so as to best lead him to 'our father's house' (meaning hell). They're technically the protagonists, but while there is a snide wit to Screwtape's writing that is appealing, his wickedness and contempt for humanity shines through every page. He delights in pointing out 'simple' misconceptions we form of God, ourselves and the world around us, and how they can take those errors and use them to guide us away from 'the enemy' (God). He and the rest of the demons clearly delight in our misery and despair, and get angry as well as increasingly desperate when we escape the traps and paths they set us on.

This method of storytelling works wonderfully well for what Lewis is going for; whereas a series of messages about Christian behavior and living would be instructive, somehow telling it from the perspective of the devils who want us to go down a different path makes it all the more engaging. This is helped enormously by the deep, sonorous, intelligent voice of Joss Ackland, who pours Screwtape's personality into every sentence and makes what's being said all the more riveting. Close your eyes and you could really believe that it's a devil talking instead of a person on the other end, really advising another demonic being on how best to tempt us.

It might be a bit unorthodox or dark for some people's tastes, but otherwise I'd highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for good Christian fiction, some darkly instructive teaching, or wants to experience some of the best of CS Lewis' writing. :)

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Well-written/spoken Christian drivel

This is not a work of fiction, nor did I expect it to be one. It is a book of reverse psychology on how to be a proper Christian. If you do not already share a Christian (or theistic) belief, much of this book will disappoint. Many of the author's lessons lose much of their value if you do not already believe in a supernatural divinity. There are occasional moments of minor insight into human psyche, but they are of very little use in becoming a "good" person.

The quality of the language, however, is excellent, and that alone made the read bearable.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Goose
  • 2013-09-30

Deep! Very intriuguing!!! Wonderful Listen!

What did you love best about The Screwtape Letters?

It really made me think about my life and reflect... I love the dark perspective that it has because it makes you think of things in a completely different way...

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, Screwtape...

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It changed my whole way of thinking about sin...

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 2012-08-22

This is the Best Audio Screwtape, a Masterpiece

Any additional comments?

I've got the wonderful (no longer available) John Cleese recording of The Screwtape Letters, as well as the Ralph Cosham version, also very good. But this performance is the best; it's beyond expectation and it might now be my favorite audio book. Ackland's voice is calmer and less cheeky than Cleese, but with much more gravitas.

Now, the case could be made that Cleese's less dignifiied Screwtape gives us a better laugh at the devil and thereby gives us a truer picture of the Underworld's ultimate loss of dignity. But for listening pleasure, which is an aid to absorption, this heavier reading is perfect. Very highly recommended.

86 of 89 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nobody's business
  • 2013-09-11

A Classic Improved With Great Narration

This has always been one of my favorite books, and possibly, my favorite C.S. Lewis book. It is both amusing and deep.

This is a fictional collection of letters from a senior demon to a junior demon about how to tempt humans. It is a study in human psychology and sin the likes of which I don't believe I have ever encountered.

Somehow, C.S. Lewis created a book about sin and temptation without ever being judgmental or condescending about the topic. It is actually one of the funniest books I have ever heard on any topic. It could easily be converted into a stand-up comedy routine.

The narration was perfect. Joss Ackland has become one of my new, favorite narrators.

I would recommend this for anyone who wants a good laugh or a good understanding of how the spiritual realm interacts with the human psyche.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe
  • 2014-03-04

Memoirs of a Devil

If you could sum up The Screwtape Letters in three words, what would they be?

Real - As a Christian, my beliefs incorporate the subjects of CS Lewis's masterpiece and while I honestly haven't given "that side" much thought, I couldn't help but be impressed by the feeling of realness it gave me. When I first began reading I felt it a bit silly, but as I continued some of the letters really resonated with my life and the gravity of its implications grew very heavy.

Frightening - This was my first word as I was indeed frightened by the whole thought of it.

Surprising - I came into this book almost completely ignorant to the subject matter. My only clue was that it was CS Lewis and that it likely had some religious undertones.....and that turned out to be an underestimation.

What other book might you compare The Screwtape Letters to and why?

At first I wanted to say no book is comparable but then I thought of Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Both books describe the journey in life when walking in the faith of Christ.

Which character – as performed by Joss Ackland – was your favorite?

He played one actor, Screwtape, and he was masterful.

Who was the most memorable character of The Screwtape Letters and why?

Again, there was only Screwtape, a bureaucrat in Hell's Collection Department, and I simply would rather not think too long at his character. Evil has a new name, and its name is Screwtape.

Any additional comments?

This is a must read for any Christian. An open mind is necessary but that is also essential to be Christian.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee Doty (Nerd. Kindle author. Nerd!!)
  • 2014-05-20

I was not prepared for the awesomeness

Where does The Screwtape Letters rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best book I've read... ever. I've listened to it twice in the last four days.

What did you like best about this story?

Clever, insightful, funny... relevant today to an extent I wouldn't have thought possible for a book of this age.

What about Joss Ackland’s performance did you like?

His reading is flawless... he was screwtape. Again... never heard a better match of narration talent to a perfect role.

He breathes the appropriate loathsome humor into the performance. There were a few times where he laughed or chortled at exactly the right time in exactly the right way and I laughed out loud.

Perfect!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Half a century ago, through some unspecified espionage, C.S. Lewis discovered and published the playbook of the Devil. You will be amazed how much of this playbook is still in effect, and how successful it has been.

You are warned... you are doomed.

Any additional comments?

Wow!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel Kolsoi
  • 2015-08-26

C. S. Lewis is a master of his art

As a big fan of C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters does not disappoint. C. S. Lewis has an amazing way of painting pictures as you read (or listen). The Screwtape Letters is very deep and definitely requires more than one time through. The reverse perspective of a demon talking about the things of earth is a very interesting point of view to be put in. Joss Ackland does a wonderful job narrating.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2012-09-04

Wonderfully imagined and well read

What made the experience of listening to The Screwtape Letters the most enjoyable?

The subtle amusement of Lewis's exposition

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Screwtape Letters?

The very beginning of the last letter.

Have you listened to any of Joss Ackland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have seen him perform, but never heard him read before. He has a wonderful voice to express the chief character. He plays villains extremely well.

If you could rename The Screwtape Letters, what would you call it?

How to Tempt Into Evil.

Any additional comments?

This is an old book from the 1940's and some of it is clearly dated, but both enjoyable and instructive nonetheless.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr&Mrs
  • 2017-08-13

The voice

If you are looking for a great book look no further. CS Lewis is a master story teller. And then there is the narrator! I am pretty sure that the voice Lewis gave to Screw tape sounded just like the narrator's

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Solomons Mom
  • 2012-10-08

Excellent

If you could sum up The Screwtape Letters in three words, what would they be?

Insightful, Interesting, thought provoking

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Screwtape Letters?

When Screwtapes plans were thwarted

Which scene was your favorite?

When scewtape was chastising Wormwood for letting his subject fall into the hands of a Godly woman whose house so wreaked of Gods presence that even the cat and dog were perfumed.

Who was the most memorable character of The Screwtape Letters and why?

Screwtape, his persistence in acheiving his goal

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lauren
  • 2015-09-11

excellent book, very eye opening.

an easy read, but quite creepy. this book is certainly something that even experienced Christians should read. it affords a different perspective, with advice that is extremely applicable to every individual's daily life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful