The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've read this so many times it's hard to even remember when I first read it. I think about 1974. Every time I read it, I get something new from it. This last time, I was listening to an audio book on a day long trip which meant that I read the whole thing in one setting which helped me focus more.
Essentially, the story is written as letters between a newly graduated devil, Wormwood, and his Uncle Screwtape who is in a position of power in the underworld. As a young tempter, he makes many he mistakes in his attempt to corrupt the soul of an middle aged man living in London during WWII. In correcting and advising Wormwood, Screwtape points out the many wiles that devils use to corrupt mankind. In the process, Screwtape discusses what type temptations worked in earlier times and why they are no longer effective today.
This edition also has the later addition that Lewis wrote many years after the original book. In this, Screwtape, now retired, proposes a toast and the graduation banquet of his Alma Mater. This provides even deeper areas of comparison between the bureaucracy of Hell and the gentle wooing of Heaven.
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