The Screwtape Letters (Audiobook)

Screwtape letters is a well-known piece of satirical literature by written by C. S. Lewis.  The audiobook was very nicely narrated by Ralph Cosham.  I enjoyed his voice and pace of reading very much.  The book consists of letters written (this work was completed prior to the existence of email or instant messaging) between two demons.  The master demon is called Screwtape, who is the Uncle of the lesser demon called Wormwood; the Nephew.  Screwtape is writing to Wormwood encouraging, providing mentoring, and suggestions to help him with his assigned task.  The letters discuss their specific targeted human and the efforts the lesser demon is to employ keeping him from the enemy; God.  We only know the human as “the Patient” throughout the book.

What Lewis accomplishes in his work helps to reveal the many human issues often bringing disunity to the church or Christian believers.  What is quite surprising is that this book was written in 1942 (first publishing), and many of the same issues still impact individuals and the Church.  This book also spawned a follow-up called “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” which is a lesser known piece where C. S. Lewis provides some insight into this book.

We see in this book the rise of modernism and secularism which grew rapidly in Europe during this time.  The issue of just wars are covered as the first World War had finished and the start of the second World War was mounting.  Lewis covers the concept of keeping oneself busy with work and other events saving you from the church or fellowshipping with others.  He deals with relationships, temptations, sex, bitterness, etc.  All of these aspects often are what tear apart a marriage or other relationships we have established.  He covers the direction of the Church and those given the charge of being a shepherd to the sheep.  The church was struggling at that time, like today, where nearly everything is permitted for entertainment purposes, except the Biblical text is ignored as old, outdated or irrelevant.

Ralph Cosham is a seasoned narrator with over 120 books narrated on Audible at the time of this writing.  He seems to get very high reviews by others for his works, and many of the works he has narrated include classic literature as Animal Farm, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Jungle Books along with many other work by C. S. Lewis.  As stated earlier, I thought the book was skillfully narrated and the audio was without any issues.  This was my first book narrated by him.

In summary, as with many of Lewis’ works, he often writes Christian focused allegory and satire, so the book may not be for enjoyed by everyone.  No matter, the book does provide some unique questions and challenges one’s thinking about religion and the non-visible world.  Writing the book as a satire requires one to think when you are presented with an attack or argument from the demons.  The unabridged audio for this short book is only three and a half hours long.

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