Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Audio Book Review: The Screwtape Letters

C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. Focus on the Family. 4 CDs. 2009.

Do you like to listen to audio books? How about dramatized audio productions? Focus on the Family's "Radio Theatre" has done an amazing job with C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. This edition comes with 4 CDs and 1 DVD. In addition to a drama of the book, you get 10 original 'inspired-by' songs.

I'm not one to normally listen to audio books. Though there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, I really loved listening to C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia on audio book. What made me, a skeptic, want to pick this one up? Two little words. Andy Serkis. Yes, Andy Serkis of Gollum fame is Screwtape.

This wasn't my first time reading The Screwtape Letters. I remember first reading this one back in high school. (I went through a C.S. Lewis phase where I read anything and everything Lewis.) But it was my first time listening to it.

What is this one about? Screwtape, a demon, is giving advice to his nephew, Wormwood, (also a demon) on how to influence or tempt his human, John Hamilton. The book was told in thirty-one letters. And each of those has been dramatized for the audio version. Early on, Wormwood's patient becomes a Christian. The rest of the book is focused on those two discussing how to undermine and sabotage this man's faith.

What can you learn from this one? In this little book, there are sprinkled so many insights, so many aha moments. (I especially found his insights on the church useful.) His way of seeing the world, the topsy-turvy perspective where good is bad and bad is good helped me see some of my own weaknesses. I bet every reader can find something to relate to something in this one. And if they won't admit it, is that pride at work?!

What did I love about this one? I loved the drama of it. I know that sounds obvious. But just because it's obvious doesn't make it any less true. I loved the actors--especially Andy Serkis and Bertie Carvel. I thought they did a wonderful job. Their voices were just so perfect for this. I mean it really couldn't get any better. The other actors did well too. All together they did such a great job at bringing this one to life.

Have you read The Screwtape Letters? Have you listened to it? What did you think? Did any of it speak to you? Do you think Lewis did a good job with his fictional account of how things might work?

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible


Anonymous said...

I remember reading this a while ago when I was a teenager and loving it. I'd like to revisit it as an adult, though.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

Screwtape Letters on audio? Sounds wonderful!