Monday, July 26, 2010
The Screwtape Letters
The Screwtape Letters was written by C.S. Lewis and therefore of immediate interest to me. I've always enjoyed his Narnia books so even though I knew this one wasn't a "fantasy" per se, I knew his writing ability would be well able to hold my attention. This book is a series of letters from Screwtape, a devil of some repute, to his nephew, Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of a normal young man. These letters are among the very best satire I have ever read. By having Screwtape advise his nephew on how to be a better demon, CS Lewis is actually pointing out the shortfalls of our own society. I think perhaps his comments are even more apropos to our society today than when he wrote them in the early 1940s. For example, when commenting on the educational system, the demons push for a dumbed down system in order to avoid any children being left behind. Of course that leads to mediocre results for everybody, a truly "dumbed down" system. Sound familiar?
Anyway, there are no sword fights or daring escapes, or other assorted thrills so if that's what you are looking for in a good read then best to skip this one. However, if you want a fairly short book to read that gives you a lot to think about and yet be entertaining at the same time, you could certainly do worse than this one.
Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)
- "The Stand" by Stephen King
- "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
- "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
- "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
- "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
- "River God" by Wilbur Smith
- "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
- "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
- "Centennial" by James A Michener
- "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson