I've wanted to read this book since the year 2000. One of my roommates my sophomore year of college read it for a class and said she laughed all the way through it, and it was just so witty and brilliant, and she insisted I would love it.
And it's taken me seventeen years to finally read it. Partly because I didn't have a copy for a long time, and kept forgetting to get it from the library, and partly because I was pretty worried it was not going to live up to the hype she bestowed on it. I even bought a copy last year, and then just... didn't read it.
Sometimes, I'm so lame.
But now, I've read it! And wowwowwow. Witty? Yes. Brilliant? Yes. Funny? Not so much.
I mean, I can see how it could be funny, but it wasn't funny to me.
In fact, it was downright terrifying in spots.
Why? Because I saw so much of myself in this book. Complacent, distracted, and not very invested in my faith? Yeah, that is me just FAR too often. This was a very convicting book for me, and made me take a long look at how habitual my faith can become. Which is great, because it made me examine my prayer life, my Bible-reading habits, and my investment in my vocations and see so many places where I am not doing what I should to thank and praise, serve and obey my Savior.
Which is not to say that it didn't make me laugh, because it did make me laugh a couple of times. But it made me think much more than laugh, which I was not expecting, but which I appreciate so much.
In other words... this was way better than I had hoped.
If you've never read it, the whole book is letters from a demon named Screwtape to his nephew, a demon named Wormwood who is trying to prevent a human from remaining a Christian, but instead to win his soul for Satan. Fascinating concept that's executed so masterfully.
Particularly Good Bits:
It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out (p. 16).
The duty of planning the morrow's work is today's duty; though its material is borrowed from the future, the duty, like all duties, is in the Present (p. 77).
If we neglect our duty, men will be not only contented but transported by the mixed novelty and familiarity of snowdrops this January, sunrise this morning, plum pudding this Christmas (p. 136).
A woman means by Unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others (p. 142).
It is not fatigue simply as such that produces... anger, but unexpected demands on a man already tired (p. 166).
(I underlined a LOT more than these, but they give you a taste, anyway. Fantastic book!)
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for non-explicit discussions of human sexuality.
This is my 12th book read and reviewed for my second stint at The Classics Club, and my 11th for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017.