2017 Reading Challenge

Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge: Book #3

Things are getting interesting and are requiring a little more research.

Book #3: A book about letters. 

I will admit. At first I thought “aren’t all books about letters? I mean that’s what they are made of”. And then it dawned on me that “letters” meant correspondence, not the alphabet.

No books came to mind to fit the prompt, so it was back to The Google. A simple search brought up my next pick.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

A one sided conversation commences in the form of letters written from Screwtape, a high ranking devil, to his nephew Woodworm, a new graduate and lowly tempter on Earth.

Woodworm has found his target in a man who has just started to flirt with Christianity. Screwtape’s letters are filled with the various ways to cloud the man’s judgement and bring him closer to Hell.

The book is a satirical look at the world and humanity. C.S. Lewis expertly uses Screwtape to point out the flaws, both petty and serious, that reside in the human race and while it is at once thought provoking, it is also overly weighted down with long sentences and details.

Part of my issue with the book was that I was incredibly sick when I read it. My tolerance for keeping my eyes open lasted about an hour before my heavy eyelids begged to be closed. I believe that even in perfect condition, I would have found the letters tedious to read with the choice of wording provided.

I tend to always finish a book I’ve started, but it was a real challenge to finish this one. A great premise, but tedious in execution. Still, there were some passages that have stuck with me especially one about the human need for change. I no longer have my copy of the book, so I can’t plagiarize here, but to summarize Screwtape waxes on about how humans love change as a way to escape the monotony of their view of the world. However, the change can not be real and unexpected change. Instead we relish in the changes that are expected such as the seasons: each quarter of the year bringing an onslaught of new sensations, climate, plant life and life style. Yet, each year the seasons are the same: Winter begets Spring with Summer close on its heels and ending in another Fall. There are no surprises with each. The same brilliant foliage we stare at this fall will return the next.

In the end though, it wasn’t enough to salvage my opinion of the book as a whole.







2 thoughts on “Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge: Book #3”

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