Review of The Screwtape Letters

Review by Tirian

You may have noticed that this month NarniaWeb has been featuring ads for Focus on the Family Radio Theatre. I’d like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for supporting NarniaWeb this month and wanted to take the opportunity to tell you a little about the C.S. Lewis works that they are offering.

Focus on the Family Radio Theatre’s Chronicles of Narnia is a full dramatization of each of the seven books in the Narnia series. Each book is told over three hours and has introductions by Douglas Gresham who shares some interesting insights into the story. I’ve listened to all seven of these and they are really good.

Last year I had the opportunity to pick up the dramatized version of The Screwtape Letters. Before reading anything else, watch this clip on YouTube.

Andy Serkis as Wormwood is one of the most inspired casting choices I’ve ever heard. He brings a sense of refined malice to the part which fits perfectly! The dramatization takes what is a primarily theological book and highlights the personal parts of the story. It’s an excellent adaptation which makes the characters believable and thoroughly likeable (not Screwtape, of course) and really drives the story forward. Each chapter takes about 10 minutes which makes for easy listening and allows you to break the story up. If you are listening on an MP3 player you can quickly skip around to different topics. I highly, highly recommend checking out The Screwtape Letters.

Note: The Screwtape Letters might be too intense for the younger ears in your family. There’s scary music, explosions and lots of devilish cackling. Even now, watching the clip above brings chills to my spine.

If you are still looking for a Christmas gift this year, I’d recommend either of these gifts for the C.S. Lewis-lovers in your life. Find out more at Tyndale House Publishers.

25 Responses

  1. Arthiel says:

    This is one of my favorite Radio Theatre dramas!

  2. narnian resident says:

    i love Andy Serkis! he's doing Gollum again for The Hobbit, and i cant wait to see that character on screen again 😀

  3. Aravis_Tarkheena011 says:

    I love Focus on the Family! I have just a ton of their radio theatre productions!

  4. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    I know, I can't wait!

  5. Louloudi the Centaur says:

    Nice clip! I think the books might still be a bit advanced for me, but maybe in another year or two I'll be ready to read some more of C.S. Lewis' works.

  6. Dylan says:

    I can not wait for The Hobbit trailer!

  7. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    Me too!

  8. Lilygloves says:

    I'm really excited for this and I'm hoping to get it for Christmas. To anyone that has heard the whole drama and has read the whole book, is it word for word? I know that in the Narnia audio drama there are a few parts that are slightly changed for dramatic purposes, but I'm assuming it would be much easier to do letters word for word.

  9. Dylan says: said today that we can expect a trailer on Tuesday! Woohoo! I'm really excitied to see my fav book make it to the big screen.

  10. Eowyn says:

    I agree that the Focus on the Family Radio Drama Theater's adaption of Narnia is really good! It would make a great Christmas present for any Narnia fans! I haven't heard the Screwtape Letters yet or read the book, but am planning on it. What do you think about that story? Is it a hard and difficult read?

  11. Aslan's BFF says:

    Hilarious laugh at the end! *Trying to stay in one piece while laughing and typing*

  12. Ariel_of_Narnia says:

    Ooh! I wants!!
    And Gollum makes a good demon. ;-P

  13. Dylan says:

    My preciousssssss….

  14. Dylan says:

    I was actually quite surprised to hear SErkis' voice, I expected it to be more like Gollum's, but it was much deeper and far more terrifying.

  15. Dylan says:

    And to add on to my comment above I had my speakers on high when the video began haha, freaked the hec out of me lol!

  16. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    A trailer already?

  17. Dylan says:

    On December 20th they said it will be released. I read a description of it that said the trailer was less epic, more focus on the individual characters, and also focus on some important scenes from the book. They deleted the article that had the description because they say that Peter Jackson and Co had requested for it to be tooken down.

  18. Lucy Took says:

    I got it when it first came out (Radio Theatre C.S. Lewis! Andy Serkis! What's not to link?) and I found that it was everything that I expected. I head read the book,and liked the fleshing out of the patient, giving him a name and a voice. It isn't word for word, as they wanted to open it up for the other characters to have speaking parts.

    The book is a very easy read for those wondering, but it does touch on some very adult subjects, as does the drama, and Lewis could well…be very blunt. So I would recomend it for teenagers, but only for older kids AFTER Mom/Dad have listened to it.

  19. Stone says:

    Yeah, I'm going to be "that guy" here. Just wanting to clarify a small detail that was stated incorrectly in the review. Serkis does not portray the character Wormwood, but rather the character Screwtape, who is the writer of the letters in this story. Aside from that, I totally agree with the review as I have the set myself and have listened to it so many times on my mp3 player that I've lost track. I also try to get any friends I have who are fans of well-produced audio to give it a try as it is an excellent example of a well carried out audio drama.

  20. Dylan says:

    WOW. I saw the Hobbit trailer, and I am absolutely speechless. WOW. I soooo can not wait til next year…..

  21. The Gatekeeper says:

    It's pretty much word for word. They remove or re-word a sentence here and there, and most of the letters are turned into dialogues between Screwtape and Wormwood (which is a really nice touch), but practically everything in the book made it into the radio drama. I was very, very impressed with it.

  22. AslansChild says:

    Wow, that looked so wickedly AWSOME!!!! O wow, I really want this. lol. That guy, Andy Serkis, he's really horribly good. lol. I've never read the Srewtape Letters, but I DO own it (does that count for anything? 🙂 ) Just haven't read it yet. I did flip through the other day though, and i like the part were Screwtape is laminating about the Christian young lady, is that right? He's going on and on about how she's so innov=cent and sweet, but yet he thinks she has this witty, quick little bite against him. It was just funny.

  23. AslansChild says:

    ug, I freaked my post up! Anyway, wonder why they didn't use Anthony Perkins as Lewis, he was pretty good in the film "ShadowLands". < Trailer here. 🙂 lol – Is he even alive? lol 🙂

  24. Sarah says:

    I really liked this audio book. Pa got it not too long ago and I've listened to most of it, I've missed parts here and there when my sister would stay up late listening to it and I would have to go to bed, but I really liked it 🙂
    I think they did a wonderful job with it 🙂

  25. North one says:

    as someone who has read the novel first then discovered the radio broadcasts i am thoroughly thrilled with the presentation