As One Devil to Another is an astonishing debut work that C. S. Lewis’s biographer and foremost Lewis authority Walter Hooper calls “a stunning achievement, the finest example of the genre of diabolical correspondence to appear since this genre was popularized by C. S. Lewis.” Enter into this chilling and diabolical tale, one that reveals the very tricks and strategies of Hell.
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis has been on my to-read list for many years. In fact, the very book has been sitting in my nightstand drawer for about a year. So, when I had the opportunity to review Richard Platt's As One Devil to Another, written in the style of C.S. Lewis, my interest was piqued.Through a series of letters between devils created by Platt, senior devil Slashreap trains his young protégé, Scardagger, to win an individual soul away from Heaven and into their clutches. As the devils plot their way to triumph, they reveal the spiritual dangers and risks we face in today’s society. Their frighteningly accurate perspective on issues such as contemporary technology and sexual mores is interwoven with timeless matters such as the power of prayer, the purpose of suffering, and the promises held out by Heaven . . . and Hell.(publisher's book description)
I actually started reading Screwtape Letters in anticipation of the arrival of Platt's book. I wanted to have an idea of the comparison of the two. Part of my concern is that Platt's book would seem unoriginal and too much copy of Lewis' unique style in Screwtape Letters to the point of annoyance. I needn't have worried.
I found the tale woven among the letters between senior devil Slashread and student Scardagger thought-provoking and interesting. I enjoyed the little nods to C.S. Lewis or the original Screwtape Letters. For example, Slashread is Screwtape's brother. Slashread warns Scardagger that the "client's" aunt has titles by "a pestilential writer named Lewis" and later references a lion and children (from the popular Naria Series, for those unfamiliar).
The "fiendish correspondence" gives the read a glimpse into all the tricks and strategies of Hell in order to turn one away from the "Adversary" (Slashread's address of God) all with a modern twist of issues of today. Political correctness, homosexuality, reality TV, the sexual revolution, and the Internet are all topics addressed. Also addressed are those issues and questions with which humanity has always struggled: competition, sufferance, pride, humility, good works, and more.
While there was at least once I questioned some theology as presented, overall I found it was good read. At just under 200 pages, it won't bog you down, but it also has enough meat to it to make you think. I'll likely require my high school student to read this title, after reading Screwtape Letters first, especially since the "client" is a young woman at the university pursuing an English degree, an area of interest for my daughter.
Congrats to commenter #5, Julieanne!
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Disclaimer/Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book mentioned above for free from Tyndale Publishers in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.