Armed with thorough knowledge of Lewis’ work and a deft, creative touch, Richard Platt uses keenly edged satire to slice through the sham in our human failings and posturing, and the form those take in modern culture. In the winsome tradition of The Screwtape Letters, this immensely entertaining and deeply instructive book uses irony to cast a positive vision of the truth about human destiny and potential, and the vast, unfailing love of God for His children.
In As One Devil to Another, Richard Platt writes in the tradition of The Screwtape Letters in a manner that would have delighted Lewis. By making the object of his devilish correspondence a female graduate student, Platt is able not only to explore vital issues of feminine self-image and the destructive influence of advertising, but also to critique modern and postmodern critical theories that push academics into writing jargon-filled essays that draw us away from, rather than toward, great literature. With both savage wit and deep compassion, Platt takes up such issues as empiricism and the scientific method, homosexuality and the sexual revolution, modern art and corporate greed, cell phones and reality TV, and the problem of pain. He never loses his step and even surprises us with an ending that will leave readers with an impish grin on their lips.
I found myself, by turns, chuckling at the humor laced throughout this demonic correspondence, but then, the next moment, moved by the depth of spiritual insight and application to my own life. As One Devil to Another reads almost like a great whodunit; the author keeps his reader guessing until the very end about what will happen to both the beloved human characters and the delightfully hateful devilish characters in this story.
Decades ago, C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters exposed the follies of his time, notably self-delusion and slick verbosity. For all his efforts, matters have only gotten worse. Now Richard Platt has taken up the probe and lancet, applying them to many of the boils on the modern body politic, and body academic. His source of information in the Lowerarchy enables him to tell us just how our minds are being poisoned, but like Lewis himself, he does so with a concern also for charity: the most annoying of our fellows may just be victims of the muddled thinking pressed on them by Screwtape’s diabolic successors. The switch at the end is in the Lewis tradition of fierce humor.