With correspondence appearing [in homage] to Screwtape Letters, the author playfully and fiendishly employs a demon whom the uncle is attempting to instruct in devilish beliefs and further tricks following his recent graduation from “Tempt U.” Slashreap and his young protégé, Scardagger, effectively prod and poke each other, and the reader gains insight into the spiritual realm and about the human condition, showing that God is always at cross-purposes with His adversary, but also how He uses Satan’s wiles for His own intent. An unexpected twist at the end and the author’s storytelling skills make As One Devil to Another a thoughtful and sometimes humorous read. “Top Pick”
My Dear Uncle Slashreap,
You ask my reactions to the letters published by one Richard Platt entitled As One Devil to Another. . . a meretricious work of imagination after the fashion of the same detestable Lewis whose witty barbs at our expense we had thought finally to be rid of. What makes it dangerously insidious is that unfortunately all of it is true. Rest assured, however, that we have done our work too well to have it undone by this resurrected Lewis. We have little to fear from the exposure of your letters and can look forward with relish to the day when we partake of this author—as our Platt du Jour!
Your loving nephew,
[With thanks to Dr. Sanford Lakoff, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego for discovering this communication.]
Not many would have the guts to take a modern twist on a C.S. Lewis classic, but author Richard Platt has done just that with his first novel As One Devil to Another.
With equally as curious names, As One Devil to Another is the letter correspondence of Slashreap to his nephew Scardagger. The young devil is an outstanding “cadet” at Temptation University, and Slashreap is more than happy to take such a promising mischief-maker under this diabolical wing. It is his job to ensure that humans (also known as “clients”) are drawn away from God, their “Adversary”, and pulled closer to their own inherent knack for sinful self-destruction.
As One Devil to Another is virtually Screwtape Letters 2.0. Although we are dealing with different devils, different clients (in this version, the client is a university female graduate student), the similarities between Platt’s book and Lewis’s are abundant—even down to the similarly affectionate salutations. These devils are still up to manipulating situations, exploiting weaknesses and capitalizing on spiritual blindness . . . and their methods haven’t changed. What Platt offers is the same devilish disturbances brought into today’s world. For example, the reader gets to see this devil boast in corrupting God’s design for sexuality with the “Sexual Revolution” and the dangers of allowing mass media to tell Christians how to live.
At the end of the read, you have to tip your hat to Platt, because As One Devil to Another is enlightening and causes any reader to look inward at the presence of God that is already within him or her. It also provokes readers to see the abundance of ways in which the Enemy is desperately trying to get them away from knowing such a power exists in them.
For obvious reasons, this book will appeal to ravenous C.S. Lewis fans, although, chances are, they will read it with a critical eye in light of their devotion of the original. New readers to the genre will enjoy As One Devil to Another merely for its interesting take on the spiritual life.
Taking souls is by no means an easy task. As One Devil to Another is a unique work from Richard Platt, scholar on literary legend C. S. Lewis. Spinning a tale of demons trying to lure a lost soul away from Heaven into Hell, taking notes from Lewis’s style and presenting a contemporary yet timeless tale, As One Devil to Another is a strong pick for literary fiction collections, not to be overlooked for fans of C. S. Lewis.
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.