I knew someone, sooner or later, would imitate C. S. Lewis and his classic Screwtape Letters. I remember reading Screwtape Letters (a couple of times). I then listened to a recording of the book by John Cleese. I was amazed! The voice inflection, the snarls, etc. The book came alive to me.
It was with that prior experience I listened to a recording of As One Devil to Another. What a disappointment. There was not that clever use of voice I expected. Listening to it was a little boring in places.
And that brings up the content of the book. The letters are from the senior devil to his nephew, a junior devil, just getting into the temptation game, so to speak. So we get only one side of the interaction. To make that work, the senior devil painstakingly recounts the events in which the junior devil participates.
As I recall, Lewis did this in a clever way. He did not have the senior devil merely retell the event. By clever use of statements, the actions of the event were implied, while not flat out retold. Unfortunately, Platt did not use that clever way of communicating. He just had the senior devil retell each event, and that was rather boring.
Another issue I had with the book was the temptations involved. As I recall, Lewis was clever at identifying pride, avarice, sloth, etc. as areas to which temptation should be aimed. This made Lewis' book timeless. It can be read by any generation.
This book seemed to address more current, cultural areas of temptation. Television is addressed, as is homosexuality. Rather than concentrating on timeless temptations, Platt seems to have limited himself to current considerations.
I am not going to take the time to go into the theology of the book. But I did find it rather odd that devils eat each other. But then, after all, this is fiction.
If you have not read (or listened to) Screwtape Letters, you might be totally satisfied with this book and really enjoy it. If you are a real fan of C. S. Lewis, you might be disappointed.
This book is pretty far removed from what I usually read, yet I found myself truly engaged. I *blush* have never actually read C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, so I didn't know what to expect at all. But I was happily surprised that I liked it.
As One Devil to Another tells the tale of two demons the older and more experienced Slashreap, writes letters to his young inexperienced nephew Scardagger, giving him lessons on how to lure away souls from their Adversary.
I thought that this book was so well done, because it told an engaging story through onesided letters, yet it had so many biblical and spiritual truths about spiritual warfare, and it encouraged me to think of things in ways I had never thought of them before. And I think that Mr. Platt did a splendid job of representing spiritual warfare and how the devil uses tactics to lure us away from God.
Overall, I really liked how I was able to enjoy this book, and learn at the same time. I think this book is sure to be a classic! I would highly recommend this book, I think others would be surprised at how much they like it!
No review required. I checked this out at my local library. Thanks!
After making it past the opening preface and notes, my eyes hit on the words "My Dear Scardagger," and I immediately knew I was on home territory.
In the thirty-one letters which followed, I found myself alternately intrigued, amused, justified, encouraged, criticized, and taunted by a witty commentary on technology, education, relationships, and a smattering of other subjects (the book is only 192 pages cover to cover). The author has definitely mastered Lewis' sense of style while adding enough new content to make a new book, rather than rehashing one already written.
Of course, this book has the benefit of another 70 years of history and technological changes behind it, and the author has the good sense to make use of it. Just as the original Screwtape was set during 1942's London Blitz, As One Devil to Another is set in the modern era filled with 'modern' conveniences and 'modern' problems. Ultimately, however, both books point back to the same fundamental problems (sin) and the same definitive solution (Christ).
I really liked this book. I like how it reminded me of a few things I had forgotten regarding Christian life. I like how it compliments and adds to my C.S. Lewis collection. I liked how entertaining it was, and how the author ever so subtly switched between his 'devilish' voice and the voice of a Christian philosopher to nail home a final point before resuming his cover.
This is a great read, especially for fans of the original. I recommend it whole heartedly.
*Note: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale for review