Monday, April 16, 2012

As One Devil to Another

Author: Richard Platt
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
March 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4143-7166-5
Genre: Literature

The Screwtape Letters, revisited. Or, in the words of the preface, “This is the first book to take Lewis’ work and move it forward.” The author himself whimsically notes, “In his 1941 preface to The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis writes that he had no intention of revealing how that diabolical correspondence had fallen into his hands, fearing that ‘ill-disposed or excitable people’ would make a bad use of the technique. Having stumbled upon the technique myself, I would like to assure the reader that I am neither excitable nor ill-disposed . . .”

Indeed, the author seems to pick up where Lewis left off, addressing in 21st century terms the very essence of spiritual warfare, and describing with uncanny theological detail the “heart” of both the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. Richard Platt, among other things, seems to be that most rare of individuals, a disinterested observer of life. Not that he is actually disinterested; rather, it is this quality that lends the stamp of authority to his observations. He calls it not as he sees it; rather, he calls it as it is.

It is this quality (along with his genius at coming up with devilish cognomens for his characters) that makes AS ONE DEVIL TO ANOTHER so appealing. Indeed, once you begin AS ONE DEVIL TO ANOTHER, it will hardly feel as if you are “reading a book” at all; rather, you will be the proverbial “fly on the wall” as you observe the interactions between a senior administrative devil and his young protégé.

There are numerous historical and literary references to C.S. Lewis and his writings, which ought to make scholars and students of this Oxford Classicist feel right at home. 192 pages. $15.99.

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