As One Devil to Another: A Fiendish Correspondence in the Tradition of C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters

As One Devil to Another: A Fiendish Correspondence in the Tradition of C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters

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by Richard Platt
     
 

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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

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Overview

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. 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. Destined to become a modern classic, As One Devil to Another is a brilliantly written, deeply unsettling perspective on twenty-first-century society . . . a glimpse of ourselves through the eyes of those who have embraced their underworldly existence. Tyndale House Publishers

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Editorial Reviews

Beliefnet Editors
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.

Midwest Book Review
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.
Christian Retailing Magazine
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”
Scardagger
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,
Scardagger

[With thanks to Dr. Sanford Lakoff, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego for discovering this communication.]

The Midwest Book Review
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.
From the Publisher
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. Beliefnet.com

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. Midwest Book Review

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” Christian Retailing Magazine

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781414371665
Publisher:
Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
03/30/2012
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
726,938
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

AS ONE DEVIL TO ANOTHER

A fiendish correspondence in the tradition of C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters
By RICHARD PLATT

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Richard Platt
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-7166-5


Chapter One

My dear Scardagger,

According to the report just handed me from Temptation University, you are quite the fiend—or rather, one day, under the lash and spur of my ceaseless vigilance, you will be. It is a great joy to be handed such an accomplished pupil to fashion and mould in my own flawlessly accomplished Image and Likeness. And high time, too!

My Elder Brother wanted you for himself. I can hardly blame him. As this year's Commencement Speaker and Guest of Honour at the Tempt U graduation ceremony, he was entitled to certain privileges, but the Board of Governors did not deem that match appropriate. Having seen your Dreaded Uncle devour with such becoming gusto the choicest cuts of your incompetent little cousin, as his final shrieks resonated against the walls of the banquet hall (always an effective light ceremonial touch to remind you youngsters of the wages of failing the cause of Hell), the Board thought that pairing you with the same Mentor might prove a distraction to you both. This decision did not sit well with him. Your Uncle's satanic selfishness and complete lack of mercy have always been an inspiration to me, but as my brother he might have relinquished you to me with better grace, especially after receiving the Golden Thorns Award. That should be enough to slake the thirst for recognition in any Devil, at least for a time.

Certainly he has served His Infernal Majesty's battle against the Adversary's earthly siege with glorious distinction. I have learned more of the Black and Subtle Art of Temptation at his side than anywhere else. It is through his ceaseless efforts, and those of countless other highly accomplished Devils, such as myself, that the Earth remains in our hands. Our utter defiance of the Adversary and our steadfast refusal even to consider His ridiculous gibberish about Redemption and Grace will, I trust, be an inspiration to you.

I have noticed that your diabolical Chancellor, Dr. Glitchtwist, has been sending me superb material since his recent stay in our Institute of Reeducation. There is nothing like a little holiday to clarify one's vision and renew one's drive and sense of purpose. You no doubt found among your cousin's effects the profusely illustrated booklet of the delights that await one in The Schoolhouse, as we all affectionately call it, as reward for substandard performance. The Staff do so enjoy their work. You need have no fear of their company—at least, not yet—provided you follow explicitly the instructions of your betters.

You have no idea of the stress and aggravation your Dreaded Uncle and I have endured at the hands of in competent tempters. He, at least, was modestly compensated for the pang of sharpened famine he endured as the result of the loss of your cousin's final client. The erstwhile tempter made a lovely meal at your graduation ceremony, did he not? Even though you were Class Valedictorian, you should have remembered that, as the Guest of Honour, your Uncle was entitled to the choicest cuts. I quite understand that the bite you administered to his person in the heat of the festivities was unintended, merely the result of the exhilaration of the moment and youthful high spirits, though as your new Mentor I would advise you to act with greater forethought in the future. Your enthusiasm is less pleasing than you might think. It was only the laughter of the Chancellor that saved you from the consequences of your folly. Patience, my boy, patience. I understand this is a quality invented by the Adversary; but like much of what He has created, it can be twisted to our purposes.

Do not blame me if your appetite exceeded your deserts and caused Infernal Security to make you cough up that last delicious morsel. It will no doubt be a consolation to you to hear that the bit of your little cousin you had to relinquish was all the sweeter to your Dreaded Uncle for its gelatinous state and the dark fire of your disappointment which accompanied it as it passed his lips. You enjoyed your portion of the refreshments, did you? They met your expectations? Now you have at last tasted the reward for all our labours, of which you, as a youngster, had only heard. You have seen for yourself that Hell affords pleasures the Adversary cannot offer. There is no music to compare to the final wretched screams of a failed soul. I am glad that we had the opportunity to share this delightful meal together and consequently understand one another.

Your marks are quite impressive. Well done, my boy! I speak not merely as the newly appointed Departmental Head for Young Tempter Development, but as your Uncle, and, of course, your friend. Temptation University has not produced such a promising graduate since myself: first Class Honours in the Casting of Doubt, the Inflammation of Vanity, the Erosion of Values, the Destruction of Conscience, the Dissolution of Goodwill, the Inculcation of Egocentricity (though you will admit that this is an easy task nowadays), and the formation of Spiritual Pride. This last, as you well know, is the subtlest and most refined of all our Arts. You will have learned from your textbooks that it is a specialty of mine. Oh, we shall have great fun swapping stories one day!

I see you received only Honourable Mention for the Chancellor's Essay Prize. Perhaps having chosen a topic as easy as the Augmentation of Lust did not work in your favour. If, however, your disappointing performance is due to your lack of skill in this area, no matter. There is no need to worry. Perhaps you weren't paying much attention during the tedious films they forced you to sit through. I can hardly blame you. There is so little challenge for us here in the modern world. The momentum of the current fashion is entirely in our favour. I see also that you received only passing marks for turning yourself into an Angel of Light on the parade ground, but don't concern yourself with that, either. Despite the perpetual abrasion of living in a fallen world and aeons of evidence to the contrary, very few of the humans actually believe in us, or in anything their spiritual blindness prevents them from seeing, though any tool you can bring to the task will be useful in some way. We'll work on that. You can trust me to look after you.

In my next, I shall review first Principles, after which we will begin to discuss the delicate task of acquiring the soul of your first client for His Infernal Majesty.

With Warm Regards from your Loving Uncle and Mentor,

Slashreap

(Continues...)



Excerpted from AS ONE DEVIL TO ANOTHER by RICHARD PLATT Copyright © 2012 by Richard Platt. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

Dr. Louis Markos
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.
Dr. Louis Markos, author of The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis, Lewis Agonistes, and Restoring Beauty
Doctor - Wayne Martindale
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.
Will Vaus
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.
Will Vaus, author of Mere Theology, The Professor of Narnia, The Hidden Story of Narnia, and Speaking of Jack
Doctor - Louis Markos
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.
Tom Shippey
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.
Dr. Wayne Martindale
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.
Dr. Wayne Martindale, author of Beyond the Shadowlands; coeditor of The Quotable Lewis and The Soul of C. S. Lewis

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