As One Devil to Another is an excellent and insightful debut book by Richard Platt. In similar style to C S Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, As One Devil To Another contains letters written by senior devil Slashreap to his young nephew Scardagger who has recently graduated from Temptation University. Slashreap mentors Scardagger on luring a young woman – his client – away from Heaven and the Adversary into their clutches. As the devils plot their way to triumph, they reveal the spiritual dangers and risks we face in today’s society. They have a frighteningly accurate perspective on issues such as contemporary art, modern technology, and sexual practices, which is interwoven with timeless matters such as the power of prayer, the purpose of suffering, and promises held out by Heaven and Hell. It seems that there is no subject, nothing that affects we humans, that the devils do not gleefully explore as they try by any means to keep the precious soul of their client from Heaven.
Two distinct storylines gradually emerge from the letters making up the book – that of the humans and that of the devils. Their lives are inextricably entwined, while exhibiting completely separate cares, concerns and ambitions. Scardagger works hard to keep his young client firmly in his grip but, again and again, receives scathing criticism from Slashreap over his naive mistakes. The reader realises that these mistakes are not necessarily Scardagger’s fault because we see the Adversary quietly working in the young woman’s life through circumstances and ‘chance’ conversations. While there is real anger from Slashreap at his young nephew’s ineptitude, he is also gleeful in anticipating his failure and downfall.
There is an excellent twist at the end of the book. No more here, you’ll have to read it for yourself!
One quote that touched me was:
It seldom occurs to the humans that the Adversary would naturally have provided them with the best things in abundance, and at no cost whatever: sunsets and spring rains, love and friendship, goodwill and fellowship, and, it pains me to write it, Himself. We teach them to see a desert while standing in a garden.
How blind we humans are to eternal truths!
I enjoyed reading this book which seemed to have such a lot of spiritual common sense in it. There is so much these days that we call ‘good’ that is actually ‘bad’, and our society often seems topsy-turvey. As One Devil to Another is brilliantly written and reveals a deeply unsettling perspective on our twenty-first century society. This is a fascinating glimpse of oursevles through the eyes of those who have embraced their underwordly existence.
I can highly recommend this book. And so, I’m giving away one free copy (courtesy of Tyndale House publishers). First come, first served! UK participants only, I’m afraid. To win, please comment on this post.
I am grateful to Tyndale House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review.