Saturday, April 28, 2012

As One Devil to Another: Review and Giveaway

Young, naïve, inexperienced Scardagger—on his first assignment and so lucky to have his uncle to mentor him through the traumatic process… (His Uncle Slashreap, that is. Not the other uncle, the one who recently devoured Scardagger’s cousin for his catastrophic failure).

Or so Slashreap suggests in this series of letters, originally intended for his nephew’s benefit and printed now in As One Devil to Another.

Throughout these letters transcribed by author Richard Platt, Slashreap pays not-so-subtle homage to C. S. Lewis’s original work, The Screwtape Letters. As his predecessor before him, Slashreap attempts to instruct his nephew and pupil on the proper Demonic Virtues. (Not so much temptation as distraction and confusion.) And, as his predecessor also, he lashes out against his nephew’s inept, idiotic behavior. “The moral is clear: Never allow yourself a moment of innocuous pleasure.”

Why this and not the original? The first few letters read awkwardly, while the book itself relies heavily on that “pestilential writer” Lewis’s work. And yet, As One Devil to Another answers critics in the end with strong, clear writing, as well as an interesting critique of modern culture. (It also has great cartoon illustrations, as you can see from the cover!)

Personally, I found the Slashreap’s choice of a “client” for his nephew to be intriguing—or should that be disturbing? She is young woman, an English major, pursuing her graduate degree (at Oxford University, no less), with ambitions for a university career. I happen to fit the general type, so some of Slashreap’s barbs hit very near home. And, while the nature of art, deconstruction, or academic originality may not interest every reader, Slashreap deals out loquacious advice on many contemporary questions from gender equality and social order to technology and the “Virtual World.”

Slashreap, in fact, falls just short of the original wit and thoughtfulness of The Screwtape Letters. And, the final letters reach far toward creating their own brilliant conclusion. Considering the stature of the original, that’s far indeed, and I would recommend this book to anyone who has read Lewis’s.

For more information about the book, check the publisher's site here.

[My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for sending me a review copy of As One Devil to Another, in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.]


In addition to the review copy, Tyndale sent me a certificate for a free book giveaway for As One Devil to Another!

To enter the giveaway, simply post a link of this review on your own site before Saturday, May 12th and leave a comment here with a link back to your post. You may enter multiple times for each time you post a link on a different—not the same—website. (No more than one winner per household, no spamming, and all that. ) I will select one winner, using, and announce the results that Saturday!


Audrey said...

P.S. You still have one week left to enter the giveaway. It's not that hard--just link to this review somewhere on the web (blog, Facebook, personal site) and let me know where. You can do it as a post script, an afterthought, or even a rant about people that make you post a link to enter a book giveaway. It's a chance to get free reading material. (Besides, I happen to think the book is worth reading.)

And, it would appear that the odds will be ever in your favor!

Emma said...

Okay, I'm game! I don't know if you can view Goodreads without signing up, so if this doesn't work, let me know, and I'll take a screenshot.

Emma said...

PS, are you sure you don't influence your Captcha? Because "eldritch" and "visor" are down right suspicious.

Audrey said...

Thanks, Emma! The link worked, but I would have trusted you anyway. And, no, I don't think I'm influencing the Captcha selections. Maybe we should start a survey to see what words people get on other sites?

Audrey said...

Congratulations, Emma! You are the uncontested winner of this giveaway. I'll deliver your book certificate to you in the next week.

Daniel Sauble said...

"The Ishbane Conspiracy" by Randy Alcorn is another clever take on Screwtape, but I'll have to check out this one as well.

Audrey said...

I remember reading a section or two of "The Ishbane Conspiracy" during college, and it struck me as pretty intense--now you mention it, I should go back and finish it sometime.

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