Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: As One Devil to Another by Richard Platt

Playing Devil's Advocate
By Lauren Yarger
Fans of Uncle Screwtape will enjoy a new incarnation of the devilishly clever correspondence between a demon and his prodigy in Richard Platt's "As One Devil to Another: A Fiendish Correspondence in the Tradition of C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters" (Tyndale, 2012).
Platt's debut novel casts Slashreap as the newly appointed Departmental Head for Young Tempter Development who coaches, through a series of letters, his star pupil and nephew, Scardagger.
Slashreap mentors the up-and-coming tempter of humans away from God and his truth (enhanced by drawings throughout the book by Larry Peterson.) While I wouldn't go so far to say that the language of  "As One Devil to Another" is indistinguishable from Lewis' classic (like Lewis expert Walter Hooper claims in his preface), I would recommend it simply for all of the great "truths" and sage advice contained in the text.
"We convince our clients that the way of the Adversary is too hard, or better still, impossible, without ever letting them to try it, " Slashreap writes. Some other points that have you nodding in understanding about how the enemy seeks to deceive:
"The real show is on the other side of death. You must keep this horrible truth from your client at all costs. Teach her that the only reality is under her pretty nose. Human blindness can be very advantageous to us."
"We have corrupted the institution (universities) at its very core, making it one of the most fertile grounds I know for planting, through competitive friction, the seeds that will grow into a delightful garden of envy, pride, anger and covetousness, for which university members such as your client will not even feel shame, because competition is as much a part of her environment as the air she breathes."

(Pharisaical) people can be so useful to the cause of Hell. They will spend their lives arguing about questions of high theology for which they have neither the intellectual equipment nor the education, meanwhile neglecting the obvious tasks before them."
"A small, but vocal minority proclaims that something which is manifestly preposterous is indisputably true -- that jewel-encrusted rhinoceros dung is Art, for example. Then they shout down opposing views and bludgeon them into silence, demonstrating that argument is useless against them, and personally attacking anyone remaining who dares to speak the truth. Art then becomes anything the artist -- or his agent or promoter -- says it is. Raise the price and it becomes Great Art. Raise t yet again and it is 'profpund."
These little gems are all throughout the correspondence and is a thought-provoking piece, just like its predecessor. This work reads more like a blunt commentary on modern culture and society than Lewis', where the commentary is more veiled in the revelation of how the devil controls our minds. This is entertaining and insightful in its own way.

You can purchase the book here. See a trailer here.
We have a certificate to give away for a free copy of this book. For a chance to win, send an email to info@masterworkproductions.org with "Book Giveaway" in the subject line by midnight, Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Include your name and address in the body of the email. All those entering will be included in a drawing for the certificate,  redeemable at participating Christian bookstores by Aug. 1, 2012. Winner will be notified by email on Thursday, July 19.

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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