Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Magnificent Malevolence

Magnificent Malevolence  attempts to evoke the spirit of C.S. Lewis's  The Screwtape Letters by laying out the grand agenda of the Lowarchy over the past half-century. It's an impressive goal, but also a notable departure from Lewis's focus on an individual tempter and patient. Another difference is the format--as the subtitle declares, this book is written as a memoir, rather than letters. While this makes sense with today's genre preferences, I feel the author missed a chance to introduce further conflict within the story.
The book was well-unified, with intriguing, sometimes controversial interpretations of recent events. But even when I disagreed with the author, I felt he raised valid concerns with contemporary American culture. However, the book fell short in the most important area: the tone.  Although The Screwtape Letters has a very dark, gritty tone, there are also moments of levity and irony when the reader realizes flaws in the demons' arguments. Magnficent Malvolence takes itself so seriously that the darkness threatens to suffocate readers. It rates a solid three stars, but I'd recommend As One Devil to Another by Richard Platt for someone looking for a modern perspective on devilish correspondance
I received this book for free from Kregel Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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