So I m a big fan of all things C S Lewis Have been most of my life And Screwtape is one of my favorites So that said, I didn t go into this book with very high expectations Figured it d just be some knockoff that payed lip service to the former, but that failed to catch any of its charm and depth And I must say I was very surprised Not only does the author use Lewis infernal epistolary effectively, I d go so far as to say that his book comes off as quite original Wood doesthan merely mimic Lewis book, he makes this book his own, his voice and insights, and with a brasher,snide chief devil to boot So to review, would I say it s as good as Screwtape No, nor do I think that kind of competition was the author s point or goal But I would I say this is a fine, well written book and an entertaining, insightful read, worthy in its own right, and that is something which it definitely has in common with Screwtape Try it out for yourself I think you ll be surprised too. In A Riff On C S Lewis THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, Geoffrey Wood S GRIMRACK Is A Collection Of Correspondences Emails This Time Between Demons With Dark Humor And Biting Wit, Professor Grimrack Doles Out Devilish Insights To The Three Tempter Demons Enrolled In His Graduate Seminar On The American Experiment First off, let me say that I am a huge C.S Lewis fan The guy had a way of taking complex ideas and making them so eloquently simple that you constantly found yourself wondering Why didn t I think of that before.Over the years there have been occasional attempts by well meaning authors to play off of the Screwtape Letters concept None of them have been taken seriously before now I must admit I was somewhat skeptical at first of Mr Wood s attempt.However, after reading the introduction where he lays out his great respect for Lewis and considers this work a way of honoring him, I was placated enough to read further.What I found was nothing short of extraordinary.To translate Lewis into modern American vernacular might have been useful, but Geoffrey Wood has gone way beyond mere translation He has taken the torch and run a new race.His choice of topics for the Professor Demon to cover reveal an understanding of Lewis rhythm and form while adding entire new layers of insight to the piece.In one email regarding gratitude Wood puts the words in the demon s mouth Never let them try out this gratitude, for they would immediately discover that it supplies the first and most important component to happiness contentment Luckily, Americans aren t really looking for that They want elation not contentment With happiness, they stress one end of its meaning and forget the other As a Seminary student, I often found myself agreeing wholeheartedly whilst also feeling a tinge of conviction at the same time This book is well worth the read for anyone who has read Lewis and wishes to continue the journey.May there be a 100like Mr Woods who have the courage and the chops to pick up the gauntlet Lewis laid down and present us with the gift of well written insight and wisdom. Grimrack is a wonderful book, very much so applying to real life The psychological aspects of people are spot on and the book is extremely thought provoking It is inspiring and really opens the eyes to be aware of God and Satan s works I enjoyed The Screwtape Letters greatly and have a special appreciation for Grimrack, both warning us of dangers unseen in the world and how God is always ready and eager to help us I truly adore this modern Screwtape In his Screwtape Letters, C S Lewis reveals many of the convoluted ways we humans talk ourselves into doing what we know is wrong In Grimrack, we find something similar a professor devil writing emails to the demons enrolled in his class specializing on techniques for tempting today s American souls I have read both and though Screwtape Letters is still my favorite, this one is very good and just as insightful In fact, some of the issues that Grimrack discusses were ones that I myself have struggled with at times As a Christian, we re not always aware of what goes on inside us when we make our day to day decisions We may think we re doing things for one reason when really it s because of selfishness or pride or envy This book helped me see things I hadn t seen before and understand myself in ways I never have before It is definitely worth a read, especially if you re a fan of Screwtape Letters. An excellent riff on the Screwtape Letters Geoffrey Wood s Grimrack is both a delightful and diabolical read A critique of modern American society as seen from those demons charged with corrupting and ultimately damning the Americans assigned to them The book is also very funny Several times I caught myself laughing aloud and repeating a line to myself over and over again If you re interested in people s motivations and the supernatural world that surrounds them, then this is a must read And although I love The Screwtape Letters, I found the topics discussed in this bookapplicable to my own Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who liked The Screwtape Letters Worth reading a second and third time. So what to think of this book a self proclaimed riff on a Christian classic, Screwtape Letters one that borrows C S Lewis basic idea, that of demonic correspondences, but that is freshly tailored for 21st century Americans Well as a long time devotee of Lewis writings, I had my misgivings going in But in the preface, I quickly discovered that every one of my doubts was shared by the author himself How could anyone be so impudent as to step onto Lewis own turf Wouldn t such a person suffer greatly from the comparison And what would those fans who adore Lewis think of such an attempt But despite initial worries, Wood goes on to pay his due respect to the one and only Lewis and suggests that though such a great writer could never be replicated or replaced, there is a place for new writers to pick up where he left off and make an effort to engage our society as deeply and imaginatively as Lewis did his own So I read on and was greatly surprised and pleased at what I found The writing itself is good, quite good, not to say equal to Lewis , of course, but often with the same kind of thoughtfulness and precision that is the hallmark of Lewis style Oh and wit Despite the malevolent intent of the correspondences, this book is genuinely funny which is a hallmark of Wood s earlier novels full of delightful humor throughout, although admittedly of a sinister quality, specializing in a juicy wicked line here and a hilarious satirical quip there Not only does Wood effectively use Lewis imaginary set up, he also often succeeds in producing the same kind of insights Screwtape is so full of Indeed, there are times when the demon professor hits home a little too close for comfort While reading this book, I found myself at times having just the sort of Aha moments that I ve had and love having during my reading and re readings of Screwtape Moments where an author says a thing in just such a way and I think, Of course Why I ve always known that to be the truth Just never heard it stated that way, put so clearly and succinctly into words Truthfully, besides Lewis, there are very very few authors who do that for me But I m happy to report that now I know of oneto add to that list Is it possible for a book to venture out on a riff on one of the greatest Christian writers of all time while also being new and original Well, Grimrack does both Geoffrey Wood s latest is definitely a tough trick shot, but one that he pulls off and, in my opinion, not unlike Lewis himself might have done were he alive in contemporary America.
Geoffrey Wood is a writer of fiction, plays and the occasional sonnet.
- Kindle Edition
- 132 pages
- Geoffrey Wood
- 02 April 2018 Geoffrey Wood