The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

Paperback | July 1, 2008

byWilliam P. Young

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Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.

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From the Publisher

Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him bac...

Wm. Paul Young was born a Canadian and raised among a Stone Age tribe by his missionary parents in the highlands of former New Guinea. He suffered great loss as a child and young adult and now enjoys the "wastefulness of grace" with his family in the Pacific Northwest.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 5.25 × 8 × 0.62 inPublished:July 1, 2008Publisher:Windblown MediaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0964729237

ISBN - 13:9780964729230

Appropriate for ages: 10 - 10

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful This is a great book on the theology of the trinity. A must read.
Date published: 2016-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from touched my heart For a "religious" book, I found it was less about religion and more about trust, faith and love. I'm not what you would call a religious person, but I fell in love with the story and cried and laughed with the characters. I love the way that God and Jesus and the holy spirit were protrayed - now that's a belief I could get behind! One in which forgiveness, and redemption of others are paramount to rules and regulations written by man. Pick this book up with an open mind, and you'll find that it will be opened further.
Date published: 2012-12-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It was just ok It wasn't the best book I've read, but it wasn't bad. Just ok.
Date published: 2012-06-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from "change your mind and your heart..." the shack is so enlightening and heart warming. lately i felt less caring, giving up and no connection to anything let alone God. my bf's mom recommended this book and she said it is a religious book. i was pretty skeptical when she told. i've never read a religious book or any book that has touched or talked about religion. i figure it would be a boring one sided novel. she was convincing and i started reading it anyways. the foreword was hard for me to get through. boring not surprised. after the second chapter i was hooked i couldn't wait to meet the other characters in the shack. the way they describe all the details is fascinating as if you were really there looking on. Meet Papa/ Elousia, a carpenter and Sarayu. well technically i think they have always been with us... i won't say much about the book but you must read this book. i couldn't possibly put into words the way this book opened my eyes again. but it will open your eyes and make you believe again. need guidance? want help? read Mack's encounter with his 3 friends (cook, gardener and a carpenter) You will believe and see again.... this book needs to be part of your all time favorite lists!!! (only note i will mention is that this book needs to be read more than once to get the entire message and even after that read one more will want to regardless) that's how good this book is
Date published: 2011-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational Lots of food for thought in this one. I won't be a spoiler, read it!
Date published: 2011-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great but not for teens. I really enjoyed this book. It was a great read and really had me not wanting to put the book down. Personally I don't feel that this book is suited for the age range suggested in the description at all though. It deals with a serious issue of loosing a loved one and finding peace with the whole situation. I feel that it deals with controversial and sometimes graphic topics for any 9-12 year old to read. I was excited to read it and when I got to some of the parts where I didn’t fully agree with what was being said, I had to remind myself that it was a book and that I need to read it with an open mind. I did just that and the book really moved me in a way I never expected. So in short, great read but written for adults.
Date published: 2011-02-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not recommended for 'tweens' This book was 'ok' at best. The writing is 'ok'. The story is 'ok'. I don't recommend it for the age group as listed. In a word it was tedious to read.
Date published: 2011-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read I picked this book up because I heard it was a "must read." I found the plot interesting and riveting and I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2010-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from In our image: anthropomorhizing God When I read "The Shack", I found the author's unconventional portrayals of God interesting and provocative in a positive way. Rather than seeing in God a vengeful or retributive judge, the author's "Big Mama" depiction gave me the impression of One who allows people to experience the consequences of their choices, rather than absolving us of the responsibilities for our actions. We experience what we choose, we see what we believe (or, our perceptions shape our realities.) All of our perceptions of God are clouded by our anthropomorphisms of the Ineffable Unknowable.
Date published: 2010-08-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Kind of boring... This book I would describe as for the most part inspirational for those new to a certain religious journey. The characterizations were a tad bit out of the ordinary which may appeal to some readers. Overall I found this book a pretty boring read.; and would possibly recommend it for those who are interested in gaining more background on the Christian faith.
Date published: 2010-05-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Intriguing From a non-religious point of view, this book was definitely enlightening and really makes you think. A favourite part of mine is how the 1. Father, 2. Son, and 3.Holy Ghost is: 1. Black woman 2. Middle Eastern man 3. Asian woman I've read it months ago and my thoughts still refer back to this book; not even just about God and religion, but the life lessons Young teaches you.
Date published: 2010-05-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A good read for new or non-Christians I think this book would be both a great read and inspirational one for those who are non-Christians or new in their Christian journey. I found it odd the author would characterize the Trinity in such a way that God and the Holy spirit resemble human figures and Jesus comes off as someone quite the opposite from the Jesus we are familiar with through historical accounts. Personally, I found the book rather boring to read, but I think that someone new to the Christian faith may actually gain a lot from the book especially if they are seeking an inspiring message.
Date published: 2010-04-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good answers for baby Christians Someone new to Christanity would benefit from this read. For me it was a wee bit boring.
Date published: 2010-04-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A book that makes you go, hmmmm Devout and God-fearing Christians who read The Shack will no doubt be up in arms over its apparent sacrilege. It challenges some absolute 'truths' that have been taught to most Christians, regardless of their denomination. That being said, if you take a minute and realize that this story doesn't purport to be anything but a fictional work discussing one man's encounter with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, you may just enjoy the book for what it is; a magical and beautiful sojourn, where a broken man finds freedom from the chains of hate he feels encasing his heart thanks to the brutal and devastating loss of his youngest daughter. If nothing else, this story could help someone who has had grave and debilitating loss in their lives appreciate the importance of forgiveness and not giving up on the other treasures that remain after a traumatic event. Although not very well written, and borderline hokey at times, it’s still a heart-warming story.
Date published: 2010-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from THE SHACK I think William P. Young is a wonderful author. I read "'The Shack"' and found it to be very inspirational. In order to appreciate this book I think a person would have to be or have been close to God at one time or another. I really loved his book and would recommend it to everyone.
Date published: 2010-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! Although there were times I struggled to get through a couple of pages it was only because the subject matter was so intense that I wanted to absorb every word. This book is a great read and I will read it again in the future.
Date published: 2010-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Insightful For those wanting to reconnect with or explore their spiritual side, this is the book to help you do that. There were many revelations and powerful messages in The Shack. So many things were made clear to me. For anyone who has lost a loved one and has asked the age-old question "Why did God allow this to happen?", read this book. It will change your life.
Date published: 2010-01-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Meh.... I have heard amazing things about this book but when I read it, I just couldn't get into to it. The first few parts explaining the girl's disappearance were okay but once he got the note from "God", it got a little too weird for me. I don't like religious books in the first place but I thought this one would be different...I was wrong. I don't know, the writer seems to be strong in character development but I'm sorry hanging out with Jesus in an old shack is a little out there. Not my thing but be your own judge.
Date published: 2010-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Shack is a look at life. Mack, sould have been me. I did not have a loss like Mack . Angelique was my little girl. Like Mack I had trouble we the man upstairs. Is book help me see the holy three in a new light. This is a must read if you are having trouble with your higher power.
Date published: 2010-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Read with an open mind. I've read reviews of opposite nature (love/hate) for The Shack. Personally, I felt the story could start many people talking about God and prayer but I never forgot it was intended to be just a story. When we as fallible humans start judging things as if we have the power and knowledge God does on how things will be used, then we are limiting God to those things we can think of. Although not a big fan, I did not regret reading the book. Rather, I find that by pairing this book with books like Forgiving Ararat by Gita Nazareth and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, one might be able to look at each book with a new understanding.
Date published: 2010-01-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not My Cup of Tea Well, this is not usually the type of book I would buy, but it seemed highly recommended. I found it hard to suspend disbelief and get into the story. Too often I found that the author seemed to be preaching to me by writing conversations the protagonist had with God. It was reminiscent of being in church. As a new parent, I found the catalyst event made me uncomfortable and I wanted to abandon the book early on. I persevered but didn't find my enjoyment increased any as the book continued.
Date published: 2009-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing I found this book to be a very fast read - granted I do read quickly. I believe that I will need to read this book a second time to fully take in all that the writer proposes. There were a couple of "eek" moments when I just could not buy in to his propositions. All in all though, I did enjoy the read and expect to enjoy the 2nd read when it happens.
Date published: 2009-09-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought Provoking I must admit I was a bit skeptic prior to reading this book but thought I would start and just let it go if I was not "too interested" - well !...I found this to be an extremely challending read and very thought provoking. It is not a book about religion, it is not about your beliefs, it is about your fundamental self and life at its most profound. It is not typical of my usual reads but I am very glad I read it.
Date published: 2009-09-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Difficult Review Well there were parts of this book that I absolutely loved and parts that were really dull and uninteresting.....Numerous times I put this book down and found myself not wanting to read it anymore.....although over all it was an ok read and I would recommend it.
Date published: 2009-09-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from You will need a (wide) open mind! There was alot of hype about this book, so I decided to give it a go. The first 75 pages were interesting enough. But then the book took a turn for crazy-town. Whether one agrees with the religious ideologies hypothesized by this author, the manner of story telling was hokey at best. The reader is left to wonder: is this a figment of Mack's imagination, is he dead, unconscious, dreaming? What could explain such a departure from reality? I'll admit, I cried at the end, but I'm a bit of a sap that way. Ultimately, I didn't appreciate the story-telling, think that the hype has WAY over-rated this book, and I cannot in good conscience recommend this. If theology or the after-life are topics of interest, you would be far better served by my recommended titles below - both excellent!
Date published: 2009-08-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good! If anyone has ever lost a loved one (especially a child), they NEED to read this book. Very well written.
Date published: 2009-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! I recommend this book to be read by everyone! Such an eye opener!
Date published: 2009-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing one of the most beautiful stories i have ever read. Everyone should have their own copy
Date published: 2009-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing story This is a story of a man who first you cry for and then you question the world with. There a few laughs along the way but mostly a whole lot of questioning why bad things happen to good people. My son a Christian felt the book was heretic. I was surprised to her that.
Date published: 2009-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Why can't God be a women if "He" wants to be? It isn't a thriller, nor is it really a novel. I bought it because several churches had banned it and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I listened to it on audio book and enjoyed the journey. I don't understand the fuss maybe because I don't have a problem with God exhibiting female attributes.
Date published: 2009-07-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad Book This was by far the worst book I have read in my entire life. I can't believe so many people like it. I find this scary. I feel so strongly that this is the first review I have ever sent in. I hope nobody else reads this terrible book.
Date published: 2009-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Makes You Think! I'm definitely not a religious person, but this book made me rethink the way I look at things. I wouldn't say that it has me going to church more often, but I feel that it has opened up a spiritual gap for me. Like the main character discovers, each of us finds the God we need/know in our own way. I loved the story, even though it was a sad one. Would recommend this to everybody and even got it for my dad for Father's Day!
Date published: 2009-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from God If you have every grappled with the concept of God, read this book.
Date published: 2009-07-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from OMG this sucked A totally unoriginal contemplation of God. Can't see it appealing to anyone who has had any previous contemplations of God. Maybe a child might find it thought provoking. 3 million copies sold??? There are going to be a lot of second hand cheap copies available ...mine included.
Date published: 2009-07-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from appropo Windblown is not just the name of the publisher, it's also an apt description of the hype surrounding this silly book. I couldn't waste the time to finish it. The authors must be laughing all the way to the bank at those of us who spent money on it. It's also an insult to anyone whose child or sibling has suffered such a misfortune. Scratch that, I don't want to make it sound interesting! It isn't.
Date published: 2009-07-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from appropo Windblown is not just the name of the publisher, it's also an apt description of the hype surrounding this silly book. I couldn't waste the time to finish it. The authors must be laughing all the way to the bank at those of us who spent money on it. It's also an insult to anyone whose child or sibling has suffered such a misfortune. Scratch that, I don't want to make it sound interesting! It isn't.
Date published: 2009-07-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Expected More... I picked up this book expecting to be quite enlightened...I had good intentions and wanted really badly to like it given the praise it has been given, BUT mid through the book I was quite unimpressed and had to push my self to finally complete the read. It lacked depth and thought provoking elements. I really wish it could have been more spiritual and engrossing, so It wasn't for me...but maybe it is for someone else...
Date published: 2009-07-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from not a page turner I just finished reading this book. I was stuck at the cottage and it rained 3 days straight. Fifty pages in, I felt I was highjacked. The story took a turn into religious fantasyland. It could have been written by a Jehovah's Witness convert. I skimmed the repetitive l o n g middle section. The ending was comparatively abrupt and felt unfinished
Date published: 2009-07-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from didn't like the overall story is good but this stuff in the shack with the strange people-not for me
Date published: 2009-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring I am not a particulary religious but this novel gave a view of what one can only hope is close to the way it is after this life is complete. At times I was brought to tears and then found myself laughing out loud at the joy of the situation. Many times I would stop reading and sit in contemplation of the paragraph or chapter and think "if only". I would imagine most religious organizations would be a little upset at how the Trinity is portrayed but I found it a refreshing slant A wonderful book, highly recommended. Hope a movie is developed.
Date published: 2009-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought-provoking I was told how amazing and intriuing this book was by friends, however I prefer to read a book before I get too many ideas about it. I really enjoyed this book, and more than that it really made me ponder and reflect of how one views the character of God. I didn't find it all "preachy" , but it did make me see things in a new way.
Date published: 2009-07-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Juvenile! This book was terrible. The writing is juvenile. It was preachy instead of spiritual. The plot was totally implausible. (Spoiler!) He leads the police to his daughter's body and they take his word that "God" lead him there. Come on! Waste of time I will never get back.
Date published: 2009-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfull, inspiring and touching A book that is hard to stop reading and when finished, I wanted to keep on reading and beeing inspired by the love so well described God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit have for each one of us. I just loved it!
Date published: 2009-06-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very spiritual, very enlightening! I don't feel people should claim the right to do a review on this or any other book, unless they've read it from cover to cover. I took on the challenge and yes, there are times where one's eyes might role, but overall the journey takes you back into the enlightenment which you might have forgotten through the loss of a child, or any other tragedy suffered. I have lost a 15 1/2 year old son, and through that, it became a relentless battle of unforgiveness and separation towards others and God. The many encounters of the main character (Mack), are with the main characters of the bible: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. So if you have a problem with the bible in general -you're going to have a problem with the book. The teachings and enlightenment come in the form of explanations and gentle reminders of what we as bereaved parents truly suffered after the horric tragedy and loss of a child. No one can possibly indentify with that, unless they themselves have suffered the same loss. It's a wonderful book, albiet will only really have the spiritual impact and appeal it intended to have, on those who have a biblical faith. I love the fact that it's not "religious". I recommend this book to anyone who has faith in biblical teachings, and perhaps has disconnected from God/family/society, as a result of any trauma they have suffered. Again, my only advice is to push forward, give it a full chance, -completely read the entire book and see if your spirit doesn't feel a shift of change.
Date published: 2009-06-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Highly Disappointed After reading the reviews and the huge press coverage I thought this was going to be a book based on a spiritual journey of a man and how he was able to resolve the emotional demons within himself based on the loss of his child. I really got into it during the first 3 chapters, but after that the book lost my attention. It became more about religion than about spirituality and I found it far too preachy after that. There was nothing that I found reflected or provided any thought provoking content to myself. I felt that the author pushed his religious views on the reader. I didn't finish the book. I hindsight I should have picked anything else, especially while reading it on vacation.
Date published: 2009-06-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from For everyone I was skeptical when my sister suggested that I read this book as I am a deeply un-religious person. However, as I got deeper into the book the message and the ideas really started to speak to me. This book os for anyone who has suffered a loss, questioned themselves and their choices, or is simply looking for something more in life. It has made me think about my own relationship with God and solidified my personal beliefs.
Date published: 2009-06-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very thought Provoking.. Wow, I'm surprised by all the poor reviews. At first I thought the book was getting a little confusing and far fetched but I really wanted to try and understand the writer so i continued. I do respect the originallity of the book and how it was portrayed. I understood what he was trying to say about who God really is and how that contradicts a lot of what we've been taught in society. Atheists have a hay day with how some religions have promoted superiority and hatred. I appreciate the reminder of how our God is a loving God and how all our thoughts and actions should be based on love. Yes it tells us what a lot of us already know but so does almost everything!! God is not a new idea! It's about being refreshed and reminded in lots of different channels of what we already know and to keep our minds focused on Him. It may not have been well received by some and people are entitled to their opinion just as authors are entitled to have theirs. I would recommend this book and enourage people not to be so judgemental.
Date published: 2009-06-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not anywhere as good as people told me it would be Sorry didn't find this book all that great . Not anything I would recommend to anyone. Was Ok and that about all.
Date published: 2009-06-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not what I thought I got half way through this book and was very disappointed. It just did not seem to go any further or solve the problems left by the loss of a child. I guess it's just not for me.
Date published: 2009-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I was very hesitant to read the book, based on what on the subject matter. I am so happy that I did. I read it in about 3 hours, I couldn't put it down. It was amazing. I can't tell you what exactly it is about the book but I know that it changed something in me. I have recommended it to several people. It's a great read.
Date published: 2009-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OUTSIDE THE BOX I loved this book. I lent it out a while back and it's still circulating now.
Date published: 2009-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Shack Wm. Paul Young has written an acclaimed book. Mike Morrell, said: "If you read one work of fiction this year, let this be it." I agree. You will be moved or else you are immovable.
Date published: 2009-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Didn't know what to expect when beginning this book. Definitely a heart and spirit opener. Laughed, cried and prayed. A great reminder, simply and beautifully illustrated, of God's love.
Date published: 2009-05-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring I too bought this book because it was on the top ten list. The description makes it sound awesome, but once he gets to the cabin it's like you are reading directly from a bible, or listening to a minister Sunday at church. I couldn't finish this book.
Date published: 2009-05-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lost I was lost as well. This book could have been a script. I placed this in my not so good library. -----
Date published: 2009-05-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Painful Maybe it was because I didn't know what the book was about (I saw it was on a few top 10 lists so I ordered it), but this book was not an enjoyable read for me. 170 pages of conversations with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost were too many for me. I am sure many people might enjoy this book, but it was not for me...
Date published: 2009-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Fantastic Read I found myself getting lost in the story it was very intresting and kept me in it and I would lose track of time wile reading it it is highly Recumended that you give this one a read.
Date published: 2009-05-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Strange and interesting This is the kind of book that makes you really reflect on the meaning of life. What do you think God looks like, what would he say if you met him? From sorrow comes great understanding in this story. I loved the symbolism and really saw the God that I hope and beleive is out there all around us. A real conversation sparker!
Date published: 2009-04-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Struggle This book was recommened to me by a friend. Every page was difficult to get through. I personally wouldn't have picked this up and will not see the film...
Date published: 2009-04-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Interesting When I decided to buy this book, I was expecting something else. This wasn't a fantastic book, but it came for me at a time when I needed it. The message behind the book wasn't anything new, but it was explained in a way that was like "duh". It was boring, and I found myself re-reading parts of it because it seemed to drag a bit. I have to admit I skimmed through some of the pages, because I really wanted to reach the end. I don't think this book deserved the hype it was given, but I did get something out of it. I guess that's all that really matters.
Date published: 2009-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Concept! I was intrigued by the concept and it was developed nicely until he returned to the shack. I wasn't too impressed with the dialogue with 'God', it was unbelievable and boring at times. Some very touching moments and I'd recommend it to someone mourning. Overall, excellent book!!
Date published: 2009-03-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not for me! I still don't understand what the hype is all about! This book does not reveal anything we don't already know. Hate is bad and forgiving is good!!!! the whole idea of giving human features and personnalities to the Holy Trinity while interesting on a purely fun level is just not convincing. I didn't even finish this book and regret buying it!
Date published: 2009-03-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I didn't like this book at all I'm wondering what all the talk is about on "The Shack." It is for people who like fantasy, and that's not me. The shack turns into a big manor house with all kinds of people and God and Jesus there. blah blah I gave it one star because the cover was good.
Date published: 2009-03-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I had heard nothing about this book prior to reading it, but while I was in book shopping I read the first chapter and I enjoyed it. However, 100 pages in and I was struggling to complete the book. My belief is that religion is beautiful (any religion), and I did like the way God was approached. Do I recommend this book? I would have to say no. I don't want to hinder anyone from giving it a try, but I found it very difficult to get through after the first 100 pages, and the is not a book I would read again.
Date published: 2009-03-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Tedious and Trite! This book was extremely trite and boring. I lost interest about two thirds of the way in and my interest before that was minimal. Really tedious reading. I almost always finish every book I start except in rare instances and this was surely one of those. Reads like a "Readers Digest" story.
Date published: 2009-03-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ummmmmmmmm weird
Date published: 2009-03-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I don't get it Although it is an interesting premise, it just didn't hold my interest at all. I gave up about 1/3 of the way through, gave it to a co-worker and she didn't like it either. I don't get why it is on all the best sellers lists.
Date published: 2009-03-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Preach-y and overrated I tried to read this book. I made about 150 pages in and gave up. It's like listening to a sermon: really boring. I borrowed it from a friend because of a discussion we had one day. One friend said she loved it, another thought it was religion in a different way and not really anything new. I agree with friend #2.
Date published: 2009-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Toss Up this book was...interesting to say the least. The story was good, but somewhat hard to follow. I often found myself reading and then re reading that I had just read. About 1/2 way through the book i decided to check the reviews on this book online, and noticed alot of people said the same thing"Fabulous book-definately needs a 2nd read" Which I think is so true. In the end I did enjoy this book, just as I said parts were very biblical, and if one isnt up to par with religion, you do tend to get a bit lost in it all.
Date published: 2009-02-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Waste of time Complete waste of time. If you want to read about a godess that practices witchcraft (aura reading) then get this book. if you are looking for a christian book then avoid it like the plague.
Date published: 2009-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK! It will give you a new perspective on life and who God is. It's the kind of book that you will want to keep nearby so that you can re-read it when you feel the need.
Date published: 2009-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful A delightful allegory that shows the love of the Heavenly Father through the rough and hard times when people cannot see it . A must read!
Date published: 2009-01-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Same old, same old Great had me waiting eagerly for the main character, Mack, to get to the Shack to see what would unfold. I knew it was a spirituality book, but wondered where the spirituality would go. It had great promise when the God figure described appearing as a woman in order to break Mack out of his religous presuppositions (pg 93)...but then by page 99 the same God character notes that Adam had made a bad decision at the dawn of creation as they knew he would. That was it...I'm not wasting my time on a literalistic interpretation of Christian scriptures in a theology that promotes a theistic view of God. In having the God character challenge Mack's religious presuppositions, I thought that the writer was going to take God out of the box that so many put him/her/it into...but then the rest of the book (from my leafing through) puts God right into that traditional theistic box based on a literal reading of the Bible. many other great books to read than waste my time on that limited perspective.
Date published: 2009-01-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from not my kind of book This book starts out very good but then it completely loses it. It turns into a religious story which is soooo boring and silly that I ended up skipping 3/4 of the book to get to the end. I could not possibly read through all that garbage. If I had known what kind of book this was I would never have looked at it.
Date published: 2009-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I thought I was gonna hate it... I'm not a big fan of religious books neither fan of church or anything close to it... so I bought this book without looking at it, I just read the title and I looked at the picture... it captured me... that was enough to buy it... so I started reading it and the first time I saw the word god and how the family was so close to religion and church I truly thought II was gonna hate it and tell all my friends not to waste their money on that "religious" book... but as much as i tried to hate and as much as I tried to refuse to read I was done with the book and Oh my god (that is actually the perfect expression) I loved it... it is not a book about church neither about religion,.. it goes far beyond that... and it does it in an amazing and capturing manner... the book shacked me from the inside out, and I am still tempted to read it again... I am not gonna tell you anything about the story, I do not wanna give it away like that, and even if i tried to tell you the story I would not succeed, you have to read the book to actually get the essence of it... anyway... I truly suggest this book to everyone, and especially to the people who feels a little bit far from god, or the people who feel like god does not exist... the book won't change your opinion I am sure.. but it will definitely make you think... for a while
Date published: 2009-01-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Here We Go a Plodding Very simplistic and obviously not written by a great writer. I found the start fairly average and I felt encouraged that the book might be worth reading...however, it seemed like a desperate attempt to use a lot of New Age ideas and commercialisms in order to just say the same old thing. I am a believing follower of Christ and I found it kind of silly. Then again I know mother among them...who really liked it. Lets just say, it's not suited to intellectual minds....but okay for those who like Dr. Suess like concepts and content with that. I titled this Plodding because I had to force myself to finish it ... in fact I did "scan" read some of the latter sections because it was so mind numbingly silly. Not a great work of literature in my book. I'd rather read C.S. Lewis....and he goes on and on too but at least he can write.
Date published: 2009-01-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So So Well, it was an okay book - very different outlook on who or what God is and could be. It could have been much shorter though. I found it to drag on many of the concepts. The beginning is very good, the end.... not a fantastic ending.
Date published: 2009-01-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Total waste of time Lost my faith a while back and a Christian friend suggested I read this. Unfortunately, total waste of time. Same old same old answers which really aren't answers. You have to have faith in someone unseen, who stepped out of this world a long time ago, blames us for all the mess in the world, expects sacrifices and takes our loved ones and then expects us to thank him for the opportunity. Just makes me angry and if that is love, I want no part of it. In short, a load of garbage. Don't waste your time if you're looking for real answers. If you are already a born again Christian with strong faith, you'll love it.
Date published: 2009-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most thought provoking book in years One of the best books I have ever read. A must read for everyone. You'll laugh,cry and feel pulls on your heart strings from beginning ot end.
Date published: 2009-01-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Weak try at philosophy The first part of the book was OK but it so soon turned into one of the worse books I have read.
Date published: 2009-01-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring.... This book was very disappointing. I found the book to be very poorly written, lacked any sort of plot and the theological explanations were forced into the story. I can't believe this is on the bestseller list!
Date published: 2009-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book I loved the way Young portrays God in this book. It's nice to see an author who takes God out of the box.
Date published: 2009-01-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from CHANGED MY MIND!!!! This book may be one of those that needs to be read more then once to get the true essence of it. I know that most people love it right off the bet but I was disappointed with the quickness of the story and lack of character development. Okay......I'm changing my original review... I read it again and I really got it this time. What can I say? I'm slow in this department.
Date published: 2009-01-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Tiresome, tedious, terrible piece of prose. Save your time, energy and money on this. Neither poetic or suspenseful. Poorly plotted and poorly written. If you like less than credible but very predictable soap, you might like this book.
Date published: 2009-01-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from An Different Book The Shack, by William P. Young, is a book about a man trying to find peace with the violent death of his young daughter. He receives a note from God asking him to meet him at the cabin where it is believed she was killed some years ago. I think this book would appeal to religious believers in its allegorical presentation of belief in God, Jesus and the afterlife. I found the book to be quite unusual. The reader must pay attention to all the nuances of the story. I enjoyed the book for its uniqueness but I did discover that I prefer a much more direct writing style than what was employed in this book.
Date published: 2008-12-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not Great At All I can only assume that most of the people rating and/or reviewing the book have had it recommended to them by a pastor, who also recommended writing a review. Although I have a fundamentalist background, I'd have to say that this book didn't appeal to me at all. I finished it only because I force myself to finish any book I read. While I found some of the imagery interesting, I didn't appreciate the 'preaching' aspect. I kept wondering why this book was considered a novel--to me it belongs in a "Faith" section because it seems designed to teach the reader how to interact with God--should the reader want to. I didn't enjoy the book at all.
Date published: 2008-12-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed I think it's important to look at the good before the bad. There is so little good here - perhaps the setup was okay, and one could have chosen to do a good thriller out of it. But the bad was overwhelming. The worst "sin" was the implausible non-plot, with some incredible characters that I just didn't like. Can I be criticized for not accepting faith and God into my life? One could I suppose, but that is not the case. But but did I like this book? No. Not at all. There are few books that I feel are not worthy to go on my bookshelf, but this one stands above the others. It was not life changing, just irritating.
Date published: 2008-12-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not worth it I think it's important to look at the good before the bad. There is so little good here - perhaps the setup was okay, and one could have chosen to do a good thriller out of it. But the bad was overwhelming. The worst "sin" was the implausible non-plot, with some incredible characters that I just didn't like. Can I be criticized for not accepting faith and God into my life? No, as that is not the case. But but did I like this book? No. Not at all. There are few books that I feel are not worthy to go on my bookshelf, but this one stands above the others. It was not life changing, just irritating.
Date published: 2008-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One big eye opener! The Shack is one of the most compelling books a person could read. William P. Young is a master in making the main characters of the book so real that anyone could feel their expiriences right along with them. He takes the reader along the character's journey from confusion, pain, and anger of losing a loved one to peace and the understanding of God's love and devine mercy. This book will have anyone longing to marinate in the presence of God. There is no question that God had his hand in the writing of this book. It is that spectacular! -Meghan
Date published: 2008-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I just purchased The Shack on Saturday and could not put it down. At first I thought the portrayal of God was a bit farfetched but as I read on I understood why the author did what he did. My thoughts then were that the writer understood the heart of God completely. Even though I know the book is depicted as fiction I also had the thought that if God wanted he could make it real. I came away with the assurance that the Love of God is very Real and that he is ever present in our lives. Sunnye
Date published: 2008-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Wonderful I cannot say enough about this book. Fo those who would critisize it, I say you have not read the whole book. For those who have, I know you too share the beautiful intimacy that the book so wonderful paints. This is real - this intimacy. I challenge new readers to read and experience not only through your reading time, but forever more!!! Blessings, J.Gioia
Date published: 2008-11-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not the best of reads We read this book for our book club and we all did not like it. I could not finish it. It was a bit much. The writing style is terrible. I would not recommend this book.
Date published: 2008-11-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad writing...worse philosophy This book is an excellent way to get inside the head of a modern North American Evangelical young Christian. The way this author portrays God says so much about his culture and influences. To start with, it is hard not to miss the ideas he gets from shows like CSI and Crimial Minds. The murder of the daughter feels very made up, and is certainly not very original. It is by no means the only thing in this book that feels contrived, but is is a good example of the type of contrived situations with which this book is packed. The second thing that really strikes me, and this is a thread running through most churches today, is the constant berating of the main character, mostly by himself. On nearly every page the theme that people are small and foolish and unworthy. God is always doing something unexpected and clever, making people look simple and childish. A great example of this is the scene when they walk on water. Mack walks into the lake with his shoes on and Jesus, in a smart-aleky way says "We usually take our shoes and socks off." So Mack ends up with wet shoes and socks, and feeling silly. So here we have Jesus unexpectedly suspending the rules of physics, and portraying Mack as being stupid for not knowing beforehand how the rules were going to arbitrarily change. I should also say that if I were to be magically transported to a beautiful cabin in the middle of nowhere, and was actually able to speak directly to Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Aunt Jemima, it would make believing in them a whole other matter. You see, that obviously never happens. In fact any trace of anything that can actually be attributed to God is nowhere to be seen on Earth. Christianity requires faith (a.k.a. suspension of disbelief) every day. Maybe that explains the constant berating they give themselves, since inevitably reality reasserts itself, so rather than seeing how silly it is, they blame themselves. In fact, I think it would actually be hard for a church outsider to "get" a lot of the stuff in this book, because you almost need to be steeped in years of Sunday School and overall churchiness to catch all the biblical references. As a reaction to all that churchiness, he tries to be edgy in ways only a churchy person could appreciate, by dropping the odd "soft swearword" liike the occasional "damn" which most people woudn't care about, but a churchy person would notice. One last annoying thing to top off all the other annoying things is that he provides little one sentence "explanations" for how things are, by using scientific terminology, and tying it to biblical doctrine. Considering how little regard for actual science this type of person has, I found that particularly grating. So in summary, young Christians will love this book, particularly if they have spent a lot of time in insulated christian circles away from any thinking that might challenge their beliefs. It will seem cool and edgy to them. It will feel like they are throwing off the stodgy beliefs of all the old people in their church, while in reality rehashing the same old theology. The uninitiated will not like it, parly because they won't "get" a lot of it, but mainly because it just isn't very good.
Date published: 2008-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Absolute Must Read!!! This is one of the best books about God that I've read in a long time. I absolutely LOVED IT!! I laughed, I cried, and I prayed like I hadn't prayed in a long time while reading this book. It definitely left me with an amazing desire/thrist for more of God. There was a shift in my life towards God after reading this book. It truly is a spiritual blessing!! In terms of content, first and foremost, I think this book conveys the heart of God in a very creative way that pushes you beyond any precoceptions or misconceptions you might have about Him. Secondly, this book deals with many important questions that I think most people that have heard of God, have had at one point or another in life, whether or not they are Christian. Including some of the biggies like "Why did God make us if He knew we would sin?", "Why do bad things happen to good people?", "What happens to our loves ones after they die?", and "Why does He love us when we sin/hurt Him so much?". This book, depending on where you are in your life, has the potential to be totally life changing. Personally speaking, it definitely changed the direction that my life was heading in a very very positive way. God bless, Oana
Date published: 2008-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended read Only someone who is 'sincerely' searching to understand why God allows tragedy....or what God's heart is truly like- should read this book....Not for the faint-hearted- only recommended for those who truly want to engage with a real and loving God, who has the most wonderful adventure planned for each of us- and the only One who can "make all things new"....
Date published: 2008-10-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Shack This book was very well done it confronts tragedy head on and gives a clear view of God and his love for those who are hurting and how we miss understand our relationship with God the father. It is a fictional story with a very strong and amazing spiritual message.
Date published: 2008-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fact or Fiction? I picked up this book because I had at least one customer a shift for the past 3 months tell me how it would change my life. I have to admit, after reading The Shack, I'm not sure if it changed my life, or just gave me more peace. Written by Young, it is the re-telling of events the happened to his friend Mack, who didn't feel he had the ability to write it properly. Mac's daughter was murdered, and her body never recovered. Mack, in his pain blamed God. Then he recieves an invitaion to spend a weekend in the shack where they believe his daughter was murdered. There, he finds God. If you take this story as true, that the events actually happened, it is awe inspiring. Mack questions many things, and the answers he is given are complex in their simplicity. Quite simply he met the God I want to believe in. If you don't believe they happened, that it is simply a good story, then it is simply that, a good story. Either way, it is a good book, a good read, which everyone is reading. Having read it, you will be able to take part in the many conversations you are going to be hearing about it.
Date published: 2008-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Great This book came highly recommended by a dear friend, Diane and I could not put it down. It is definitely a spiritual book. The story weaves a world of possibility if only we could see beyond our humanness.
Date published: 2008-10-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A good try, but faith more complex. I really wanted to like this and for the first half of the book, the setup I did. But what started as an interesting read about one of the most complex issues of faith got dragged down by its own attempt to be more important than it is. Well many will appreciate the message and lessons it is trying to impart overall it fails to deliver by presenting the difficult issue unexplainable tragedy in Christian faith by wrapping it in a North American politically friendly format. The opening of the book is very well written and the dilemma of the story is truly a difficult one for anyone who believes in god whether Christian or any religion to deal with. Unfortunately, Mr. Young in trying to express how to deal with grief, guilt, anger, revenge, simpifies God into a politically correct image to make people feel good. Too much of a happy feely resolution, compounded by as Hollywood a happy ending that could be tagged onto such a sad tale. This book will probably be loved by those who don't have questions in their faith, but for others it just outlines how difficult the issues in faith will always remain.
Date published: 2008-10-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poorly written Christian propaganda So, this is the best Christianity can come up with as to why pain and suffering exist in the world? Give me a break. Trust me, you'll get better theology and characterizations out of a Star Wars novel. This book is simplistic, idealistic, the characters are entirely two-dimensional, and the primary emotional event totally gets swept under the rug with all the obvious and very narrow religious diatribe. It made me so angry in a few places that I literally threw it across the room. How the parents were not able to see that their other daughter was blaming herself for the tragedy is beyond me. That was obvious from the moment it happened...and they were shocked and appalled to discover this 3 years later? "God" in the book wants Mack to throw out his religious presuppositions about God. Well, the author should have thrown out his own first. He obviously has a very specific view of God and this starts his novel off on the wrong foot to start with. You can't start searching for God if you already think you know everything about him/her/it. When the author starts assuming he already knows the answers the book is going to end up exactly like this one...not exploratory, but an endless stream of simplistic theology. Don't waste your time or money.
Date published: 2008-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous!!! Wow!! The Shack had me laugh, cry, hurt, panicking, exposed and in love, every emotion known to man. It takes the religion out of God and faith, and has you looking into your own belief system. It challenges you to look at God and your relationship with Him. A Very Profound Book for this time. Loved it! It's a re-read. Nancy Dunham
Date published: 2008-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most amazing book, should be a required read for all...THE SHACK If you've ever lost someone dear to you, this gives you such a sense that things will be ok, that things ARE ok, that death might not be as final as it seems to those left behind.
Date published: 2008-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This is a must read.
Date published: 2008-09-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Praise the Lord...or not! Just about every other page, someone is talking about praying, or god. That is so annoying. Not what I expected at all. If you're a regular church goer and talk to "god" every day, then I guess this book's for you - if not, run away from it!
Date published: 2008-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very deep on many levels This book can take you to a place you didn't think you believed in. A definite conversation piece.
Date published: 2008-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You Must Read This Book! What I found between the pages of this book is an honest, unorthodox, and relevant encounter with God, not only for the character in the book but for myself. I feel moved towards greater connection with Jesus through the main character's grappling with complex questions of the Trinity, suffering, forgiveness, and the ultimate nature of God and our relationship with God. Many of the intellectual ideas I have held about God are confirmed and personified in this book, through wonderful metaphors, dialogue, and situations. It is so refreshing to find support for my perceptions of a life lived with God, to get to the heart of transformational living, and to feel supported in my relationship with God through this story. This is a powerful story, and while it addresses complex questions and issues I did not find it all trite, patronizing, or unpalatable (and that's saying a lot, as overtly spiritual fiction has a tendency to anger me!). Ultimately, it all comes down to Love. And Love is the opposite of will to power and independence.
Date published: 2008-08-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not bad I found the general themes of the book interesting and enjoyable to read..
Date published: 2008-08-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horrible May we all who read the book remember that it is fiction!! Why do people look for love,grace and mercy in a fictional book when all they have to do is open the Bible-the Holy Bible? I am 36 and get so sick of hearing our generation is stupid . Well maybe we are-- God's word is God's word. This book took all reverance and holiness away from God. God's name for Creator is Elohim not Elousia. Men and women are not equal. God does use bad for His good. (study Kings and Chronicles) People get hurt-people lose loved ones-people become hard. Look to the true words of God not some fictional book to give you love and peace.
Date published: 2008-08-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A Poorly Disguised Platform I picked this up as I was intrigued by the summary on the back. I was not looking to be thrust into what I would describe as a sub-adequate "C" movie plot. The inconsistensies are glaring and the thrust of the plot is poorly thought through and it is so disconnected from paragraph to paragraph I felt I must have missed key detail. This caused me to re-read sections of the book looking for non-existent clues.
Date published: 2008-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Shack I was encouraged to read this book at the request of my daughter. She and her husband heard the author speak at Regent Collage at UBC. I was at first quite upset with Papa as a woman but grew to appreciate God's character portrayed through her compassion. I have used the phrase "I am especially fond of you" with my grandchildren explaining my unique love to their character. As a fellow abuse survivor William P. Young has portrayed God's grace in a profound way.
Date published: 2008-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from thought provoking I knew the author in high school and picked this book up. It is amazing to read a fictional story which describes his journey from shame to peace, from despair to hope and from sadness to love. I highly recommend it for anyone struggling with life's questions. Excellent book.
Date published: 2008-07-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poorly written manipulative tripe I read 'The Shack' at the request of a friend - its a ghastly-written novel, with inconsistent characterizations, erratic plot lines, and plain bad theology. The author manipulates his characters (and the reader) with shameless disregard, slipping from topic to topic at whim without any logical connection. The main character, Mack, is manic beyond believability in his reactions, leaping from heights of joy to utter despair and back again, all within a paragraph or two - and he does this throughout the novel. All of this is done so the author can introduce some new concept into the mix whether it makes any sense or not. And all of this masquerades as key insights on the part of the author into the mind of God and the meaning of suffering. But eveything the author puts forth has been said by others before and with much greater skill and wisdom. If the desire is to understand suffering in the world (and God's relationship to humanity in suffering), there are far more intellectually honest books out there. Read Kushner's 'When Bad Things Happen to Good People' - which at least gives the reader credit for having some sophistication and integrity in knowing thoughtful theology and well-crafted literature. The author does make a good point here and there, but unfortunately, he also clings tenaciously to a theological grounding that causes his points to be lost in incredulity. His assertion in a literal Garden of Eden is one example of this. It makes his novel ludicrous, turns it from theological discourse to fairy tale, betrays a lack of thoughtful wisdom, and devalues any good points he does make. I'm glad my friend suggested reading it, so I could know what all the fuss is about, but it was an agonizing exercise in endurance to get through it.
Date published: 2008-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deep...and WIDE! This novel astounded me. It forced me to look at God without the benefit of any of my carefully nurtured religious filters. The result has caused me to draw nearer to God, in spite of my human nature. Careful! you may also find yourself healed in the process.
Date published: 2008-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!! This book is truly life changing! I have no words to explain what this book does to your soul. You will be forever changed when you read this book!
Date published: 2008-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't afford not to read this one!!! This book confronts misconceptions about God & deals with issues like trauma, fear and loneliness in a way that shatters the darkness and showers the reader with hope, grace and life. Brilliant is an understatement!
Date published: 2008-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life changing This book is called fiction but it gives more truth than many philosophy or religious books can. It is heart wrenching, real , challenging to the soul. Loved it and will even read it again.
Date published: 2008-01-29

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Editorial Reviews

"When the imagination of a writer and the passion of a theologian cross-fefertilize the result is a novel on the order of The Shack. This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his. It's that good!" Eugene Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.