Book Reviews of The Shack

The Shack
The Shack
Author: William P. Young
ISBN-13: 9780964729230
ISBN-10: 0964729237
Publication Date: 5/1/2007
Pages: 252
Edition: first
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 3040

3.4 stars, based on 3040 ratings
Publisher: Windblown Media
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

461 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Shack on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 33
The book really drew me in right from the start...but then, it got weird--really, really weird. Sorry, but my God is not a big black woman who loves to cook and laugh. I just couldn't force myself to get through this book fast enough. For some this book may border on blasphemy. I even skipped pages of dialogue. This book was definitely not for me!
reviewed The Shack on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 31
I hear this book in controversial. I don't know why. Unfortunately I have to say it fell into that smarmy Christian-lit category for me. At about the halfway mark my internal narrator switched to Sunday School voice and it never stopped. For a good read on all things theology spend your time with G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy) or C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape letters).
reviewed The Shack on + 424 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 22
I love that this book focused on the RELATIONSHIP we should have with God and not necessarily the RELIGION we may or may not have with God. I am a Christian and I was very moved by this book and it didn't sway me from my beliefs in any way, but it did reaffirm for me that God is in all things and that faith comes in many different forms.
reviewed The Shack on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 21
I loved this book! I coudn't put it down! Passed it on to Mom who went out and bought copies for all of her friends when finished! Very thought provoking, some details very hard to endure being a mother especially but keep reading! I could read this book again and again and I believe I would pull something more from it everytime. Loved the characters! I hear how some Christians have problems identifying with the characters and I have to say that I am a Christian and I loved the Characters! They were great! Wheather you are a Christian or not, have dealed with a loss or not, this is a GREAT book, don't pass it up!
reviewed The Shack on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 20
This fiction book was enjoyable, and at times brought tears to my eyes. I believe the purpose of the story is to help Christians have a closer relationship with Christ, or to bring people to a relationship with Christ. That being said, there was a part in the middle that got very bogged down with explanations and concept-explaining and I actually skipped a few parts because it was just to complicated. For this reason, I feel new Christians or those who are seeking, would probably put the book down feeling confused and never continue reading it. The basics of a relationship with the Trinity is simple and pure...and I feel this book complicated it way too much. It did give me pause about my relationship with Christ and the Trinity, and nudged me in ways that give me a desire to seek a closer bond. One author who reviewed it claims it to be the "Pilgrim's Progress" for this generation, but I don't see that...the way it is written is totally different. Bottom line is that it is a very good fiction book, with some effort at bringing people to Christ, but there are also some things in it that don't really adhere to what the Bible says, which also is a negative in my mind. I feel if you are going to attempt to draw people to the Trinity, then you should present Biblical truths in the proper way, but this book veers off course here and there regarding that.
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 15
I'm not a Christian but I found this book to be moving. I'm not sure how best to express this but I didn't understand the role of Jesus in people's day-to-day life and after thinking about what I read in this book, I understand more the connection people have to Jesus.

It's a wonderful story but a bit over the top.
reviewed The Shack on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
This was one of the best books I have ever read. It kept my attention through the whole thing in spite of lots of conversation. The book focuses on relationship and attempts to answer many questions that we all deal with about God.
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 13
I and several of my Christian friends really enjoyed this book. If you can get through the first 3 chapters, it's an eye-opening look at the openness of God and how to see His love expressed to you in everyday life. Among my non-Christian friends, it brought up a lot of great conversation!
reviewed The Shack on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
I was quite impacted by this book. It had been recommended by someone I trust immensely. However, in conclusion, I was enormously disappointed.

While it does cause you to re-think how you know and interact with the God of the universe, it misses the mark with regard to the consistent and balanced nature of God. It falls far short theologically, and I would never recommend this book to a new believer.

Please, be careful with this one...
reviewed The Shack on + 117 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
I saw that everyone was reading this book so I picked it up to see what all the hype was about.I thought this book started out good I really liked the beginning I thought the story was going someplace.Then in the middle of the story he throws in Jesus as different people which reminded me of Joan of Arcadia and it got far fetched.At this point the story lost me and I was bored and I couldn't finish the book. I felt like he was giving a class in Catholicism they way he was going on with the metaphors.Not a book I would recommend to my friends.This book is just Plain silly.
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 11
Mack's daughter is murdered and he's bitter and questions how God could let that happen. Ultimately, he goes back to the place of the murder to meet God. He gets there and God is a black woman who goes by the name Papa, Jesus is a Middle Eastern, Jewish man, and the holy spirit is an ever moving almost transparent Asian woman.

Mack learns why he feels the way he does and how to work through his feelings. He learns that he's judgemental, selfish, etc. Some say that this book is about Christianity and getting closer to Christ but I disagree. I am not a Christian and I could relate to the book because I have questioned the "motives" of God. Who hasn't? Jesus even states in the book that God loves everyone and everyone worships the same God (Muslims, Christian, etc.). He also has to remind Mack that he's not a Christian himself.

This book is for everyone. You don't have to be Christian to appreciate the lessons.
reviewed The Shack on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Although this "feel good" book contains a lot of truth about God as taught in the Bible, it also contains some error. It would have you believe that God is interested in love almost to the exclusion of morality, and that morality is man-made stuff. One cannot come to this conclusion if one reads the Bible. Perhaps the author is a product of the New Age thinking where there is no absolute right and wrong - it's all subjective.
reviewed The Shack on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I have read some books that have touched my soul, and have spoke to me, but none like this one has. A book that had me in tears, had me laughing, had me looking inward as to my beliefs and thoughts. It may be a work of fiction, but the way the author portrays the personas of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost is so unbelievably real that you find yourself wanting that intimate contact also. A book that teaches that it is not the church building that is as important as it is the daily walk with God and his people. This book takes a very believable character, Mac, or Mckenzie as he is sometimes called, as the main character, and shows how he handles a devastating tragedy in his family, how it affects him, his family around him, and brings him fact to face with God and how this meeting affects all; his anger, his guilt, his shame, his grief. Even if you are not a believer, this is a fiction book that has a great plot, wonderful characters, and a very soul stirring message. A MUST READ for everyone!
reviewed The Shack on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I have read some books that have touched my soul, and have spoke to me, but none like this one has. A book that had me in tears, had me laughing, had me looking inward as to my beliefs and thoughts. It may be a work of fiction, but the way the author portrays the personas of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost is so unbelievably real that you find yourself wanting that intimate contact also. A book that teaches that it is not the church building that is as important as it is the daily walk with God and his people. This book takes a very believable character, Mac, or Mckenzie as he is sometimes called, as the main character, and shows how he handles a devastating tragedy in his family, how it affects him, his family around him, and brings him fact to face with God and how this meeting affects all; his anger, his guilt, his shame, his grief. Even if you are not a believer, this is a fiction book that has a great plot, wonderful characters, and a very soul stirring message. A MUST READ for everyone!
reviewed The Shack on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
It's very moving and uplifting. This book helps you to understand why a relationship with God is so important and explains very well that God doesn't punish people for sins real or imagined. For the people who think it humanizes God, I think in this instance, a humanized God, Jesus and Holy Spirit are just what the main character needs, otherwise his journey wouldn't have been accomplished.
reviewed The Shack on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book reminded me a lot of One Fine Day. It was written purely to evoke emotion, and that annoyed me. It was so obvious. So overly done. Just no, no, no.

The first few chapters were actually not too bad and I was holding out hope, but once he entered 'the shack' it was all over for me. It turned sappy, over-dramatic, over-theological. Just over.

I was not at all impressed with the writing or much of anything, truth-be-told. I ended up skimming the last chapter or two and moving on to another book.

Having said that, for someone that is overtly religious they MIGHT like this book, but the religion aspect was minor in comparison to the other problems I had with it. Skip it.
reviewed The Shack on + 86 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A pretty good story - a man who has pretty much given up his faith after the violent death of his young daughter receives a mysterious note from God inviting him to meet. No idea why this book would be considered controversial, yet also no idea why it could be deemed dramatically life-altering either. Some of the interactions between God and Mack kind of had me rolling my eyes, as those parts seemed a little cheesy to me - like the cooking and such, but I think there are messages of value here concerning faith and religion, and the difference between the two, and that I really liked. Love the way Jesus is represented in this book. It's an easy read, but frankly kind of boring in the middle, especially considering the book is about something extraordinary, but the last chapter or so is emotional and spell-binding, and that sort of "redeems" (ha-ha) the book.
reviewed The Shack on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Although I am not very religious, and not even Christian, I was completely enthralled by this book! Such a beautiful story, and so well told. I honestly hope that the things told in the second half of the story really happened. I felt so good after reading this... simply content. This book will be in my mind for quite a while. It is unforgettable.
reviewed The Shack on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The author tried. Too hard. I would not recommend this book to any Christian. And I would hide it from any non-Christian. My God is a holy God, worthy to be praised and reverenced. Maybe the author's intention was to challenge the traditional view of God, maybe it was to just make money with a book that causes a stir. I don't know. But what I do know is that I could not bring myself to put it on PBS--I had to just throw it away. And I never throw books away.

Blessings.
reviewed The Shack on + 336 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This wasn't life changing for me as I've heard so many say but it is a good book. A pretty fast read that does get you thinking. I have to admit that most of the parts of the story really will make you take stock of what you believe and what if you're wrong. I don't think it deserves the praise that I've heard everyone singing but I am very glad I read it and do recommend. I suppose my advice is don't expect too much.
reviewed The Shack on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a very thought provoking book that can apply to anyone's vision of God, and can answer some serious questions about why there is pain in the world.

The story about Missy is heart-wrenching, and the author does a service by not ging into detail about Missy's torture.

For me, it was a one day read that was two stories in one...Missy's story and her father's path to seek the truth.

This book is not a keeper for me, since I usually do not revel in reading religious fiction. However, I believe that it is a book to be shared, and one that may help all walks of religion find some answers to more commonly sought questions regarding religion.
reviewed The Shack on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I received this book with great anticipation. The church I attend was planning a book discussion and I wanted to participate, which I subsequently attended.

I began reading the book and after the Prologue, began to doubt how I would like this book. That doubt continued throughout the reading of the entire book. And upon finishing, and even after attending two book discussions, I still do not like the book. I did learn how other people interpret what they read via the book discussions.

The style of the writing in the past-tense and passive, the naming of Mack's grief (The Great Sadness) which made it an entity into/of itself, his inability to provide what other members of his family needed because of his own grief, then the Wizard-of-Oz-like change from snow/dreary to technicolor springtime, the recreational attitude when he and Jesus walked on the water, God portrayed as a mother figure, the amazing finding of his child's body due to markings that professional searchers missed .... these and so many other elements of the book made it hard for me to like the book and the portrayals of God the Father, Spirit and Jesus. For me, the manner in which the message was delivered was not satisfactory. I did not come away from the reading or discussion of the reading uplifted as I know many people have.

I am now getting ready to read again 'The Screwtape Letters.' I read portions of it when I was in high school and feel it is time to revisit that book.
reviewed The Shack on + 686 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book is very interesting. The author obviously has some strong interpretations of God and how the trinity works. I did not find it offensive, although others could, but I feel that the book needs to be read for what it is, a touchy, thought-provoking FICTIONAL account of a man mourning the lose of his daughter. For those who have lost a child (as I have) it has a peace to it, but certainly it is just the ideas of a fiction writer not true insight to the almighty. But in any case, the book offers a peaceful break in a hectic world and is enjoyable to read.
reviewed The Shack on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I have read some books that have touched my soul, and have spoke to me, but none like this one has. A book that had me in tears, had me laughing, had me looking inward as to my beliefs and thoughts. It may be a work of fiction, but the way the author portrays the personas of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost is so unbelievably real that you find yourself wanting that intimate contact also. A book that teaches that it is not the church building that is as important as it is the daily walk with God and his people. This book takes a very believable character, Mac, or Mckenzie as he is sometimes called, as the main character, and shows how he handles a devastating tragedy in his family, how it affects him, his family around him, and brings him fact to face with God and how this meeting affects all; his anger, his guilt, his shame, his grief. Even if you are not a believer, this is a fiction book that has a great plot, wonderful characters, and a very soul stirring message. A MUST READ for everyone!
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 4
One of very few books that I just couldn't finish. When I got to the part where Mack goes to the shack and the three characters of the holy Trinity greet him; I couldn't get over how bizarre it was. I really couldn't care less what race/ethnicity he picked for each of the characters, because I believe that God made all of us in his image; BUT these particular characters seemed very over-the-top. Why was the Holy Spirit even visible? Then he goes outside to look at the stars with Jesus, and Jesus isn't talking, he just has this goofy grin on his face. Would Jesus really have nothing to say? No comfort to give this man? I put the book down and never picked it up again. I think the author may have meant well, I just couldn't do anything with this book.
reviewed The Shack on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I guess you need to be a little more of a believer than I am to get the full concept. To be honest I kind of got bored with it about half way through.
reviewed The Shack on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book is a bit difficult to categorize. Though a story of a man coping with unfathomable tragedy in real life, it mostly allegorizes his confrontation with the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) in The Shack. In many ways, I found this book uncomfortable to read. Each member of this threesome is portrayed in ways that often stray very far from whatever picture I might have of the deity. Between both themselves and with Mack, the main character, they act differently and respond differently than I might ever imagine. Picture the character of God in his/her incarnation as a portly pie-baking woman or wiry man with a silver ponytail kissing the character of Jesus goodbye on the lips
Yet, in many ways that may be the very power of the bookto help break the rigid mold of how I might see the deitys relationship to the world, to me, to tragedy. The story raises many what-ifs What if our paradigms about God are wrong? What if were asking the wrong questions? What if our relationship to God is something completely different both more and less than what we think? What is the place of forgiveness and justice and mercy and love in the midst of unspeakable tragedy? In the midst of evil? What if we were granted the opportunity to glimpse the world and ourselves through the eyes of the Trinity? Would we see and understand much, much differently? These are some of the questions this book approaches.
In the end, though I was often uncomfortable in reading this book, I found it strangely moving and thought-provoking. Im glad I reluctantly experienced this story.
reviewed The Shack on + 222 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Well, I had heard how great the book was and how I must read it. In the beginning it seemed very emotional and about a tragedy, but by the time it got to the shack and Mack meeting with "God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit" I was no longer getting it. I found myself skimming the long muddled middle and getting very confused. It seemed very preachy and a bit too out there. I cannot say I enjoyed reading this book. Pat Russell
reviewed The Shack on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
When I heard about "The Shack" in early 2008, it was draped in controversy over its depiction of God.

The heart of this controversy wasn't just that God was portrayed as a black woman rather than as a grandfatherly figure with a flowing beard, nor that Jesus looks Middle Eastern, nor even that the Holy Spirit is portrayed as a hard-to-see Asian woman. The issue was that God was portrayed wrong, and in an irreverent, blasphemous or sacrilegious manner.

Now having read the book -- and apparently I was at least the third owner of this particular copy, via Paperback Swap -- I can't see what the fuss was about. True, its protagonist gets what many of us have wanted desperately -- a chance to get some clear answers from God about why life stinks so much, so often -- but while there is little doubt that the author feels that God deserves to have all the right answers and that his hero should be satisfied with them, all these answers fall well within orthodoxy, and even within evangelical orthodoxy in particular. So it's hard to see why a primarily (presumably) evangelical readership would be distressed by them.

The book's not offensive, at least not to me; but I did find it fairly uninteresting.

As fiction goes, it's pretty poor stuff, using the death of a man's young daughter as the vehicle to convey a story about a man's weekend getaway with God. It's a clever idea, but one more suited for a sermon illustration than for a book. And, as a result, that is what this book reads like -- a series of sermons on the nature of faith and suffering, God's love, the humanity of Jesus, and other issues that believers have struggled with for ages, all thinly disguised as a conversation with God. They don't go particularly deep, although people who have never asked these questions at all may find that "The Shack" offers a good place to start exploring.
reviewed The Shack on + 228 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I was interested in this book as I like to read about how religion might help those who have been through horrible experiences but the middle of the book got so theological and philisophical that I completely gave up on it. I really didnt care if Mack got through his ordeal or not it was so preachy and convaluted that it lost me. Now I am not a church going person so I thought I would give this author a chance to "save" me. Unless you are already "saved" this isnt going to get you there. It didnt appeal to me.
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 4
Perhaps it was because everyone mooned over this book that I went in jaded. I don't know. What I do know is that I didn't care for it. It felt like a dumbed-down Christian allegory that would appeal to the "Left-Behind" series fans. It pulled out every sappy punch to manipulate emotions from the reader. If that's your thing, you'll probably like this book.
reviewed The Shack on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
You don't have to belong to a certain religion, or any religion at all, to appreciate this book. Roughly written but at least the author admits to not really being an author. The story will make you open your mind to the possibilities of what if thats what it really is about. Although the story is based around the death of Mack's daughter it fortunately doesn't dwell heavily on how she dies. This is one of very few books that actually brought me to tears. A very easy read but will give you enough substance to think about for a few days after finishing it.
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 4
Great read. It is a very thought provoking book. A lot of my Christian friends had a hard time finishing because the "appearance" of God didn't fit into the common box we place Him in. I think with an open mind this book will open your heart.
reviewed The Shack on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
As I was reading this book, it took a little while to adjust to the fact that God was portrayed as a black woman. However, as I kept reading, it was made clear that this was the point. God, as we know Him, is just how we picture Him in our own minds. This book pointed out that God is all things to all people: black, white, woman, man, etc. The person representing Jesus is exactly how we have all been shown in pictures. However, none of this is really relevent in the meaning conveyed in this story. This is about a man that is deeply greiving about the loss of his little daughter by a violent means. It is so good at answering so many questions that we have: If God is so great, why would He let this happen? What did this innocent little girl do to deserve this short life? How do we let go of the anger and hatred that we feel when someone has done something this horrible to us? I am a Christian, but I don't go to church because of the politics involved. It even addresses people like me that feel they are true Christians, but don't feel that organized religion is what it should be, so don't take part in it. I went from thinking this book is too strange to continue reading to feeling that it is one of the best books I've ever read and I read alot of all different types of books! Give it a chance and I really think you will be hooked on it by the end. You, too, will be telling all your friends about this very different, but wonderful, book you just read.
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 3
A very Powerful book, with an even more powerful messege for the reader. And because I live in Eastern Oregon, not to far from where the Wallowa mountains are located, the book became even more powerful as I just itched to get where "the Shack" was located.. a great read!!!
reviewed The Shack on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I don't usually read religious fiction, but this book is a keeper. It is more than just a story about the abduction and murder of a child. It is more than just a story about a man's spiritual journey. It is a theologically sound revelation of the very nature of the Trinitarian God.
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 3
This book has a lot of emotional feeling to it. One of those 'makes you think' kind of books. Must be open minded when going into it :) It's pretty far out there, but it's a treasure. Be forwarned that in order for the main charactor to be down as low as he can be there has to be something terrible that happens. I was glad I was told ahead of time that his young child is murdered. God helps him through it and he learns so many things and the reader learns along with him.. An amazing book.
reviewed The Shack on + 128 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I absolutely loved this book! It brought out the love of God so clearly. The relationship that God wants to have with us through the Trinity is explained so beautifully. The one phrase that keeps coming back to me is "God is especially fond of you!" To all the critics...this is one man's perception of God. He shouldn't be criticized, this is the way God revealed himself to him. Oh, to have an experience like this!!!
reviewed The Shack on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Interesting message, filled with some important truths, but presented in a way that made me a bit uncomfortable - it is impossible to portray God without falling short.
reviewed The Shack on + 62 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The story alone of the murder of the little girl and what her father is going through is ingriguing and enough to keep you going through this book. However, when I started to get into the "God" stuff I thought "wait a minute" and began to think it was a little bizarre-o. With the great reviews the book got and the HIGH recommendations from friends, I really wanted to read the whole thing. So, I let myself be open to the images and ideas in the book. It really made me think and I found myself going back to certain parts and rereading them because some passages invoked so many beautiful images the feeling was phenomenal. I've recommeded this book many times to friends and now to YOU if you are willing to give it a try.
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 3
My husband and I both read this book and found it to be insightful and view-changing. It helps you to reconsider your idea of who and what God really is, and what roles He, Jesus and the Holy Spirit play in your life, as well as their role to each other. This book has inspired us to also reconsider our roles in the lives of our family and friends and how we treat each other and live each day. It was a quick but difficult book to read, emotionally. I cried several times. I don't recommend reading at work. =)
reviewed The Shack on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a awesome book for giving your view of God a shot in the arm. Because God the Father is portrayed as a black woman named "Poppa," traditional preconceived notions are automatically out the window--you are forced to think of Him differently. Jesus is a regular guy who is a carpenter, and the Holy Spirit is this ephemeral entity that creates beauty everywhere.

There are numerous ideas about God and the Bible and life that became clear to me in the conversations the Trinity had with Mac, the main character. (Do read this with a pen in your hand, and somehow label the ideas that strike you on each page.) The biggest benefit I got was the understanding that the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ and God the Father are all one. Wherever one is, the others are there too. So if I am a child of God and the Holy Spirit lives in me, so does the entire fullness of the Godhead. That's heavy!

I didn't agree with everything in the book, and I have a friend who disliked it intensely, although I still don't know just why. But it's well worth reading!
reviewed The Shack on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I have read some books that have touched my soul, and have spoke to me, but none like this one has. A book that had me in tears, had me laughing, had me looking inward as to my beliefs and thoughts. It may be a work of fiction, but the way the author portrays the personas of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost is so unbelievably real that you find yourself wanting that intimate contact also. A book that teaches that it is not the church building that is as important as it is the daily walk with God and his people. This book takes a very believable character, Mac, or Mckenzie as he is sometimes called, as the main character, and shows how he handles a devastating tragedy in his family, how it affects him, his family around him, and brings him fact to face with God and how this meeting affects all; his anger, his guilt, his shame, his grief. Even if you are not a believer, this is a fiction book that has a great plot, wonderful characters, and a very soul stirring message. A MUST READ for everyone!
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 3
Loved this book. It game me hope in another wise very dark world. I look forward to the day when my son comes to me in my dreams!
reviewed The Shack on + 77 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I've heard all the hoopla from many friends, I HAVE to read this book. I tried twice. I got farther in the second time, but it just didn't hold me. I didn't care. What's the big deal?
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 2
Very thought provoking. I read this in one day also (I couldn't put it down). It is a very intence story that draws you in and keeps you to the end. I found myself crying and laughing with the characters. This book hits a little to close to home for me(my sister was abducted and murdered 22 years ago and it is still unsolved, at least we got the body back) so I wasn't sure I wanted to read this. I'm glad my friend insisted that I should, It helped me look at my own feelings.
reviewed The Shack on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The Shaky Shack

At first blush, The Shack, by William P. Young, is an engaging read that lures the reader in with a tale of tragedy and mystery and includes all the qualities of a good suspense flick. That all comes to a screeching halt when the main character visits a dilapidated shack and encounters God along with a colossal dose of convoluted Christianity.
Young is a believable story-teller and raises solid questions that deserve investigation. In this way, this could have been an excellent book. Yet the reader finds the authors insistence on ignoring Biblical teaching while writing a Christian book odd at best. When Young reverts to a liberal application of his imagination, Pantheism, and New Age to write the same book, it results in a marshland of theology.
While Young raises questions that are honest and worthwhile, his answers fall short. A word of caution to would-be readers: Enjoy the book as a work of fiction, not an explanation of Christianity.
reviewed The Shack on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really liked The Lovely Bones, so I'm not immune to the power of a spiritually moving story. But The Shack... was just SO UNINSPIRING.

The story actually starts off pretty interesting, but then drags through the second half (with too much boring dialogue) until the whole shebang fizzles into a lame ending. I was left with too many questions for the author: So, we don't need to bother mourning the loss of our loved ones? There's no punishment for bad people? You're telling me God loves Hitler as much as Mother Theresa? Did you never watch 70s sitcoms (the main character is named Mackenzie Allen Philips)? What's so unique about Mack's loss that warrants God schlepping the entire Trinity down to Earth just for him? And what was with this: Every! joyful proclamation! of God's love! ended! in an exclamation point! More power to you for finding a source of strength and joy and all, but please just leave the recruitment pamphlets on the table and I'll take a look at them when I get the chance, thank you.

To sum up the longest review of my career here at P-Swap (I'm trying to give this place some street cred) this book did not offer the warm fuzzy I was expecting. It makes no great argument/case for faith (which is a shame, because there are many) and actually comes across as rather juvenile. I kept laughing, picturing some middle-aged dude trying to be cool at the Teenagers For Christ retreat, handing out copies of The Shack while telling them, "Check it out! Jesus is the shizzle!"
reviewed The Shack on
Helpful Score: 2
My sister recommended that I read "the Shack" as it takes place in Oregon and that is where I live. The beginning was not bad but after several chapters, I lost interest; there was so much writing that I skimmed through a few parts. Too many words to say not much. I did like the premise of meeting with God and getting to ask questions; the biggest and most popular is always why did that have to happen? Close to the last few chapters, it got better as the questions were answered. Anyone who has ever studied a Bible will find the same answers, that is if you have REALLY studied your Bible. Religions and their teachings often cause people to get caught up in the wrong idea of God and why we are really here and what exactly should we as His children be doing. Some parts were so predictable but there was a little surprise very close to the end that I had not expected. I would recommend this book to a beginner Christian or one who has not studied their Bible.
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Helpful Score: 2
This was a pretty good read in my opinion. Not a great one, but pretty good. It challenged my perceptions of God and the Trinity. It was fun to have my imagination stretched like that. I found it nice, but not overly profound. That's not a bad thing for a novel. I'm glad I read it, but it's not one of those I'll keep and read again.
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Helpful Score: 2
What an amazing story of Gods love and grace! Thought the book was very intense, yet easy to read. It just blows what you thought or felt about God...either Christian or non Christian...out of the water. If you thought you knew God, it shows you more of a picture of Gods heart that you probably hadn't realized. And if you don't know Him, you definitely will know the love and grace He has to offer us. It left me longing for more of Him! This book will definitely touch your life, so expect a change when reading it!
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Helpful Score: 2
I did not like this book. The first 80 pages or so focus on the murder of a young child (brutal murder) and the way the family dealt with it. Even though it is a work of fiction, it emotionally drained me after those 80 pages. Took me two days before I could pick up the book again. I would not recommend this book if you're looking for a light, spiritual read. Some of my friends LOVE this book, but they agree it is an intensely emotional book...so be prepared.
reviewed The Shack on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I respect the "ideals" behind this book/story, but unless you are a church going individual who is in touch with God, this book was HORRIBLE! I did not ney could not finish this book. I was incrediable bored by chapter 2, the author takes entirely to much time getting the "point" of the story. If you are not looking to dig deep for some spiritual reawakening then don't bother!
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Helpful Score: 2
It was difficult for me to nail down a star rating for this book, as it has very definite strengths as well as weaknesses. If one is looking for a literary read, pass this up. The writing, itself, is sophomoric and will, in all likelihood, frustrate you. However, this book provided something for me, which was infinitely more valuable. Young's inventive portrayal of the trinity from a relational point of view, confirmed that, indeed, if Christianity is anything, it is about relationships; horizontal as well as vertical. If one reads the book with this in mind, the author's lack of technical writing skills pales in significance given the beautiful and clever way he uses the characters to open up a new and very welcome understanding of God.
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Helpful Score: 2
My cousin kept telling me I HAD to read this book. She's an evangelical Christian, and I'm a Christian but perhaps a polar opposite from her. I was cynical when I began reading it, but by the time I was 3/4s into it, I found much wisdom that echoed previous reading in philosophy, psychology, and sociology. The author has zeroed-in on some huge themes. You may not "buy it," but it is thought-provoking and worth reading, I believe.
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Helpful Score: 2
I did not care for this book . To me it was creepy. I know that it is the favorite, most wonderful book to many. However, it was not my cup of tea - and I am a believer and a Christian.
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Helpful Score: 2
I knew when the main character first told his daughter that God would never expect her to "jump off a cliff" like the Indian princess who saved her people did, that this book just had it wrong. The whole Christian tradition is based on loving self sacrifice. When he didn't say something along the lines "You'll be happy to jump when you get there." I knew I was in trouble. But a friend recommended the book and I had to get through it.

There were a few really good conversations about God not intending evil, and striving to bring good out of it... but most of the book was just not for me.
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Helpful Score: 2
I had mixed emotions about this book. Interesting but I think another example of the main character would have made it more interesting.

It is a religious book and I found it hard to follow at times.
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Helpful Score: 2
This book is very difficult to get into in my opinion. It really 'dragged' in my opinion and after forcing myself to read 3/4 of it, I finally had to stop and admit to myself that this book definitely wasn't for me. The dialogue dragged and was too wordy at times and although I feel like I know what the author was trying to convey, I believe it is just too "out there"!
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Helpful Score: 2
For those of us that go to a church that teach us that God wants us to have a relationship with him and others, this book won't really affect you that much. But fair warning if you are going through a tough time in your life and you keep asking God why? then this book will get to you a little bit.

Though the message was clear I was a bit disappointed with the murder mystery part of this book. Being in law enforcement I'm waiting to find out who the killer is, the evidence etc etc etc. The author takes you so deeply into Missy's murder, but the way the end it left me feeling empty. I wanted a name, a face, something, and there was nothing there. So that really disappointed me. And when Mack must forgive, I figured that Papa would bring the killer to Mack but it doesn't happen that way.

So again, not the most wonderful Christian book I have ever read, but not the worst either.
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Helpful Score: 2
I didn't care for this book but did read it to the end. My Almighty God and Father is too big to be reduced to washing dishes and cooking meals. This was just too far from the Biblical text. I know it is a work of fiction but could be extremely misleading for anyone not grounded in the Scriptures. I waited a long time to read this and borrowed it from the library, thankfully. I would not want to have spent money on it.
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Helpful Score: 2
An interesting book with an interesting concept. You do need to leave your mind open as you read it as it is a fantasical journey. I did think the explanation of why bad things happen to innocents was good and appropriate. This is the type of book you will either love or hate. So try and read it with no preconceived notions.
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Helpful Score: 2
Never in a million years would I imagine I would #1 read a CHRISTIAN book #2 review it and #3 LOVE IT!
I am not the "religious type", at least not in an organized sense. I have my beliefs, more personal than anything. This was a christmas gift from my mother-in-law who is also not a "religous type" either. She was told by a very dear and close friend to buy it for me.I thank them both. Every minute spent reading it was worth my time. It is truly beautiful in both the form and the content. If only the whole world could have a copy~ love might come more freely among us. While I would love to offer up my copy, I am going to pass it on to someone I am "especially fond of".
I urge those who read this review, BUY it, READ it and PASS it on. It is the same as sharing love and hope."Papa" would be proud.
I hope it touches you, too. XOXOXOXOXO
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Helpful Score: 2
I love Christian fiction and was really, really looking forward to this one. There's been a lot of buzz about it, but it wasn't for me. I tried. I really did, but the writing didn't grab me.

I think what I enjoy about Christian fiction (the ones I really like) are someone who is in a real-life predicament and often times have flaws and major issues, but apply their Christian faith to the real, everyday, nuts and bolts business of life and I didn't get that here.

I loved the idea of the book, but not the book itself. It was like reading someone's religious dialogue with themself. Not without merit, but not a whole book's worth of interest, either.

"The Shack" has merit and I can see why many people are so taken by it, but I did not like it.
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Helpful Score: 2
This book was way out of the norm for me, but I was curious so I took "a leap of faith" and bought it. I am so very glad that I did. It touched me deeply and opened my mind to the possibilities. An excellent read.
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Helpful Score: 2
This book is an utter and complete waste of time. What a major disappointment. I was really enchanted with the idea of a non-traditional view of God and a fresh way to bring home some biblical truths. I was intrigued by the plot line concerning the little girl's murder, but the delivery failed on all counts.

While much of the book is conversation and interaction with an interpretation of God, it really boils down to the author talking to himself. Hearing, or in this case, reading, someone just rehash their own ideas over to themselves makes a very boring read, indeed.

One of the worst books I have tried to read and undeserving of all the hype. Don't waste your time.
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Helpful Score: 2
One of the few books I could not finish reading.
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Helpful Score: 2
Our church used this in a book study. I didn't really enjoy the book - too much of a fantasy, but it did bring up some very interesting subjects for discussion.
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Helpful Score: 2
This book had a fantasic story line in the beginning. The author did a wonderful job of packing so much detail and description into even the first 12 pages. I really was into it despite the difficult subject matter, until the guy arrived at the shack and met the 3 people who represtent God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Bible NEVER portrays God as a female figure, but only as a father, man, male, leader, protector, provider figure.

I feel like this book gives too much support for a "universalist" type beliefe system.

By saying that God would appear to this man as a woman because he had "daddy issues" is opening the door to the idea that God my appear to one people group as Buddah, or another group as Muhammad, or any other form based on a persons own personal needs. I just really have a problem with that.

As a work of fiction, it's ok at best, but just remember, this book is not scripture.
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Helpful Score: 1
Loved IT! We are far too rigid as a society about how God should be, kinda keep him in a box type thing, and this book allowed for a different senario, just as C.S. Lewis did with Narnia.
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Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book but it was a little odd and the way Jesus and God are portrayed, very strange. Definitely makes you think and wonder though. Worth reading.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh and cry. I would recommend this book.
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Helpful Score: 1
Great book! Fast read-couldn't put it down!
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book so much I gave 5 copies away.
I never read a book over but I will reread this one.
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Helpful Score: 1
To be honest - I am very troubled by the bookâ¦. not because there is nothing good in it â¦the best deception has the MOST truth in itâ¦. but because the foundation on which the truth is laid is not the same as the foundation we find in the pages of our bibles. I will leave it for future readers to judge, but it honestly disturbed me.
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Helpful Score: 1
I never finished the book. It got a little too strange for me. I can't call myself a "believer" though so maybe it would be meaningful for those who are. It was recommeded to me by a co-worker who enjoyed it very much.
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Helpful Score: 1
So many people had told me that I should read this book that I couldn't wait to get a copy.It's like no other book I've ever read. No one would tell me much about the book, so I won't inform you either. It's a remarkable story that brings surprises with every page as you are forced to think about your own relationship with God and exactly what you believe. You won't want to put it down until you've read it all!
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Helpful Score: 1
As some of the other reviews suggest, this book draws you in, but then takes you to places that are just simply STRANGE. Not a good book for someone who may have questions about true Christianity. It's fiction, yes, but may cause those who are not strong believers to get the wrong picture of God.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is an awesome book. I came away with a new found faith.
That's not to say I believe it is anymore than a work of fiction.
However, It made me feel closer to my creator and once again think of "GOD IS LOVE"
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was all the rage a couple of years ago. Frankly, I don't understand why. The writing style is elementary and even stilted, at times. Definitely 'reads' like a bedtime story for a child. Yes, there is a sweet message about God's unconditional love, but the book's analogies are weak, at best. Too bad the book didn't receive a real editing before it was published!
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Helpful Score: 1
I absolutely loved this book and so did two other family members who read it. None of us wanted to put it down. We all felt that it helped us to look at things in a way we never thought of before. I would recommend this to any one.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book is very inspirational. It is very uplifting for your soul. I highly recommend it.
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Helpful Score: 1
I thought the beginning of this book was captivating. It was definitely an interesting way to start this story. The ending had a couple of interesting twists. The problem with this book is the middle. Since this book is fiction, the revelations that are developed primarily through conversations with the Holy Trinity are also fictitious. Unless I misread the jacket cover summary of the book, this book is not based on any fact. Many Biblical references are made and interpreted by the author with no factual leg to stand on. After reading the authors interpretation of the father, the son , and the holy spirit, the first sin (by Adam), Jesus many miracles performed as a man, Jesus statement to his Father, Why have you forsaken me?, and many more; I felt the author had taken too many liberties with my imagination. That is why I skipped 50 80 pages and finished the book. I DO recommend this book to others. I feel that anyone interested in the topic of Where is God in these days of terrible suffering? may find personal answers from this text. Maybe I am reading it at the wrong time for me to glean the intended meaning. Please make your own decision about reading this book.
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Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't finish this book. I tried very hard to be open minded about the characters, but it just got a little too weird for my taste.
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Helpful Score: 1
Absolutely amazing book! I have read it 4 times in the past year. It has given me so much more insight to who my Papa God is and how much he really loves me. Has transformed my life.
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Helpful Score: 1
As a Christian, I could not take this book seriously. I had no idea what the book would be about when I started it, but a couple of people recommended it to me. I found the book misleading and I would not recommend this to a new Christian. I would hate for someone to take this fictional novel too seriously and let it change their mind about religion.
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Helpful Score: 1
It was a good story, though a little sappy in some parts.
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Helpful Score: 1
I read this because my Mom loved it. I personally couldn't get through it and I finish pretty much every book I start. It was too preachy and just dragged and dragged the same subject.
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Helpful Score: 1
Must read for anyone! Well written, timely and inspirational.
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Helpful Score: 1
It's a very powerful book, hard to read (from an emotional perspective) in a few places, but also very enlightening in a spiritual sense.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is a great book. I had trouble putting it down. Opens your mind and makes you wonder.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was amazing. A true testament to the power of forgiveness.
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Helpful Score: 1
Absolutely beautiful, poetic in nature. Captures your heart as you begin to relate to the characters being submerged in their family's heartfelt fun while on vacation. Suddenly one of the children is missing. This book had me hysterical crying. The emotional abyss it sent through. This book provides a wealth of various perspectives that put the even the worst tragedies into a perspective that you might have never thought about. I'd read this book a in the second time in the future.
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Helpful Score: 1
this book puts the Holy Trinity in a new light, makes the Father, Son and Holy Spirit human, it made me laugh, cry and think....alas, the copy I read is my wife's and this is a keeper for anyone who is a Christian, which is not a bad person to be despite the adverse publicity we receive...
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Helpful Score: 1
This is a roller-coaster of spiritual and theological reading. The Trinitarian theology is quite clever and rather orthodox at the same time. Only flaw was reference to a hackneyed distinction between "religion" and faith. An exceptional book!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was so much more than I thought it would or could be. It brought great discussion between me and my husband and it brought a lot of "ahahha" moments. It made me think of God in a context that I never really have before - and I like this context much better than any taught to me by Law and Gospel through the Bible.
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Helpful Score: 1
This has got to be the best spiritual book I've ever read! It describes God in the way I've always known Him to be! A MUST READ for ALL, christians and non-christians alike! Not to mention that the story itself is intensely entertaining! A gripping story of suspense with a twist at the end to really make you think!
I will read it over and over!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book is a MUST read for those who seek a closer relationship to God. It is one person's idea/picture/view of God, but it stirs your belief and strengthens your attraction to the God of the bible. It also makes those who question God take a different perspective on life with God.
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Helpful Score: 1
A great book about how to keep your faith while trying to come to terms with tragedy. A must read for any Christian.
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Helpful Score: 1
Well, my mom recommended this to me after we both read "Many Lives Many Masters" and really enjoyed it. This book I honestly found a bit annoying. I was interested up until the part where he got to the shack and all of the Jesus talk began... And then I really had to struggle to stay focused. I would say that I LIKED it but I definitely did not love it. I'm not a very religious person and at parts it was pretty hard to take. But since I'm not someone who generally stops books halfway through and let's be honest, it's pretty short, I soldiered on. Anyway, not my first pick but SORT OF interesting I guess. I also couldn't help but think as I'm going through this, how much here is he paraphrasing? I mean, there's no way he's going to remember all of those conversations in such great detail. If you like this kind of thing, I think "Many Lives Many Masters" was much better.
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book! This book has you reevaluate your meaning of forgiveness. Deeply thoughtfull. A heartwrenching, story. This story had me take a closer look at forgiving the unforgivable.
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. It presented the love of God just as I needed it to be. I did not get all hung up in the 'doctrinal views' as I don't think this was the intent of the author...I just read it face value since life doesn't fit neatly into little boxes. I also love CS Lewis...I do not think the 2 authors have to be considered at opposite ends of a spiritual spectrum as it seems some readers feel. I just know this book made me cry hard, laugh hard, and think hard about many things...and feel that God is 'especially fond' of me, too. One of my favorite quotes is one about forgiveness...Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat..."
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Helpful Score: 1
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Gladly, it doesnt go into the gorry details of the child's death... but it goes into GREAT depths of understanding of God's will for our lives and how we handle things.... I would highly recommend this book. And for those critics who says it is blasphemous for this author to have God show up in the form of a woman of color.... God chose to come to Moses in the form of a burning bush....who is to say, he cant come in the form of a woman of color? GOD can do anything...If you can get past that...You will gain a lot of inspiration from this book.
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Helpful Score: 1
I began reading this book quite reluctantly, to be honest. I am a Christian, but am not religious. Religion depresses me and I was reluctant to read this because I did not want to read something that would, I thought, rub my nose in the fact that Im not living my life according to someone elses idea or perception of how a good Christian should live. I couldnt have been more wrong!

This story was simply amazing. I think we can all relate to Mack and the Great Sadness he is carrying. Though life is full of special and happy events, we all carry within us pain and sorrow from those times when we have been hurt or suffered great loss. Sometimes our pain is so great, we wrap it around ourselves so tightly that we cannot see beyond it. Sometimes we are so angry at what has happened to us that we blame God or others for our pain. We are Mack.

Mack receives a letter from Papa four years after his youngest daughter was abducted and likely murdered. His wife refers to God as Papa and I loved that reference. If we are to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father, then why not have one from the heart and make it personal? Calling God Papa made me smile and it opens the door for Mack. When he receives the letter, he is very skeptical and cynical about the sender of the note. His friend, Willie, even suggests that the note could be from Missys killer, trying to lure Mack there for evil purposes.

Mack goes to the shack both hoping and dreading that God will actually be there. What awaits him is truly amazing. This book made me laugh as the author shows us that God has a wonderful sense of humor. This book made me cry as the author gives us a front row seat into Macks heart and his pain, which in turn gave me a front row seat into my own. This book energized me as I read as it struck a chord with me how easy and simple it is to have a relationship with Papa, how I have been struggling in my life needlessly for so long and how liberating it felt to realize this.

This book isnt about converting anyone to Christianity or trying to guilt you into going to church or rub your nose in what you may or may not be doing in your life. This book is about love, both Gods love for us, his children, and our love for Him and for each other. It amazes me that something so basic and simple comes so hard to us and is so difficult to embrace. After reading this book, it has gotten a lot easier for me to do it. I invite you to take the journey with me and experience the joy of love.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really got into this book at first. I coud not put it down, then it kind of went off to weird. I stayed with it hoping for a dramatic, fantastic ending, but it dd not happen. It was a so so read for me. I would not recommend it BUT I also would not discourage anyone from reading it. It is one of those books you need to judge for yourself.
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved the book. It gave me a different perspective on God and how he/she loves us. I love this book and it will be a permanent addition to my library.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is an excellent book, very touching, and reminded me once again how much I am loved by God.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book put alot of things into perspective for me!! I loved reading this after the loss of a spouse!! I would highly recommend this book to anyone whether you have lost a loved one or know one that needs help in the grieving process.
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Helpful Score: 1
This was the most powerful book I have ever read. I don't usually read this type of book but it came highly recommended. I'm very glad I did. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one that felt they left to soon will get a warm feeling from this book.
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Helpful Score: 1
I can't even begin to tell you how much I hated this book. I always read a book all the way through especially something that is touted as "you have to read it, it's wonderful". I felt like I was losing my mind as I trudged my way through this nonsensical use of words. It amazes me that people either love it or hate it. There is no in between. I forced myself to finish it only because I was afraid I would miss the wonderful thing that would happen that would change my life. It never happened. My God is not a big black woman cooking in this ugly shack nor is the Holy Spirit some trivial weird thing. My friend of more than 40 years almost severed our relationship over this book because I was so adamant about not liking it. I couldn't even like the book cover. So glad I didn't die right after I finished it. What a waste it would have been for my last moments on earth to have been used on that nonsensical book.
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Helpful Score: 1
It saddens me to think people actually buy into this type of fiction. What a crock!
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Helpful Score: 1
My sister bought this book for me when she knew I was struggling with God's decisions as doubt began to come into my life. I'm blessed that she bought it for me, because it came at a time when I needed the most. I thought God wasn't there anymore, but all along, I just wasn't listening. Young brings about a fictional tale of a tragedy. A mysterious note leads the main character on a journey back to the place where the tragedy occurred. The note is signed from God. It is at a shack where God is revealed to a man who thinks God has forgotten him. The story made me feel closer to God. It truly changed the way I look at God.
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Helpful Score: 1
Life changing book. I go back to this one often. Great insight about forgiveness.
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Helpful Score: 1
Amazing book. Ask God for your own "Shack" experience. God Will give you one. I had one!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was a complete surprise to me....I thought it would be very dark and depressing and it is NOT... it is full of wisdom, hope and comfort...excellent and unusual book!
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Helpful Score: 1
Excellent read! Would recommend to everyone.
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Helpful Score: 1
I thought this was an extraordinary book. The premise is a litte stretched, but the content is meaningful and important. One of those books I read in 2 days and could not put down.
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Helpful Score: 1
this is one of the best books ive ever read! alongside all francine rivers books and im only 11!
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Helpful Score: 1
I did not expect to like this book, especially because there was SO much hype about it. A friend sent me a copy of it a year ago and I set it aside, thinking that it was going to be some tearjerker, schmaltzy kind of book. As a whole, in the past I've really hated reading Christian fiction as it was usually not well written. I couldn't have been more wrong! This book is very well written and is an allegory about our relationship with God. It is *not* religious whatsoever but is full of truth and wisdom, in my opinion. I highlighted so many passages as the book went on that I almost needed to just highlight what I DIDNT want to remember!

It's not the Bible. It's not to be taken literally, in my opinion. The people who portray the different aspects of God are not LITERAL, but what *if* our Father was someone who looked different from what we imagined? Food for thought -- this book is a buffet!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book started out really great.. but got really weird. I honestly didn't finish the last few chapters. I went and read the end and was done with it. Just weird
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Helpful Score: 1
I really disliked this book and would not recommend it to anyone. I actually started skipping pages toward the end and never finished the book. I took offence to it because it potrays our GOD as something different than what the bible does. It was very weird. Don't read!
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Helpful Score: 1
Worst Book I've ever read!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was not what I expected. I am not very religious, but I thought that this book would help me gain more faith...it did not. They way God was portrayed in this book was an insult, in my opinion. The story behind the religious part was more interesting. I would not recommend this book to anyone with a strong religious background, it may disturb them.
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Helpful Score: 1
heart felt, hert breaking, but this book was amazing..
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Helpful Score: 1
What a fabulous book! I felt closer to God after reading it, just magnificent. If you read nothing else this year, please read this.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was absolutely amazing. I highly recommend it to anybody just thinking about it. It's a read you will not regret spending time with. Also, one you can read in a short period of time. It did bring me to tears (with lots of restraint in public) and will undoubtly touch your spirit as well.

Hoping and looking forward to a movie!!!
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Helpful Score: 1
This was lent to me by a friend at church. I've been attending church off and on since I was a child... well, okay, more off than on. Coming from a seriously dysfunctional upbringing, I always WANTED to be a "good Christian," but I had trouble keeping Jesus at the front of my mind. I'd pray when I was desperate, but not again for months. I was not walking *with* Christ, I was simply wishing I was when I happened to think about it. It was a life long pattern until I read The Shack.

There were so many HUGE points in this book, it literally took me 3 weeks to read. I would hit on an idea and have to pause for days to fully absorb it. What I walked away with was that everyone, every single one of us, is a child of God. NO MATTER how good, how bad, how even horrible we are or believe ourselves to be, He loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. Our Heavenly Father has no interest in controlling us or our free will, but instead wants the same position in our lives as we have with our friends. He wants to be remembered and talked to and treated with loving respect. In addition, forgiving and forgetting make a whole lot more sense to me now - no matter WHAT was done to me, the person who did it is still a child of God, and I can forgive them to heal myself without having to forget what was done.

Anyway, the book was a full transformation for me. Instead of feeling like I was not good enough to be a Christian, rather than viewing each back sliding into old habits as a massive failure from which I might as well not bother trying to recover, I realized that God loves me despite it all. No matter how much I 'mess up' or 'fail', God loves and supports me unconditionally. Somehow, that's a message that no Sunday in church or week in VBS ever got through. The Shack did, though.

I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I am eternally grateful to Mr. Young for this book. It brought God home to me, so to speak. It made my relationship with the Lord something tangible and real and to be cherished and nurtured.
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Helpful Score: 1
In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question: Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain? The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much asi it did him. You'll wanteveryone you know to read this book!
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Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful story! Novels with religious overtones don't typically appeal to me, but this one is lighthearted and imaginative, and appeals to the secular humanist as well as the Christian. It is closer to "edgier" religious fiction - that is, downplaying the importance of organized religion and church in favor of the importance of a personal relationship with God.

Mack Phillips, a man who has lost his small daughter to a brutal murder, has lost his faith; a concept with which he has struggled his entire life. He finds a note in his mailbox from God inviting him to come visit with Him over the weekend. Mack can't resist the invitation (who could?) and is greeted by human personifications of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, with whom he spends several days working through his pain and coming to understand the true nature of God. In Mack's vision, God is "a large black woman with a questionable sense of humor", Jesus is Middle Eastern, and the Holy Ghost is a beautiful Asian woman with a penchant for gardening. His visions make little sense to even him, but as events unfold, all becomes clear. If you liked Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet In Heaven", you will love this story. It is based also on the idea that we all have a unique relationship with God. Quick read, and I would highly recommend it, if only as food for thought.
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Helpful Score: 1
I love reading. I love books. Every genre. This book is easily the worst book I've ever read. It starts with an intriguing mystery premise, then quickly devolves into religious drivel. I tried to get through it (for book club), but finally just gave up and skipped to the end. This book really is that unreadable.
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Helpful Score: 1
I feel so deceived. I am very, very angry about this. I didnt see any obvious place on the outside of my copy that said this was fiction. I wanted to leave this review to say that it was, since, even in the foreward it states it is true. I am so aggravated about this, I dont even feel this is expressing it fully. Its not as great as everyone was making it out to be, and I wonder if all the good reviews were because people thought it was true as they were reading it. Dont waste your credits.
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Helpful Score: 1
Well I got this book for Christmas from my mother who knows I would NEVER normally read a book such as this. We made a deal that I would read this if she read one of my favorites.

Well, I have to say that the book started out well, but turned into something completely uninteresting and plotless. It has very little story line and a lot of dialogue. I am not a religous person, and this book is all about religion, so that was a turn off from the start, but a deal is a deal so I kept reading. Trying to keep an open mind, I tried to read the whole thing, but can honeslty say that I skipped a few pages now and then and it made no difference what so ever. It is all about someones struggle with god and his perceptions of god and religion. BORING!
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Helpful Score: 1
I was looking forward to reading this book, asking for it in our office gift exchange. Reading the synopsis, it was of interest. By now, many have read alot of reviews of this book, and I agree with most....The beginning is very good and fast reading....then it came time to arrive at the shack and like someone else said, things got weird.
I feel the author is trying to instill his feelings, relationship, beliefs of God on the reader. Hopefully the reader will have their own beliefs and hang onto them. My personal relationship with God is intact despite this book.
I cannot recommend this book, nor tell you not to read it, give it a try because it may be just the sort of book you're looking for. It's a quick read, even for a slow poke like myself.
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Helpful Score: 1
Though quite simply written the painful premise of this book comes through, loud and clear! I believe that this little book is written from an obviously Christian viewpoint and those who aren't or those who scoff just won't "get it". Believers might wonder just how scripturally leaning this story is. The book explores unmitagated sorrow.
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Helpful Score: 1
This has got to be the best spiritual book I've ever read! It describes God in the way I've always known Him to be! A MUST READ for ALL, christians and non-christians alike! Not to mention that the story itself is intensely entertaining! A gripping story of suspense with a twist at the end to really make you think!
I will read it over and over!
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Helpful Score: 1
... heck is that? I know it's popular and all but holy craziness...this is truly the dryest, strangest book I've ever read.
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Helpful Score: 1
It was ok, not spectacular like so many said it was. It was just ok. Some parts made me think and was like, "yeah ok", but not most.
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I very much enjoyed reading about the Holy Trinity as earthly beings.
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Our bookclub read this and agreed it was NOT one of our favorite books. It is somewhat similar to watching a "touched by an Angle" series, but with a wierd twist.

A father returns to a shack where his daughter was supposedly killed many years before. While there he encounters "God" in the form a a large black woman. I believe the story had much more potential, and could have been a wonderful story. However, our bookclub all agreed that the author lost us somewhere in the weirdness, and unfinished thoughts.

Unlike others, I don't feel at all that is is blasphamy - the author was attempting to show that God can represent him/herself to people in different ways in order to get the message across. But, the story definately needed more development.
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Love this book, didn't want it to end.
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just plain didn't like it
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This has got to be the best spiritual book I've ever read! It describes God in the way I've always known Him to be! A MUST READ for ALL, christians and non-christians alike! Not to mention that the story itself is intensely entertaining! A gripping story of suspense with a twist at the end to really make you think!
I will read it over and over!
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This book makes you think and really feel for the family and all that is going on. All while you take a look at yourself. I recommend this book for everyone. You may not be a religious person, but it makes you think.
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I would never give this book to anyone, especially a nonbeliever, or a new Christian. It is full of blasphemous statements and ideas that seem to weave together (in a vague, horrible attempt) Christianity with new age "religions." God the Father is not a big black woman who loves to cook, the Holy Spirit is not an Asian woman who seems to float gently on the breeze, and Jesus Christ is not a white carpenter in worn blue jeans. We need to know and love God the Father, the Spirit, and Christ, but to reduce them to such humanistic forms is to deny His/Their Divine Nature. I burned my copy, and will beg you, dear reader, do NOT order this book.
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Wow bad very bad...might have gotten better had I finished it.
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FANTASTIC! What a fun, inspirational piece of work. I truly enjoyed this book.
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This is a great book and I highly recommend reading it...Mac's young daughter had been abducted and murdered and God invites him to meet him at the cabin where Missy was murdered to help him understand why God could let this happen.
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This book goes into LOTS of detail about religion.
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I didnt regret reading it but didnt find myself passing it to friends.
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I like it from the beginning til middle of the book, then I got lot interested.
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My husband loved this book. He is the one that recommended it to me. I was really anxious to read it because of his excitement about it. I, on the other hand, did not care much for the book. It was, as they say, too over the top for me. I think it would have been more appealing to me if the characters were more traditional, and I think the message would have been more acceptable. I also found the ending to be a little confusing. Real or not real??? I have passed it on to another, but with the stipulation that I didn't really care for the message, but it was open to interpretation by the reader.
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Interesting tale on what happens in Mackenzie Philips life after a tragedy in his family. He receives a note, apparently from God, inviting him for a weekend visit. Different, but was glad I read it.
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This book was very deep. You must have a good understanding of religion in order to enjoy it. However, if you do, then it is worth the read.
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I have been a Christian all my life. I really enjoyed this book. I did not agree with all statements made in this book, however the "big picture" that was shown in this book was...beautiful. A topic not covered by a lot of people, relation with God & Jesus and what that may look like or how you may want it to look like for yourself. If you are looking for a book to tell you how to live or do, then this may not be for you. But for someone comfortable in my beliefs, it was moving and a little eye opening.
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Open-minded readers will see book's value as a creative work.
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Very interesting story. It gives one a lot of thought on structured/free form ideal in religion. I am glad I read this book and pass it on very favorably.
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This book could not grab my attention and although I am somewhat religious had a very hard time finishing it. I was very disappointed as I had heard SO much good about it.
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A friend of mine gave me this book last winter when my family & I where going threw some tough times. It wasn't at all what I expected, but I LOVED it!
The characters are greatly written and the story line is very insperational..
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I had to skip through most of this. One of the most damned silly books I've run across in awhile.
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For inspirational, vivid and captivating... I recommend it to everyone. Love Gods glory and love for all his children.
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My mom recently passed away and a friend from work loaned me this book to read. I'm not sure if it really comforted me in my time of loss, but it definitely gave me things to think about.

I couldn't put the book down... I read it in 1.5 days. Alot of the material is hard to wrap your mind around. Especially as a not-so-religious person. However, I really enjoyed it and have recommended it to several friends.
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amazing book
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I really enjoyed this book. It really helps you think outside the box.
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Very good book on one man's dialouge with God, non denominational redition with makes it more beliveable.
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This is the best book I have read in a long time. I didn't want to put it down.
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This book was unlike anything I've ever read...it truly will transform your way of looking at things. I absolutely loved this book. If you are ever stuck for a gift idea, this is the best gift you can give. Wonderful, wonderful book.
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What a good book! It is for sure not your average picture of how most people see God. But this a true account, as well as he can remember it with God, Jesus and The holy spirit. I highly recommend this book, however it get's pretty strange in parts, keep with it.
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Loved It, one of the most uplifting books in a long time, Highly recommend it.
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I really liked this book but after all the hype I guess I expected it to be better somehow. It was interesting and easy to keep reading.
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This is a life changing book. A reminder that God is here and He wants to be a part of our lives. I cannot recommend this book enough. READ IT!
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Not as creepy as it seems like it is going to be. You have to read the parts where he talks to God with a grain of salt. Remember that God meets us where WE can meet Him, probably. Opened up my eyes to some new ways to think about how He loves us.
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Awesome book - it grabbed me and had to finish it! I thought about it when I wasn't reading it!
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Great religious read even if you are not religious it brings up some very good arguments/explanations and really got me thinking.
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great book
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Really enjoyed the story. Very interesting.
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Very moving. A bit slow in the beginning, but worth it!
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This book was chosen as a book club selection. After reading the synopsis, I wasn't thrilled with the choice. After reading the book, I have to say it was quite provoking, interesting and I'm glad that I read it. I was unable to go to the discussion group, but all of the people quite enjoyed the book.
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This book is a really easy read, although I thought it long at times. Some of the extraneous information could have been left out and the book would not have lost anything. I also found it easy to "skim through" a lot of the book without missing too much. The story is somewhat predicatable and often reads more like a newspaper article than a novel. However, the book did flow well and had a few hidden gems throughout. The author puts a little different twist on the usual. It's a good read for anyone who is grieving over the loss of a loved one.
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This was a very unusual story but kept me wanting more. I really enjoyed it.
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This is a wonderful book about forgiving yourself, and others even in impossible situations. It is fiction but has beautiful insight, told from a man's view which is unusual. No one I know who has read this book regretted picking it up, nor could they put it down.
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The Shack was a book I couldn't put down once I started it. It's about one man's experiences with the Great Sadness. I had borrowed it from the library to read, but needed to get myself a copy for my personal library. It's definitely a re-readable book! I gave my copy away to one of my best friends before reading it again, so I'll be getting more copies.
This has become a rather controversial book in Christian communities. "Finding God in The Shack" by Roger E. Olson explores this book which is helpful and it also has a very small Study Guide in the back of the book.
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Interesting and thought provoking. I love this concept of a God who comes to us in ways we can understand however unconventional that may be. It's the love, not the form, that embraces us.
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A refreshingly innocent tale of horrible tragedy, its ripple effects, and a uniquely intimate confrontation that leads to restoration. The author has a way of weaving words together to create lovely and meaningful observations that probably pertain to each of us in one way or another.

A father's worst nightmare happens ... it just happens. Is it his fault? Why? Why do bad things happen if there's a loving God watching over us? What kind of God can let these horrible things happen?

This story of loss and healing contains one man's personal and unique experience as he wrestles with these and other questions. It isn't Gospel, but it is an excellent example of creative Divine communication.
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Compelling page-turning and provocative story offering one of the most poignant views of God and how he relates to humanity.
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I found this to be the best book I've read. It is so compelling and profound, I will read it again for sure.
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This is a great read. It doesn't seem like it's about religion but it is. It (in my opinion) portrays God as he (or she as you'll read in the book) really is and not how people make him out to be. I would recommend it to anyone.
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-I enjoyed the book, but was bothered by the way that the Trinity was portrayed.
The book did make me think about the different personalities of the Trinity, which was good.

If you read the book you really need to know your Bible, or it could give you some false ideas.

The story line was really good, moving along, lots of action.
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As an Atheist, I assumed I could read this book and maybe be challenged in my thinking. This book garnered such praise I figured I couldn't lose. I really enjoyed the piece up until the point when it became just plain preachy. No thanks.
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Wonderful STORY that makes you think about your relationships. Live in the area mentioned in book so know the territory well.
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This is one book that you just have to ignore the critics on and figure out for yourself. I was anxious to meke my way through the first couple of chapters and get to the much-hyped "weekend". And as I got past the first two chapters, I was carried away into the story and couldn't wait to go from one chapter to the next. People have to remember, this IS FICTION folks, take it for what it is meant to be, a story. I found it very comforting. I am a Christian, and it gave me an uplifting view of the Trinity that I can personalize. I am keeping this book on my nightstand and rereading is haphazardly for the sheer comfort of it. If God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit really could appear like this to me, then give me the directions to the SHACK! I've been writing down passages from this book and they are already classics to me. I heard an interview the author did where he said he wrote the heart of this story for his kids to make their faith seem more real. His love, a father's love for his children.....that's the heart of this book. And I'll keep it close to mine. Open the book!
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Phenomenal book.
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This book kept coming up as a "suggested reading". Reviews were mixed,so I hesitated. Believe it or not, it was recommended by a priest. It was a little bizaar, but it also brought me to tears. It is one of the strangest books that I have read. Also one of the most interesting once you accept the "fictional" characters of The Trinity.
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Very interesting perspective of our most important relationships. Personally, I enjoy Christian Fiction - reading for pleasure, I call it. This book was in a different category for me.

I feel this book was written with fanciful perceptions but with the intent to challenge the readers view of sin and forgiveness. Putting aside the issues that were at first distracting to me, such as God being female, the setting of "heaven", the non-confrontational attribute depicted of God, Jesus and even the Holy Spirit, I believe the book is accurate in its portrayal of sin and forgiveness.
Sin - Rom 3:20-23, Rom 5:8, Rom 5:20-21, 1Jn 1:9
Forgiveness - Eph 4:32, Rom 2:1, Col 3:13; Mt 6:14-15

At first I was concerned that the fanciful perceptions would be a distraction to the more important meaning behind the book. It also bothered me that someone may take these perceptions as Biblically accurate. Now that I'm taking the time to review the book, I wonder if the fanciful perceptions were chosen by the author in hopes of writing something so shocking that it gained great attention and therefore reached more people.

As with any book other that the Bible, we must use caution and distinguish between truth and fiction. I believe the Lord can use many different ways to draw people to Himself, but authentic growth and discipleship comes from studying His Word. My prayer is that everyone who reads The Shack will seek the Lord for His wisdom on this delicate and emotional topic. I pray that He will use this and every other means possible to reveal Himself to those who don't know Him. And may He provide His presence through peace, comfort and love to anyone who finds themselves effected by this type of sin.
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I have given this book 5 stars - but if I could I would give it 100! It was truly an amazing book! It was a look at religion in a way that I've never experienced before. It didn't necessarily change my views on religion, as some of the "points" that are made are in line with my beliefs, but it did put into words things I've been struggling to.

The story starts with Mackenzie's daughter being kidnapped. As Mackenzie tries to deal with it and "move on" as he thinks the rest of his family has done he is delivered a note, and given his desire to find out what happened to his daughter he takes off to discover a new clue. I feel bad for Mackenzie. He feels guilty for allowing his daughter to be kidnapped, has all but lost the rest of his family in his desire to find out what happened, and his faith in anything is gone. As he is on his journey for his daughter he comes across three people who try to help him restore his faith. It's so emotional - I cried almost through the entire book!


It's not an easy read by any means. At the very least it will make you think. It could very well go against everything you believe. The trials that Mackenzie has to go through to get what he's searching for are so amazing. They really put things into a perspective that I've never even thought about before.

I want to tell you about my favorite scene of the book. I don't normally do this, but this book was so great that I can't not share it. I'd love to just tell you about everything, but you should read it for yourself1 At one point in the story Makenzie is taken to a dark cave and he's asked to judge people. He's reluctant to do it, and the wisdom that is gifted to him really made me think. It's such a powerful scene - and the reward that Mackenzie gets from "learning" this lesson is so great that just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes and gives me goose bumps.

There are a few things in the book that I am surprised didn't cause a huge stir. I felt that the book kind of defies the "normal" view of how a person should experience religion. But I think it's a must-read!
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I enjoyed this book immensely while it is fiction it is good for us to take God out of the box we tend to keep him in. The lessons were great and I have already recommended and shared this book with other people. It is a keeper!
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This book is pure fiction, but you have to keep reminding yourself that it is "fiction".
The Shack experience also helps to mend the anger and hurt over the little girl.
Compeling story.
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This was the strangest, most difficult book I've ever sat down to read. I didn't feel much for the characters except to say, I wanted the story to end and get back to reality. It was just such a bizarre presentation of this man's faith journey, that it was too unrealistic. Guess it just wasn't for me.
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Bizarre and wonderful.....a thoroughly good read. Well developed characters.
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Thhe story is a little far-fetched, so you decide if you believe it or not. However, the message is what really touched me, and I will never forget this story. Great read!
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read it. try not to take all of your orthodox beliefs with you while reading it, though, as that will influence you. try to be objective and keep an open mind. it's a good story well told. i really think the point of this book is all about the love God has for us versus our expectations.
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Overall, good book. Makes you think. A few things I wouldn't agree with, but worth reading.
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This was a very though provoking book. I was reminded that we can't put God in a box and that He is in control and sovereign.
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It was a good book with a surprise ending.
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The fictional tale of Mackenzie Allen Phillips younger daughter and the tale of her possible murder is heart breaking and sickening to the soul which is why Mackenzie still grieves what he can not get back . The sudden note from God is a blessing undisguised.

I loved the story so much I really wish some of it to be true. I dont want to get on a tangent on my thoughts of God but this tale does leave you with hopeful heart.
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I loved it....
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I really enjoyed this book!
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Wow! I think this book will end up being a classic along with Pilgrim's Progress and the works of C.S.Lewis.

Young really makes you think about the meaning of life. I appreciate how he makes you think about God in ways you may never have entertained before.

A must read!
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An awe inspiring book. Has impacted my life.
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I'm probably one of the very few people who didn't like this book. I thought the way the author reconciled the story at the end was just too - contrived? feeble? predictable? I also found the dialogue extremely stilted.
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The Shack provided an interesting new perspective on man's relationship with God. It was very philosophical making it difficult to process everything that is discussed in one reading. I am not a religious individual but do enjoy learning about religions and I was still able to read this book. It does need to be read with an open mind, though, because of the issues that it discusses.
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I have just finished this book, after having several people recommend it....I almost didn't make it through. I had to remind myself that it is fictional, that God is NOT female nor the Holy Spirit, as portrayed. We are talking about the KING OF KINGS to whom every knee shall bow one day! To make Him so common was disturbing to me. The God I know is to be revered, honored, respected. The author did have some good thoughts , but I really felt he took liberties in portraying God as a WOMAN, and calling HER PAPA...I don't know why I stayed with it until the end...guess to see what really happened to the little girl.
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Very good book.
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For all the talk about this book I'd heard I found the analogies and biblical tie-ins sometimes tough to follow. The author's passion is certainly there but the story felt more like fantastic fiction that what it was meant to be about - forgiveness. But maybe that was the hook... Definitely full of psychological visualization.
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Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down. While the story is fiction and was written by William Young as he took his journey in understanding his abuse as a child & his affair as an adult, it makes all of us stop and think about our life in relation to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Good book for book club discussions and church groups. Fortunately, the church I attend is doing a six week study group on this book which is drawing in people from throughout our community.
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I loved it! It really makes you think.
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I read this book about two years ago and it made me laugh and cry. It will change the way you envision heaven. It will make you think about how heaven could be and it is not the way you have ever heard heaven described. It will give you a new outlook on heaven. I loved this book and will read it again someday. This is one book I am keeping in my bookshelf.
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I love this book. Wm Young explains things so simply and thoroughly.
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I had heard lots of hype about this book and how awesome it was. Finally one day I had to find out for myself.

The hype was well-deserved!

I won't say much because it gives too much away, but it's the story of a grieving father dealing with the loss of his daughter. His journey through this process is amazing!

The perspectives offered in this book will change the way you think about God. My mom wasn't sure how to feel about it. Others think it's wonderful. Either way, it's very thought-provoking and worth every minute of reading.

It was a book that I couldn't put down.
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This book is phenomenal! It really makes you think...
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Heavily mystic - not Biblically Christian. I realize it is a work of fiction, but it was presented to me as a work of Christian fiction, but it is not. I also am not pleased with the descriptive way the death of children is presented in this book - more detailed and gruesome than is necessary. If you are into that or are not bothered by it, then it may be okay for you, but I was more upset by it than anything.
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A MUST READ book. Will strenghten and open doors for anyone's faith in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and truly what each part of the trinity does for us. With this book, lives can be changed by helping unbelievers and those searching for a relationship with Christ find the way and purpose.
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I loved this book , it changed my life. I've been going threw different changes in my life and did not know how to handle them. As I read this book it showed me how to handle the stresses and to look for a deeper meaning in my life. Everyone in the world should read this and hopefully understand what the author is telling us.
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This is such a good book, a look at God from a very different perspective. It certainly made me think. Sorry folks, I won't be posting this book to swap, it's a keeper.
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This book was one I'll never forget. I had to read some parts more than once because this is the type of book that will have a different meaning for different people. I thought the use of the little things in this book was more profound for me, especially the portrayal of God and why. Definitely a keeper!
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When reading this book just remember that it is fiction and its not the Bible! I've begun reading this book 3 times and still haven't finished it. I have mixed feelings about it still, but i'm curious how it ends. The person who reads this books should be grounded in their faith. it could confuse the nesw believer it is rather deep and somewhat controversial but i think people are over- analyzing it.
The more I get into it in my opinion it gets much better around page 100 so stick with it. There are some great nuggets of biblical wisdom...its about how a man wrestles with God in his grief. He gets to physically walk with God in his grief and ask question and just spend time learning how to better understand his relationship with God and how to love and trust!
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This book described a totally new view of God.
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I loved this book. It inspired me and made me feel the Grace of God.
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Interesting reading but not particularly deep meaning to me. Was really hyped to me before I read and was disappointed.
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This is one of the most moving books I've ever had the privilege of enjoying, I recommend it to everyone. The spiritual journey and awakening of this man is a beautiful story, one I've even convinced my boyfriend ( who won't even read directions let alone a book) to give this one a try.
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I couldn't get into this book. It started out pretty good, but like another reader mentioned it got weird. I understand the concept of it, and what the writer was trying to say, but I found the dialogue to be slow and draggy. Trying to relate to God as a large black woman named "papa" and such was somewhat difficult for me as well. --Not that I don't think God can't manifest himself any way he wants (a burning bush or a donkey are examples in the Bible).--That aside, there was a lot of hype about this book and I was disappointed in it. I skipped most of it to get to the end. I only give it 2 out of 5 stars.
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Enjoyed it. Very different.
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It was not at all what I expected, but a pretty easy read. All in all, it was okay!
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This was a weird book, did keep my attention and made me think but not as the author probably intended. I can understand how he was going for showing the God wants a relationship with you not just your obedience but he sure took a weird way to do it. Personally didn't see what all the hype was about.
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Although I don't read very much fiction, I found this compelling.
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PBS already has so many reviews on this book that mine is quite redundant. I just wanted to voice my opinion, though, as this book was very moving to me. It asked me to stretch my mind out of my "comfort zone" into an "acceptance, ok, this is different, but is it fine" zone. I am a very strong Christian, and this book bothers many Christians. I feel that those who are offended might be a bit narrow minded. This book is not for trade, because I had to send it to my stepdaughter. She doesn't have time to read very much fiction, and a guy who wanted to take her out on a date mailed the book to her. She asked me to read it in order to determine if this fellow was the sort that she would enjoy dating. I called her and told her to marry the guy, even if she had not met him "in the flesh."
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This book was amazing!! This was the first "Christian" based book I ever read and being a new christian I loved it. There are so many ways this books talks about questions that I have and never been willing to ask. The author made me feel like it was okay, other people have the same emotions, questions, and feelings. I could read this book over and over again. Because of this book i started our church's first book club. This books provides so many discussion areas and point of views. I will forever be moved by the "great sadness" and by this book.
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This book won't be one I swap. For me to be able to re-read it over and over again is something I intend to do. What an awesome book. What I loved the most was the authors way of giving us all a chance to invision having that chance to speak with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. The author wrote this book in a way that seems to ask and answer most all the questions I would. And in such a way as to comfort you and give you peace. Loved it! I give this book a 5 out of 5 rating!
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This was one of the best books I have read in a very long time. It reminded me of the Joshua series but reached a much deeper level of God's love. At this time in my life it was as if I was meant to read this book. I know I will read this book again and I never read a book a second time. The text in this book brings my belief to a whole new wonderful level. I will recommend this book to every one I know. I can't say enough good things about this book. Carol - McFarland, WI
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A very different look at the Trinity and how it functions. How we as the average person can relate to and view the three individual persons of the Trinity. I think this is a great book if you are the type of person who can or is willing to try to, step outside the box and are not afraid to look at things with a open mind.
Some people could find this view that is presented in The Shack, as controversial.
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Great true story -- one of the most unusual spiritual experiences I've heard of!
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Some books pick the reader to read at a certain point in their life. This book picked me at an interesting point in my life. The story opened my perspective to different analogies. The book is very insightful if you are in the frame of mind to read it.
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I didn't read this while it was a bestseller and being promoted by Oprah. Finally, a friend convinced me by claiming it had led to an interesting book club discussion. So, I've read it. It's a parable. Interesting characters. A gentle way of spreading the word of God... thinking outside the box. Regardless of whether the reader shares Christian views or not, the story can be digested easily and promote thought.
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I've read this book a few times and always get something new from it with each read. This book will change your life!
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This book really challenges your beliefs and views on the Christian religion. This is a book that you can discuss with others. You can agree or disagree with the viewpoints in this book but either way it will get you thinking.
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Loved this book though very different if you keep reading after the very beginning. After the plot 'setup' the real story begins. And what a gem it is. It doesn't matter what religion you are to enjoy this story and whether or not you agree or disagree with Mr. Young's concepts- there are enough universal truths & philosophy for all- it simply makes you ponder your own experience and reactions to pain as well as faith (or not). Reflective & spiritual I found it wonderfully entertaining & redeeming as a father's tragedy, deep despair & sadness enlightens him along with faith, whatever that form takes. This book is a keeper on my shelf, alas, I won't be posting it. I have bought several (new) copies for my friends and they loved it as much as I did, if not more. I look forward to rereading it (if I ever get around to it!)
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I loved this book. Great story. First time in my life reading another persons view point of God and it fit with mine. I was very moved by this book.
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It is an ok book and it does give you a little food for thought but some of it is so deep that I lost the entertainment in it.
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I couldn't put this book down once I got into it. It turned out to be so much more than I thought it would be. You may not agree on everything that you read in it...please keep in mind that it is fiction. I like the idea of opening our minds to the concept that God may actually be a little different than our traditional ideas of the Almighty. Some may find this to be too different. I loved the fact that it concentrated on the relationship with God that we are all meant to share. I loved the way this book explained the Trinity. Even if this book goes against your beliefs, try to be open minded about it. It certainly left me with a new attitude about life, love, and my love for God. I highly recommend it! Sometimes we all need to take a new fresh look at things. That's what makes us grow in spirit!
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First part went quickly had trouble getting through the last.
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Love this book I am already passing it around my family I think everyone should read this book.
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This is one of the best books that I've read in years! The theological perspective is thought-provoking, and the story line is gripping. A terrific book!
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This is a must read book, spiritually fulfilling for the not so spiritual at heart. Don't pass this up.
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This here book should be noted as BOOK of the YEAR. I can honestly say, this has been the deepest, and hardest hit, soul rocking book I have read in years. The reviewer before me said it all. It IS all that and more. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone, young and old alike. It will rock you, shake you, and give you a different perspective on life itself. Trust me. READ THE BOOK.
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I admit I was skeptical about the rave reviews on the cover of this book and would probably not have picked it up, but when a friend handed it to me, I decided to give it a try. WOW! Get your kleenex ready if you decide to read it. It's the story of a father whose daughter has been murdered and what happens to him when he spends the weekend alone with God.

I was unaware of the level of controversy surrounding it until I was done reading. As a lifelong Christian, I don't know how it would come across to a non-believer, but I tend to think that encouraging dialog and thinking about issues of God, grace, mercy, judgement, forgiveness, and hope is not a bad thing. If you're willing to consider viewing God in a new way you will probably love this book. If you feel like you already have all the answers and know how Christianity works you will probably hate it.

I have to pass this copy on to another friend, but I will be getting one for my bookshelf to keep.
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This IS the best book I have read!! Changes how you think about things..
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I think this book borders on blasphemy & complicates the explanation of God & the trinity. I think it's best to stick with christian books that deliver the message of God. Each person in my beleif has a personal relationship with their God & doing a work of fiction with such horrendous story telling was just a way to sell a book!
Was not my cup of tea. Bless those tho' that can get something out of this one!
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This is "a must read." I could not put this book down. I cried in the beginning due to the fact this was to close to home for me and my family. I was truly lead to this book. Truly touched my life and made me realize what is important and who God is. He is many things to many people and he truly waits for us to come to him. If you read no other book this year this is the one.
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Wacked out view of the Trinity but brain-injured, understandable.
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This is a fabulous book. I would recommend it to anyone. It is especially great for any who have issues with God - "Is He there?" "Does He care?" "What about evil and justice?" etc. It will expand your views about God even if you have been a Christian all your life. When I first started reading I thought maybe it was a shallow book with shallow answers, perhaps a sentimental view of God. NOT SO! It is down-to-earth but revolutionary in many ways. Read it! YOu'll be glad you did.
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The Shack may be of particular interest to those who enjoy religious study. If you can accept the character of God as being portrayed as a large, love filled African woman with a great sense of humor, this book is makes a great read. Even after years of Bible study this book may present questions which lead to stimulating conversation.
Be sure to add this book to any book study you may have at church. If you are open minded and enjoy stimulating your mind and expanding your vision, you will appreciate The Shack.
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Very good read. Must have an open mind.
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This is a must read - I could not put it down!
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What do I need to do to give this book more than 5 stars?? This is an amazing book!! I don't see it as a Christian book, this is one that is for everyone!! I have notecards with quotes taken from the book. And from chapter 16 on, I was in tears. Everybody must read this, and I don't think there is one person that will come away disappointed or without having gotten something from it. Read it and pass it on, or like I am doing, getting other copies and passing them along, there is no way I will part with my copy.
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It was a very unusual book. Nothing like I have ever read before. It was nice to think that heaven was like this.
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This was a book I didn't want to put down or for it to end! Great book in my terms of books!
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This book wasn't at all what I expected. What the character found at the shack was so much more and gave this book a great rating from me. I rarely find a book that I want to keep because it just makes me feel so much better. This is truly a tragedy turned uplifting with hope & is a keeper.
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Interesting premise for a story - what if you could converse with God in a tangible way? What would you discuss? It's a short book with a punch - go ahead read it!
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Incredible! The authors imagination is inspiring. A must read. Not sure I'm going to put this one back in the pool. It's a keeper!
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This book is amazing. Read with an open mind to yourself and God, it can open your eyes to your relationship with Him and yourself. It is a great read for anyone that has questions or is hurting and needs to see Gods hand in it.
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This was one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time. It also made me see things in a whole new light. I truly enjoyed it from beginning to end. I will re-list it as soon as my Daughter-in-Law finishes it.
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OK, I didn't like this book at all. And let me preface by saying that my fellow book club members who are older (not in their late 20s) LOVED the book. At this point in my life, I felt like I couldn't relate to the tests of faith and doubt the author describes.
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A truely interesting, enjoyable read. I didn't think I'd like it, based on what I knew it ws about, but it surprised me - I couldn't put it down!
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This is by far the best book I have ever read. If you have ever wondered where God seems to be in times of tragedy, this is the book for you. Life changing!
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This author makes some valid points, stating/describing uncomfortable truths and perspectives. The book was a tad long and pacing somewhat slow for a work of fiction (for my personal liking). It was an interesting & unique read overall.
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The first part of the book was really hard to get through, but I was strongly encouraged by many people to continue reading. I would have regretted if I had never finished reading the book. It answers a lot of questions that people are afraid to ask or always wonder. It will help any person that has had to deal with losing someone dear to them.
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I really loved this book and have already started reading it again. It reminded me that I am evolving that I can change my mind about religious conditioning and find a way that is right for me
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This has got to be the best spiritual book I've ever read! It describes God in the way I've always known Him to be! A MUST READ for ALL, christians and non-christians alike! Not to mention that the story itself is intensely entertaining! A gripping story of suspense with a twist at the end to really make you think!
I will read it over and over!
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What a wonderful story. A perfect mix of gut wrenching pain and a delightful road to healing. A call to re-think crusty and tired perceptions of God and view Him as fun and relational. I didn't find any message contrary to essential Christian doctrine (i.e. salvation in Jesus only). The heart of this book is awesome, God wants to walk in relationship with you through everything. This is worth a read! You won't think of God the same.
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I am writing about my experience with The Shack and its author because both the book and its author have touched my life in a very powerful way and I really hope that many others will be blessed as I have been by reading the book. The most important thing I got from the book was an emphasis on having a relationship with our Father in Heaven and how He loves us despite what we may go through in this life. I am not writing this to try to persuade anyone out of any convictions they have. As Christians, I believe God gives us great freedom, but also that the Holy Spirit gives us different convictions. I also believe that it is not our job to convict others with our own beliefs, but only to testify to how God is working in our own lives and allow the Holy Spirit to take it from there. Therefore, I will not argue about the merits of any criticisms given to this book. I actually haven't studied them, but don't have a desire to either.
I began hearing about the book from different sources and how it was so acclaimed. My sister talked to me about how she was reading it, but she didn't recommend it to me because she knew I was enduring a time of great grief and might have a difficult time with the subject matter. I was a little afraid of it for that reason, but curiosity got the best of me so I decided to read it. The book begins with the main character trying to come to terms with "the great sadness" in his life. He has endured probably the most tragic thing imaginable and it has shaken him to the core. This I related to right away because in August, 2006, I entered into the journey through my own "great sadness." I had gotten the opportunity three years previous to begin homeschooling my youngest daughter. I had always wanted to be at home with my children, but never had the financial capability. It was a particular desire for me with my youngest daughter because she had been born with health problems and also had learning problems that made school very difficult for her. I don't think I could put into words how amazing and wonderful it was to be home with her each day, help her learn, and grow closer to her in every way. Her spiritual growth was so endearing and heartwarming also during this time. We had gone to a "back to school" homeschool cookout party at a friend's house. After being there for about two hours, I walked past my daughter and noticed a strange look on her face. I thought she must be tired so I told her she might need to rest a minute. When she turned around to sit in a chair, she fell to the ground and had a grand mal seizure. She came to and talked to us at one point, but after that, despite many attempts to revive her, never regained consciousness and I believe she died before the paramedics even got there.
If you've never had "a great sadness" in your life, I don't believe there's any way you can really comprehend how deeply and totally it can affect you. I had a niece that had passed away suddenly as a teenager so I had watched my sister-in-law and her family suffer, and I had known how hard it had been for my grandfather to lose a child. I had also had many sadnesses previous to this including losing my mother and grandmother just 3 years prior to this incident. However, I must say that all of my smaller sadnesses put together hadn't affected me as much as watching my child die in my arms.
I had been a Christian for 20 years before this happened and had a strong faith, for which I'm extremely thankful. I knew my daughter was a Christian and believed her to be in Heaven waiting for me to join her one day. I thought it was surely a great blessing to her to enter into the kingdom of Heaven and rejoiced at all the joys she must be experiencing. I was blessed by amazing people through the early days of her leaving us. I had one friend insist on paying for an expensive marker for her gravesite, someone anonomously pay all of the funeral expense and many other blessings also.
For all these things, I thanked God. But the one thing I struggled with was how He could let this happen if he loved me. Because along with losing my precious daughter, I lost the career I had poured my heart into and the friendships we had made together could never be the same. In fact, nothing in life was the same and for me, life really didn't seem worth living.
These same feelings of hopelessness and misery plague the main character in The Shack. He has an encounter with each of the persons in the Trinity and each minister to Him in their unique way and yet all are together. Reading how they related to Him reminded me of how God relates to me. I don't think I can adequately explain how much it helped me to read of the main character's discussions with a God who loved him and understood his pain. I knew that God was using this book to bring restoration to our relationship and that He loved me too even though there were things I could never understand about why things have happened the way they did. One of my favorite parts of the book is when the main character is allowed to see a loved one in Heaven to provide assurance to those of us that need it so desperately. I was so thankful I read the book and am so thankful to God that He doesn't give up on me despite my constant struggles!
A few weeks ago, I took a teen friend to an event near us called "Atlanta Fest." It is a festival of Christian musicians and other speakers and seminars. I had gotten an email that Paul Young, author of The Shack, would be there signing autographs so I took my book along with me. Paul Young spoke that night and I was so blessed by his total humility concerning how the book came about and with how he gave God all the glory for everything that happened concerning it. I was also greatly impressed at how honest he was about his personal shortcomings and struggles. I hadn't realized it but he explained that the shack in the book was actually the facade we put up for those around us to see. Inside, God brings healing when we're willing to face our pain and let Him love us through it.
Afterwards, he did sign autographs so I went to see him. I told him briefly about my daughter and how his book had really helped me to believe that God loved me again. I felt like he was no stranger to grief because he asked me how long it had been and then said simply said, "that's not very long." That may not seem to be an amazing amount of understanding, but to me it was. I can't tell you how many Christians have wanted to rush me past this grieving process with Bible verses, advice they think will fix me, and trite "Christian" things they've heard and may help them, but couldn't possibly help a grieving person. Then he did something else that really touched me. He got up from the table, and came and gave me a big hug even though there were many people waiting in line to see him. That meant so much to me. If only everyone could understand that the two things grieving people need most are understanding and hugs, grief could be a lot easier to bear.
I'll always be thankful I read this book and met its author, it was a great blessing. The greatest blessing of life though is to know God loves us even though He allows great suffering to be a part of this life. To be able to say that at this point in my life is the greatest testimony God has ever given me.
Thank you for reading this and may you know the love of God intimately and eternally,
Barbara Grant
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LOVE this book! I think everyone would gain something from reading. Personally, it helped me to more firmly grasp the concept of the Trinity. Highly recommended!
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I enjoyed reading this thought-provoking book.
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very good read
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This has got to be the best spiritual book I've ever read! It describes God in the way I've always known Him to be! A MUST READ for ALL, christians and non-christians alike! Not to mention that the story itself is intensely entertaining! A gripping story of suspense with a twist at the end to really make you think!
I will read it over and over!
KM
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Before reading this book I recommend watching this http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/doctrine/trinity-god-is/the-shack
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I've read the book, I've gone to that "Mars Hill Church" website, and I am not convinced that the guy who is preaching a sermon against this book, which is published as fiction, has read the book. To hear him "summarize" it, he has not.
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Excellent audio book. I was MOST PLEASENTLY SURPRISED to find that the CD includes an additional chapter from Paul Young talking about his personal life.
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Wow...what an incredible thought provoking book. At times I laughed & at times I cried. It has definately had an impact on my view of spirituality. I would definately recommend this book.
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A very different view on the nature of God's love and the relationship we strive to have with him. I don't know if it changed my life but it certainly provoked thought.
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I really wanted to like this book. However, I found it so ridiculous I couldn't force myself to finish it. I made it about 2/3's through but couldn't stop laughing at the silliness of the story. William Young is said to have written this originally for his children. That would certainly explain a lot. It does read more like a children's book with children's characters. A good friend recommended this book to me and she loved it so I think you either love it or despise it, sadly I'm in the latter category and cannot recommend it to anyone over the age of 8. I understood all the underlying symbolism, etc. but it still wasn't worth it.
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Very good book. Well Written for a quick and easy read.

This Fiction book will make you stop and think.
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A beautiful read.
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Great Read
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Great book. Really makes you stop and think.
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I loved this book. It is the best book I have read in quit some time.
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read it twice...it was that good...
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This book has forever changed my perception of God and the Trinity (for the better). Like many others, I found Chapter 4 too painful to read. However, skipping the chapter did not impair my understanding of the story line. The writing style is sophomoric, i.e. excessive adverbs, overuse of thesaurus. Yet I found numerous passages inspirational. That being said, I also felt like the author was on a soap box spouting his self-made theology.
I would recommend the book to a friend, with a reminder that the book is fiction.
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Loved the message of this story. Very well written.
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Simple read with wonderful message.
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This was a wonderful book! The subject matter was very distressing at first, but was written in a way that gives you hope and happiness as you read on. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this book and I have even talked to persons that stopped reading it because of some of the characters used to depict certain persons or spirits in the book. To those people, I suggest that you finish the book to find out why the author ussed these characterizations. They all make perfect sense in the end and is well worth finishing.
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amazing!
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Great Book. Very thought provoking. This book gives new meaning to the
phrase "think outside the box."
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This is among the absolute best books I have ever read! It is a keeper.
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This book makes you look at yourself through different eyes. Every Christian and non-Christian should read this.
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One of the most thought provoking books I've ever read. I didn't agree with all of the theological viewpoints presented, but I do think that everyone should read and think about these issues.
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Yuck, just yuck. Though the beginning is intriguing, the rest of the story falls way short.
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The Foreword says "Either you will believe it happened or not." Fantastic book. What an amazing journey this father experiences. Such devastation occurs, then faith brings him to answers. My life has been changed and inspired.
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Wonderful story about the human condition with its own weaknesses, regret, despair and anger. A story about how hard it is to come to terms with the loss and that there somewhere is always waiting for us solace in the form of God or whatever higher power call / fate. The book delights with freshness, idea, while it is more than just a literary work. Everyone will find something in it for themselves, a moment of reflection and meditation on the meaning of their lives. The vision of God presented by the author is so natural and reliable thanks to incorporation of the divine qualities in the human appearance.
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Great Read!
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Very insightful, makes you think along a different path but within the boundries of what God has always said. A must read for everyone IMO!
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This is a poorly written novel and tedious to read as the author explains, rather than shows. It was an attempt to show God's presence in suffering. It's failure is in the way it is told.
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Interesting approach to spiritualism. Enjoyed the read.
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As a Christian, I can appreciate the need to explain the Holy Trinity in a more understandable light. However, I don't care for the characterization and I couldn't finish it. I know a lot of people that loved it and I'm glad it exists, but I pray that the readers look into what the Bible says and continue to look for truth.
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I would rate this book 5 stars. I had never read a book just exactly like it before. I enjoyed the book a lot, and think I learned a lot reading it. A very good book!
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This was an awesome read for me. It is about a man who has a terrible tragedy in his life. He has an encounter with God that helps him through the loss and also helps him come to an understanding of his Christian faith.
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Truly life changing.
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Very creative storyteller. Great alliterations. Great examples of how the reality of life and faith does not necessarily take on traditional forms.

I loved when Jesus said "I am not a Christian." Too many people get caught up in the rules and regulations of religion causing them to lose their spirituality.

Could be a very awakening book if the reader has an open mind and can put aside biases.
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Interesting and sometimes amusing take on the images of God but theologically light-weight and pat ending. Most people I've talked with either loved it dearly or hated it passionately.
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A book interestingly written. A attempt at answering the age old question of why bad things happen and how to find peace when they do.
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I love this book. A train buddy allowed me to read his copy years ago and I checked it out of the library a few months ago and reread it. I have a fellow church member who was going through some hard times and I thought this book would be a good read for him so I checked PaperBack Swap and there it was. He is reading it now and is enjoying it. The book has so many unexpected twists and turns but it gives such a realistic view of the trinity. Love it!!!!
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Food for thought... It was a stretch for me..
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This book was fantastic. It is well written and very knowledgeable. You will come away from this book a different person.
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This book was incredibly deep about god and the trinity. It breaks down people's preconcieved notions about jesus being easy on the eyes. It also breaks down people perceptions that all the laws are actually designed to constrain us but merely to get god to have a relationship with us. He says in the gospels," I wish that none should perish" it is our selfish ways that disallow us the gift of heaven because we see heaven and don't realize it.
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Fiction is the operative word for this book. Dangerous because it contains enough "truth" to confuse those who are not well grounded in biblical knowledge of God's character and specifically the trinity. I found it hard to read because of the biblical heresy throughout and I would not recommend it.
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A very unconventional image of God. Love it.
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Excellent book. Thought provoking, makes you really think deep, not light stuff. Tough to read because it deals with painful situations. Well worth the time. Be sure to open your mind to the possibility of seeing things from a different perspective, not saying its right or wrong, not saying I agree or disagree, just be ready to see things from a different point of view.
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Great reading
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This book was incredible. This author is amazing. I liked his descriptive writing.
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This is a wonderful book I think everyone should read it.
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I found this to be a thought-provoking story that deals with faith rather than religion. I think many times people struggle to find a way to fit their beliefs into the context of their day-to-day lives and I think that this work of fiction tries to give us a story where one person's struggle to reconcile all that comes to life for him. Some of the subject matter could have been depressing if handled in a different manner, but Mr. Young wasn't heavy-handed with that part of the story, and in the end I found this to be a very uplifting read.
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This is my new favorite book! The author does throw in a bit of his own political agenda, but if you can look past that this book is excellent. The first half of the book you learn about Mack's family and the brutal murder of his 6yo daughter. The second half of the book is fantasy; Mack meets God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I think this book gives something to people who are lost in their faith or just unsure. It gives them hope.
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All I can say is when I start a book I have to finish it, but this book was hard for me to get through. I enjoyed the begining and the end. I heard so much hype, I just had to read it and it made sense, but not my cup of tea.
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Very lame attempt to put God in a box, Young has no clue as to who God is. What He's about,
who Christ is or the Holy Spirit. You might as well read about Santa Claus or the Easter bunnie.
Read the Bible and you'll see that God is not a big sugar daddy waiting to grant wishes. He is
very serious about obedience and rebellion,life and death,daily living,treating others as you
would have others treat you. Jesus states plainly," to Love the Lord thy God with all your heart,strength and might,and love your neighbor as yourself". It doesn't get more simplier than that. This book is misleading and lends itself to seeing God the way Young wants and not as He is.It is pure fiction for sure,and if read, should read by experienced Christians not dreamers.
Don't waste your time or credits.
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very good book. It make you think about what might be.
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"I just finished reading ""The Shack"", and was planning on being mildly pleased at very best, both from a literary and theological perspective. Man was I pleasantly even overwhelmingly surprised! A fabulous read with great truths written with a boldness that doesn't avoid the difficult questions.

I've heard a lot of discussion around this book being dangerous. The only danger from this book is the danger of having one's paradigms overturned and being lead into a fulfilling relationship with God. If you take what the author puts forth, word for word and in context, it lines up with Bible on both a high level and in-depth comparison.
I do think it is quite capable of making people uncomfortable in it's approach to God based on relationship rather than rules or religion.

For a good story full of encouragement and truth, I would recommend ""The Shack"" to anyone."
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EXCELLENT book!! This is a book to be read over and over. Very uplifting and teaches about forgiveness.
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This is a pseudo-spiritual novel by a pseudo-Christian author. It is not scriptural. It is not a true story. The representations of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are right out of New Age philosophy. It is very well written and appealing in its point of view, but no more true than any fantasy tale.
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I decided to read this book after hearing all the hype. What a mistake that was. Don't waste your time on this book. It does not live up to the hype. It's an awful book. I rank it up there as one of the worst books I've ever read, if not THE worst book I've read.

The man at the center of the story experiences a life event that no one should ever have to go through. It's utterly heartbreaking and shattering. A while later, he gets an invitation from God to spend a weekend with him. Yep, that's right. God sends him a little handwritten note to spend some time with him at a rundown shack. I'm not particularly religious, but it seems to me this book, besides being pointless and boring, is theologically unsound. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are at the shack too. They both have physical bodies.

The dialog, the whole plot, the premise are so bad that you would think a high school student put this together for a school project that he wasn't particularly interested in. It's juvenile writing. It's wooden, cliched, overly sentimental. I felt emotionally manipulated by the author. There is truly no resolution of the horrific event and it was/is an unforgivable crime to me. The injustice of it is brushed away.
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A friend of mind gave me this book on CD (unabridged). I heard the first CD and immediately had to hear the next and so on until I went through all 7 CDs. William P. Young has written such an interesting story about his main character's connections to and disconnections from family, friends and God as he learns to deal with both current and past life tragedies. The story contains many unexpected twist and turns.
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this is on eof the best books I have ever read! I couldn't put it down... and it really makes you think... I kept it so I can read it over and over!
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I was told The Shack was non-fiction. Upon checking the authors website, I found out it is a fictional story he wrote for his children never intending it to be published. Mack Phillips embarks on a fantastic journey of personal discovery with an unexpected event near the end of the book.
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Absolutely destroys any preconceived ideas you may have about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Brings you to the heart of who they really are. Everybody should read this book.
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EXCELLENT book. This book changed my whole outlook on life and touched my soul like no other.
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Mackenzie Allen Phillips had never considered himself a particularly religious man; he was always fairly content to leave the life of prayers and heavenly praise to his wife of almost thirty-five years - Nanette. Mackenzie - known as Allen to acquaintances, and Mack to family and close friends - had endured a difficult and painful childhood. Living with an abusive, alcoholic and tyrannical father had forced him to mature quickly, and he had become estranged from the rest of his family at age thirteen. Mack had reconciled with his family as an adult, but his relationships with his mother and sisters were never the same as before.

Mack and Nan themselves had lived a relatively trouble-free life together: Thirty-three mostly happy years of marriage, and five unusually beautiful, yet terrific children. Secretly, Mack had always considered that Nan had paid a high price for loving him; however, he cherished his wife and family immeasurably. Their love was what sustained him and gave him the greatest joy in his life.

Then, tragedy strikes. The Phillips' youngest daughter, Missy, is abducted during a family vacation to the Oregon wilderness. After a desperate and exhaustive search, evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in a ramshackled, abandoned shack. However, the child's body is never found. The entire family is sent into an unending maelstrom of grief and despair that threatens to overwhelm them completely.

Four years after Missy's disappearance, Mack is still trapped in the period of what he terms his 'Great Sadness'. He is utterly heartbroken and benumbed by the loss of his daughter, still unable to fully grasp the enormity of what has happened to himself and his entire family. This is when the most mysterious event occurs: Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that infamous shack to spend the weekend. Mack is alternately stunned and enraged by what he clearly reads as irrefutable evidence of someone's demented sense of humor.

However, on a bitterly cold wintry afternoon Mack decides to return to the place where his family was so irrevocably changed. Against his better judgement, he will come back to the same shack that holds such tragic memories for him; deliberately stepping back into his worst nightmare. What he finds there - in the place of his darkest torment - will ultimately change Mack's world forever.

In my opinion, this was a remarkable book to read. It was very well-written and thought-provoking; and I avidly wanted to find out what would happen to Mack and his family. I can certainly understand why this book became so popular with so many readers. However, while I did enjoy reading this book very much, I'm not exactly sure if it was my cup of tea. I would still give this book a definite A!
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I think the story was well orchestrated in that there are one on one conversations with God that make it feel very personalized for the reader. It's a very emotional tale and I must admit to having cried through many parts of the book. As for the theological aspects, well...i might be a little over educated on this subject to fully appreciate it. I felt that the analogies were overdone and in his attempt to simplify certain concepts, he became wrapped up in details and wound up overdoing it. For me personally, i didn't learn anything new from this book. I very much enjoyed the story, though it became a bit tedious in places that he tried to over explain.

I don't want to discourage anyone from reading this book. I would definitely recommend it. The message is a good one and just because it wasn't necessarily MY cup of tea doesn't mean that it wouldn't be someone else's. A teacher understands that different people learn in different ways. What one person may think is confusing another may think is elementary..and another may have a light bulb go off in their head. I would say that this book is a must read just for that alone.
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very interesting story--helps one deal with the inequities of life-especially those agonizing experiences caused by the sinfulness of mankind--Is God watching over us? Why doesn't He intervene to save us immense pain? This book has given readers one person's view of what God is really like
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I Loved this book! As a Christian, it was beautiful to imagine how the Father, Son & Holy Spirit work together!
Highly recommend it to anyone that has lost a loved one.
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This book is over-rated. I was done reading about God and his infinite wisdom after the first few chapters. If you are not a religious person, this book gets old, quick.
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This story is an inner journey of seeking meaning in a time of tragedy and despair. Mackenzie Philip's youngest daughter, Missy, as been abducted and presumably brutally murdered from evidence found in a "Shack" in eastern,Oregon. Four-years of deep despair, Mack receives a note in his mail box. He's invited back to the Shack for a week-end . The note appears to have been personally delivered . . . but by whom ? And why now, four-years after the tragedy.
Mack's journey is a journey too many of us would question in our lives. But maybe a journey we,too, may have to take. It changed Mack's life and just possibly can change yours.
This book is a great read with twists and turns,ups and downs and each page is a step forward to a new understanding of tragedy.
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I gotta say that this one, for me, wasn't as fabulous as its hype.
The first part of the book is totally engaging even though its horriffic, but then it gets into explanation after explanation after explanation, and although it moved right along, it seemed slow and almost boring. All that being said, I think that it would bring out some pretty good discussion at a book club. Tho I doubt I'll read it again.
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Absolutely fabulous life-changing book! This is the book you need if you struggle feeling close to God....or Jesus...or the Holy Spirit! Outstanding!
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A touching spiritual book that will make you squirm at parts but will also make you think and stay with you...
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I enjoyed the book. Glad I have my own copy. Love going back and re-reading different parts of the book.
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A fresh perspective on God unlike any other. The author definitely takes creative liberties but I loved it.
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I really liked this book and read it after I read Crossroads. I liked this one much better and will probably read it again. It has a lot of good thoughts, makes you angry in some places and crying in others. Overall an excellent read!
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The Shack by William Paul Young is a powerful story that explores the character of God. Mack, the main character, finds himself in turmoil after the loss of his daughter to a brutal serial killer. This dark experience causes Mack to doubt God's faithfulness, growing bitter and resentful, but God, aka "Papa," meets Mack at "the shack," revealing Himself in a fresh, down-to-earth persona, answering many of Mack's questions, demonstrating His love and helping Mack to find closure for the pain and disappointments in his life. I enjoyed this book very much and would suggest it for anyone willing to explore God in a new light.
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Awesome book. I actually read it once because a friend let me borrow her copy. I enjoyed it so much that I got a copy from paperback swap and read it again.
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I absolutely LOVED this book! It's been a long time since I was sad that a book had ended. I will never think about God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit the same again. This has changed how I view my relationship with my God. I didn't know if this book was true, was fiction, or somewhere in between until the last chapter. I didn't want to know so I didn't peek at any of the reviews or publishing information. This is my first William P. Young book. I hope he's written a whole lot more!
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So good!! Going to see the movie when it comes out o n DVD.
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I loved this book. A great read!
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This is a quick and intriguing book. The book starts off with a family on a familiar vacation at a location they are used to visiting, While thoroughly relaxed everything turns to terror in a flash when a father saves his son in a river and his daughter is abducted while coloring in a coloring book book and no one saw it happen. Months go by before the authorizes discover her clothing in the shack she had on that day he went missing. Mack, the main character, a father constantly blames himself for the loss and at times can't understand why a loving God would allow such a tragedy to occur to the him and his family he loves so much.

If you have e4ver become disenchanted with the church and the way God or the Holy Trinity is taught today, this book is for you. If perhaps, the twelve disciples could have spoken as simply as the words of this book, maybe Christians would have not been prosecuted for so long. To give you an idea: Jesus is being called Jesus because he is man and God combined, he is known in the book as Jesus. The Holy Godhead in heaven is called Papa and portrayed as a jolly, overweight, encouraging, happy and an Afro-American woman and the Holy Spirit's name is Sarayu which is a far Eastern Asian name. Together, ( Trinity) and with Mack's ethereal concepts of learned religious concepts the book evolves into an explanation on all levels.

I would like to give this book to everyone I love but it's a curiosity they must seek. I really enjoyed this book!
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Amazing story, which starts out sad, and ends with a wonderful feeling!
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The Shack
By William Paul Young
I never thought I would ever say this about a fiction novel; The Shack was life-changing! Young offers a refreshing change from the typical "I talked to God" book; and believe me, I've read them all. I love the story, the characters, the writing style; well... it would be easier to say there's nothing about this book I did not like.
I've noticed that every parent of an angel has their own story, and the grief process is different for everyone; however, the death of every child changes the parent's life in a huge way. Personally, I found The Shack to be an extremely therapeutic read; it will benefit anyone who had lost a child. In MOST cases, families who were not faithful before the loss, become extremely faithful after. On the other hand, the faithful families' relationship with Christ is strained with anger and a newfound loss of connection and trust.
I lost a baby in late 2012, and since then, I've personally struggled with loss of connection with Christ, as a result of anger and fear. I have become consumed with finding the answer to the question everyone asks when a child is lost; WHY? I'm NOT going to say this book will offer the answer to the big question; but it will help those grieving see the bigger picture.
I've shared a LOT of personal information in this review in hopes of helping other "Angel Parent's." I can't end this review without sharing my favorite part of this story; when God tells Mack the Bible was not meant to be a book of impossible rules, it is simply a picture of Christ. AWESOMELY PERFECT!
I absolutely LOVED this book and give it a HUGE 10 stars out of the available 5 Boundless stars! Yes, I created FIVE EXTRA Stars just for this book. Can I do that?
Reviewed by Beth for www.boundlessbookreviews.com
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I so enjoyed this book! I have already let a friend borrow it to read & will then pass it along to anyone who wants to read it. Very spiritual and enlightening!
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I got some helpful insight from this book.
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I read this book 7 years ago after my son died. I loved it and hated it. But not because the book was bad. I was just in pain and looking for answers. I love the way W.P. Young shows the Trinity. I needed to know that God still loves me. I related to this book so well. Yes, it might not follow "tradition views", but I serve a mighty God who doesn't fit into a little box. Sometimes we need to be able to see him for all his power and love and mercy. I think the author captured that in essence.
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It was ok, but I think unless you are a spiritual/religious person, you won't care for it. I m neither, and I really did not care for it too much. My best friend, however, who is a little bit religious, absolutely loved it. It all depends on where you are in life, I think.
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Good read. If you like books with religion in them.
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This is a very good book, one I could not put down. Although, it is different in itself, the author truly knew how to write such a story of this type. Iam sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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Fabulous, riveting tale.
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A truly soul shaking experience - I was deeply touched. I was equally thrilled to note that over 600 members are in line on the wish list for this title. I am more than glad to share my copy but please.....repost and share with others when you are through!
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I found this book intriguing, not a book I would typically read. But I felt like It really helped me put a few things into perspective. I could see where some people might have trouble getting through the book if they are truly not open minded enough, they might just put the book down and never pick it up again. But I like to think that I am an open, person willing to see many different roads or options. This book definitely has many much beauty in it, if only you are willing to see it.
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I was excited to read this book since everyone was going on and on about it. I got it as a gift for my birthday. I HATED THIS BOOK!! The beginning was really good and interesting, then it got weird and it got weirder. This "Idea" of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is just completely bogus! I wouldn't recommend this book to ANYONE especially a non believer... I personally think this book should have never been published let alone be sold at a Christian Book Store! This is for sure one of the worst if not THE worst book I have ever read. Waste of Time and Money..... I wouldn't even rate this as a 1/2 star... Where's the Dislike button?? lol
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Thought provoking.
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A good read. Lots of things to think about.
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This book has a great message. It helps explain why things happen the way they do, and help you find a way to look at all things differently.
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Oh My God? This was one of the best books that I've ever read. It embodies love at it's optimum. My life will forever be changed as a result of reading this book. I have recommended this book to everyone that I know.
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I really loved this book! It was one of those books that definitely kept me intrigued. I enjoyed the different approach that the author gave me to God. I would definitely read it again or suggest this book to anyone. I makes you step back and take a look at your own life.
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I recommend this book to anyone who is trying to get through a tragedy in their life or maybe just doesn't understand why bad things happen. If you can get past the weird stuff like God showing up as a big black woman who calls herself Papa or Jesus saying stuff like, "true that", you can glean some of amazing wisdom and understanding from it.

One of the most helpful concepts in the book was the explanation of good and evil. Good is the only thing that acually exists. Just as light exists. Darkness is the result of the absence of light as is evil the absence of good.

Another really amazing concept was when God (Papa) told Mack that just because he works incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean he orchestrates the tragedy.

This book is a bit quirky but in a forgivable sort of way and definitely worth the read!
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Great read! Makes you really think!
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Love this book!
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Great book! Provacative, thought-provoking, challenging, relevant.
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This is one of the most awesome books I have ever read.
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What a truely wonderful and rewarding book. I will cherish this book and hold this story close to my heart. It rewards me with an assortment of emotions. I truely feel closer to God because of this book. Whatever circumstance a person goes thru in life can relate to this book in one way or another. All I can say is Thank you so much!
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My friend and daughter ranted and raved about this book so I read it. I enjoyed the beginning but just could not get past the part where God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit appeared as humans. Good read though and recommend to anybody who needs a spiritual boost.
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Excellent book!
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Excellent message. Ending seems a little rushed to me.
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Amazing!
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I really enjoyed this book. It spoke to me! That may sound really strange to some people, but I liked the fact that the story had a personal message for the reader. I found the story meaningful and deliberate.
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This is one of the few books that grab me from the first few pages and held my interest through the rest of the book. It was very well written.
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This book was an amazing story and is really easy to read. It kept me wanting more. I think this book needs to be on everyones "must read" list.
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This book, despite all the buzz, is fundamentally a nice, simple, parable-style tale of one man's hypothetical road to a closer relationship with his God. It is simply and directly told. It's a bit predictable in outcome, message, and morality, but I suppose that for a more literal reader, it is appropriate. As a dilettante in the whole world of theology, I found it too simple, but it may well be the book that assists the masses with re-concretizing their own personal paths to their supreme being. I am glad to have read it--I do not think it is worthless, I think that its message, appeal, and correspondingly, its impact, will be most significant and life-altering to those who have not spent time studying their own personal theologies or who are not already focused on what their innermost religious holdings are---very much like the protagonist of the novel.
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Recommended by a Christian friend, I enjoyed the book. The middle did go a little into too much fantasy, but I liked the message.
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I'm embarrassed to report that I actually read this book. It sat in my library for who knows how long after a brief perusal following which I muttered, "Oh no, more Christian propaganda". I did finally buckle down and read it, most of it. It must be allegory, it must be metaphor, it must be that the author is seriously studied in subjects of comparative religion, metaphysics, philosophy, et al, mustn't it? It's either done tongue in cheek to pander to the masses for whom the reality of biblical authorship and the tomes of scholarly work examining same do not exist; or, it's an elaborate mix of archetypes with a touch of lucid dreaming. Dunno which; figure it out for yourself.
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One of the best books I've read this year. Very enlightening perspective...Would suggest this book to everyone..
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I enjoyed the book until the end...this is where I thought I was tricked by the author.
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This book was suggested to me from a good friend of mine. I ran out that night and bought the book. Made it halfway through the book and just couldn't grasp the book and what was going on. Put the book down and finally 3 months later I've decided to give it up and offer it to someone else.
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I had a close friend suggest this book as one of the best she'd read in recent years. I was disappointed and had trouble finishing the book. The premise of the book is wonderful. I was less then enthused by the actual reading experience, however. I read lots of books on Christian based themes, so faith is not the issue here. It is the writing itself which bogs this book down. I don't quite understand the hype this book has received over the past two years.
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Excellent Example of how the Lord works in our life when we allow him the space.
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If there is one book you read this year, make it this one. I have actually read it .. a friend loaned me her copy. It is one of the best books I have ever read...and I read a lot of books. It is certain to make you think and questionl There were times I became so emotional I had to walk away from it for a short time. I had to keep telling myself that this is a book of fiction. The book is extremely well written. The story of the author is just as interesting ... I searched him out on the internet. Please read this one.
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Years after his seven-year-old daughter is kidnapped and murdered, a man receives a curious invitation to return to the scene of the crime. What's curious about it is that the note appears to have come directly from God.

Young's presentation of the different faces of divinity provide some food for thought, and the journey of the main character through the traumas of his life can be heart-wrenching at times.
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What an awesome book and new perspective of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit! I was riveted to my seat and could not put down the book until I read the last page.
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Inspiring fantasy about a man who meets God and how he is changed by His love.
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I don't even know what to say... its a small book, just 248 pages, but it is the biggest book I have ever read... I have to pass my copy on because I think it is something others must read, but I will some how get myself another copy because its one I will read over and over and over!!!!!!


JUST READ IT!!!!!
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I went into this book hesitantly, but was not disappointed. As a "fallen Catholic" i really made me think about the faith of my youth and the many ways to interpret faith. I think this is a great and unique take on Christian spirituality and a worthy read. I'm sure many a book club has spent hours in deep debate...I strongly recommend it.
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For me personally, I didn't not enjoy this book as much as I thought I did. I enjoyed the first part of the book and the drama that led up to his daughter's death, but when he got to the shack I got lost. I know it is Fiction, but it seemed too far fetched for me to even contemplate about anything like that really happening. I got lost and confused and ended up just putting it down and didn't even make it to the end
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Many years ago I released my vision of an old, grey-bearded male God seated on a golden throne. As it is now, I feel God is no "thing" and everything. We humans seem to have the need to make God look like us to understand her/him. What we forget is that God is "the peace that passes understanding". We are not meant to understand. I read this book because I had heard a lot about it. I found the conversations between Mack and the "trinity" characters to be stilted, awkward and naive. I skipped through most of the center of the book as Wm. P Young attempted to define God from a Christian perspective. Religion has been trying to do that for thousands of years and still hasn't figured out that this is not our job! This book may be enlightening to someone searching for thoughts and ideas "out side of the box" of fundamental Christianity, but to a long time student of metaphysics, it wasn't deserving of all the attention it has received. I believe the teachings of Jesus and live my life according to the principles he set forth. I don't believe that there is only one way to find God and that the one way is through Jesus, the Christ. There are many paths to God. So read the book for yourself. Depending upon where you are on your spiritual path, you may love it and be inspired or be simply bored with it.
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Renewed me!
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Without a doubt this book is the most spiritually ignorant book I have ever read !
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Its a badly written piece of non-literature that the author readily admits he wrote hoping for a movie deal. The pseudo-theology is not well thought out and diminishes the true goodness and power of our Triune God. The ending is comparable to the "...and then I woke up and it was all a bad dream" kind of ending that come from Jr. High writing classes. The violence against children is comparable to the cheap thrill of a slasher movie. After I read it, I wanted to scrub off the icky feelings the book left me with.
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Awesome story about forgiveness! I couldn't put the book down. As Christians we make religion too complicated and it is very simple...God is everywhere!
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I found this book answered some hard questions about our faith and how we look at things differently than perhaps God does. very powerfull reading. Totally a recommended read.
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This is not usually the kind of book I like to read. However, I became so engaged in the story, it was a great book!

Leslie
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Mackenzie (Mack) Phillips' youngest daughter, Missy, is abducted and presumed murdered by a serial killer. Her abduction and death causes problems in his family and him to question the existence of God.

One day, he receives a mysterious note from "Papa" asking him to come meet him at "the shack." The "shack" is the place that his daughter's blood-stained dress was found and the place the lead the investigation into his daughter's abduction to conclude that she'd been murdered. Mack decides to accept the invitation without the rest of his family members' knowledge.

At the shack, Mack is confronted with his doubts about God and how God can exist in a world were his daughter is brutally murdered and his family is devastated.

I was really drawn into the first part of the book and had a hard time putting it down. Near the middle, it started to lose me, but at the end, I was hooked again. Parts of the end brought me to tears. I found the author's view of God to really match with mine.

I felt the author did a great job of discussing God without coming across as "preachy."
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Terrible.... Had many religious over tones that are quite disturbing. Note: I don't believe in sacrifice and redemption. Sooo happy to get the book out of my house.
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I totally agree with the review by Bonnie F. This book starts off well, with a mystery vibe,that of a child going missing. However, after that,and many repetitious passages, it becomes totally ridiculous and, to me, unrealistic. I gave up about half way through,which is most unusual...
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I wish I could have gotten something out of this book. I tried, I really did. I had an open mind going in but like one of the other reviews there was just no way that I could line this up with much of what the scripture says. This book takes away the deity and magnificance of God and brings him to such a lowly place that I couldn't wait to get thru it. I read it becuase my friend said that it changed her life and wanted my opinion. To me I just wasted valuable time that I'll never get back. I would have done better to have taken that time and read some scripture. God knows how to speak to his children he doesn't need a book to bring him down to our lowly sites.
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interesting
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For a first book, the author managed to weave quite an incredible story. I was totally engrossed in the story. It does get a bit heavy in the middle with the Holy Trinity, but I really enjoyed the book and encourage anyone to give it a try. It is FICTION and therefore not a book to teach you about christianity. If you are a Christian, you do get a few twists on the Holy Trinity. It does prompt you to re-think some conventional thiking, but it is just a good book to read and enjoy. I went and looked up the author's bio to see if he had any experience like in the book and that is an intersting background too. I won't give you the details here. The book has its plot, twists, humor, sadness, redemption, love, all the ingredients for a good story. I totally recommend it!
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its a great read
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A great book!
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The book begins well and ends well but gets a little slow and bogged down in the middle. If you can stick with it all the way through, it is very good in the end.
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I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it
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This book can really make you think. It is actually a pretty quick read. I believe that everyone should read this book because it can give a perspective that I have not come across before. Wouldn't it be interesting if this was the way that everyone felt.
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Couldn't put it down. I had to read it from fiction perspective and keep reminding myself. Makes you stretch your thinking and perceptions and thats ok with me.
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Absolutely did NOT like this book! I'm not sure if it's because I'm not religous in the slightest, but I have a very open mind and read a wide spectrum of books. I was just bored reading about Mack's weekend with "GOD". I had to skim through most of it just to get it over with quicker.
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The story tries to address some of the questions that people have about God(specifically the Christian view of God), it ends up feeling like the author is trying to compress too many thoughts into too few pages.
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I had origianally purchased this book to read on the recommendation of a friend - couldn't finish it because I found the conversation to be lagging, and the depiction of Jesus a bit disconcerting. Though, as I was told by other's that the author had originally intended this book for his girls eyes only, I didn't really think a whole lot about the lack of authoritative content... until I read this article this morning...

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=156873

As I have no interest in the original book, I will more than likely not read the rebuttal. However, for those living under the false pretense that this book is a good explanation of the Trinity, I would recommend reading - or just read the Bible, and you'll find that the heresy contained within The Shack to be more than overwhelming.
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excellent
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While I did not LOVE this book, it definately had a "should read at least once" type quality. I enjoyed the explanations of the Holy Trinity, but I did not agree Biblically with all of the text.
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Excellent allegorical tale!
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I loved this book. It had a personal effect on me that I did not expect. Parts of it seemed kind of dumb until you read further on. In the end, I have recommended this to just about everyone.
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I have read this book a couple of times now and have recomended it to several friends and co-workers! Everytime I read this book, I get more out of it. Enjoy!
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I loved this book! It starts out very sad, but as the story moves on you get drawn in very quickly. I have recommended this to all my family and friends.
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Having issues myself with God the Father, i really was very surprised in this book.
Mack is a man haunted by the past, a terrible father that used whips as well as scriptures to justify his hate, mack grows up with a warped view of God.
He married a wonderful woman that loves god and has a loving relationship with Him.
One day Mack takes the family to a camping outing, and alll is well until a caneoing accident happens, While Mack is rescuing the teens from drowning a predetor has been targeting the youngest daughter Missy.
He takes Missy and leaves with her, Mack and family unaware until the emergancy with the teens is over. By that time, it is later and the man and Missy are long gone.
Some college boys see the perp leave in a old green truck and they think they see Missy, a APB is sent out and the truck is tracked to a remote area in Oregon, a old shack.
There, is found a bloody dress the one Missy was wearing when she was last seen.
The days and nights go by, and Mack is trying to heal, but it is not happening. Slowly he decends into great sorrow.
One icy day, he gets a letter in the mail. It says to return to the shack, love papa.
He is angry and puzzled. Does the abductor want to toment him? His father is dead, and God is called Papoa by his wife but it cannot be God can it.
So, through a set of circumstances, he ends up borrowing a friends jeep, loads it up and goes.
He confronts God, and his sorrow,what happens next is astounding to him, and shakes the core of what he thinks of God.
God the Father is a big aunt Jeminma
Black Woman, the Holy Spirit is a japanese multicoloured spirit and Jesus is just a regular looking middle eastern guy.
Mack has the core of his being shook and learns lessons from each one seperatly and then together.
I love how Papa, tells him, What were you expecting God the Father like Gandolf?
His journey is transforming and he learns that god is not responsable for Missy's death, and that God loves the abductor alos and wants the best for him too.,
Mack learns forgiveness, for his father and God in turn.
He learns about himself and meets Wisdom also. God shows Mack where Missy's body is hid and they have a service for her.
When Mack "comes to" he is transformed and he leaves to go home.
He is hit by a drunk driver, and is hospitalized.
He is able to tell his wife of the trip, heal with his oldest daughter who blames herself for missy's death, and heal with friends,.
The authorities go with Mack and he shows them the cave where God had shown him Missy laid.
What i loved about this book was it streached your bounds of thinking about God, God is as much male and female, and the poetic veiws of the holy spirit and Jesus. What is did not like, was it got pretty darn deep into some spiritual things and unless you had traveled that way you would have no clue what they were talking about.
I did i understand the Great Sadness.,
Good book to give a friend that is questioning and hurting esecially one that has Father issues.
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For what it is, it's amazing.
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This was the most incredible book I have read in a really long time! It is on my favs list now.
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Now I understand why this book is so controversial. It rarely (if ever?) mentions the Bible, and a lot of people just can't deal with that. What it does mention and enforce is God's never-ending love for us, no matter what we do, think, or say. The portraits of the Holy Trinity were very helpful to me; as a woman with a less-than-wonderful biological father, it's often difficult to find an image of a father God that is approachable. I loved this book and will recommend it to everyone I know.
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The best book that I have read in years. It really makes you rethink how you look at God and religion. I loved it. I normally don't suggest what people should read because my taste in books is a little different but this is one that I believe everyone should read. Caution: don't read this in a public place. I cried in several places.
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This book was wonderful. I loved the author's take on God. If you like a book that makes you re-think your views regarding God and religion...this book is for you. Enjoy it!
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loved it. has one bad word in it though and i was under the impression it was a Christian book. but still a good book non the less.
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MY WIFE THOUGHT IT WAS A NICE STORY.
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Wow...what an interesting view on God and relationships!! I really enjoyed this book - I'm just sorry it ended when it did - I really wanted more. This book is very thought-provoking and had me re-assessing my relationships and how I treat those that I care about. This is how the book affected me - but in and of itself - the book was an enjoyable read - a wonderfully surprising and interesting story. Read this book!!
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This book was incredible and such an eye opener! Everyone should read and discuss with a friend.
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A bit preachy for me but I enjoyed looking at God from a different point of view.
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Interesting book.
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The author of this book is an admitted Christian Universalist. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it means he likes Christianity, but believes ALL paths/religions lead to heaven and eternal salvation. This book is blasphemous in the way it degrades GOD Almighty. It is PC in the way it makes the persons of the Father Son and HOLY Spirit seem multicultural,(GOD is a black woman,the Holy Spirit an Asian woman etc...) completely average, and with no hierarchy among the three persons of God. I could go on and on about how awful this book is, but there are plenty of people more equipped like Michael Youssef that do a way better job. If you like, look up his review on line. Please do your self, and your wisdom of The LORD a great service,and avoid this book at all costs!
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This is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time. The story moves so quick and effortless. William P Young has given me the perfect insight to what God is and His role in the world today.
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A thought provoking story.
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This book came highly recommended, but I had read the reviews on this site anyway. Some were quite hung up on the physical portrayal of "God" in the book. It is too bad they couldn't get past that, because this book offers amazing insight to the God I believe in. I've read many books to help me deal with the situations LIFE has delivered to me, but none have reasoned to me as well as this book did. It's story format, which makes it an even easier read, instead of the preachy, self-help books.
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Good book.
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This is on my top 5 list of favorites. If I had the money I would buy this book and hand out to people. I so enjoyed the weekend spent at the cabin. I laughed and cried and couldn't recommend this book enough. I can't wait to read it again! This is one I will read many times.
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The book is not easy at the beginning and I'm not sure why. I actually got more out of the book after I was done reading it and could think about the whole thing. I def. must read. It is about God but it makes you think for yourself, nothing is shoved down your throat.
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Any self respecting Californian will not pick up a hitch hiker, its just common sense, and any self respecting Christian will not endorse this book. Why? If you look on the back of this book the endorsements come from Hollywood types and not one reputable Christian organization supported this book. My thoughts are that it is because it endorses gender confusion and that is a very dangerous mental condition. If you read this book and think for one minute that the message is a positive one you are under a mental fog becuase while it does have an tragic mystery plot which does peek an interest it uses that to interject sexual gender crossing roles in which Gd is protrayed as a woman and Jesus as a black man if I remember correctly. I would use this book for fire wood starter materials only. And feel if you do endorse this book that you probably arent a real beleiver in Gd and His only son Jesus Christ or either just one that is not learned enough in the scripture to know that Gd is a male and His only son is also and that while Gd does not appear to have an ethnicity He is most assuredly a FATHER which makes Him, MALE, and Jesus is not black he was Jewish. So it very subtley trys to twist your thinking....VERY DANGEROUS BOOK unless you like sexual bondage and torture or you like cross dressing or just like a tragic tale woven in sheer magicians smoke. I give it a minus 2. One point for twisting the gender of Gd and Jesus and one for trying to make gender bending an ok thing while selling it as a Christian book. Check out who endorses a book it tells alot about it!
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The Shack is must read book for those interested in relationships with God, not adherence to dogma. I plan to read it again (maybe several more times)and pass it alone. One of the best I've read in along time and I read a lot of books from all genres. Don't miss this one.

CGD
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It gives you a different way of looking at the Trinity and Christianity
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entertaining and an interesting concept.
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Before reading this book I recommend watching this http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/doctrine/trinity-god-is/the-shack
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Way too Christian for me.
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Thank you Lord! What a tangible way to view our relationship with You, all Three of You ;)
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This book is extremely religious. The author preaches his beliefs to you through the entire book. I did not like it at all.
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I was referred to this book from some people who said that "you could not put it down."
Well, I found it hard to pick up. Maybe it is good for someone going through a death in the family or a tragedy. That is who I gave the book to. While the thought is good, it is repedative and redundant.