Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review of The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

Mack takes his children on a trip into the woods.  While rescuing his son from an upturned canoe, Mack's daughter Missy is seemingly murdered.  After following a clue, her bloodied dress is found in a crumbling shack in the woods.  Mack carries the pain and guilt of her murder for years, known as The Great Sadness, which plays havoc on the rest of the family as well.
Years later when checking the mail, Mack receives a mysterious letter from "Papa" asking him to meet him at The Shack for the weekend.  Papa is Mack's wife's name for God.  With is wife going out of town for the weekend with the children, Mack reluctantly returns to The Shack.  The remainder of the book are his encounters there. (I'm trying for no spoiler alerts here)

A friend of mine has been telling me to read this book for months.  After giving me a copy, after the holidays I had no excuses but to read it.

What I liked
I liked how Mack's pain was shown throughout the book and I always felt that I could tell what he was feeling.  I liked the suspense leading up to his arrival at The Shack.  I also liked how the story was tied in at the end and left to the reader to come up with his/her own conclusions of the story.

What I didn't like
If this book is read as FICTION, it is a very entertaining story and has some good lessons wrapped into it.  If it is read as Biblical truth, some events at The Shack can be disturbing.  If you read this as a Christian, as I am, this is just a warning to keep an open mind.


  1. I came up with a similar assessment when I reviewed this book last year. It was highly readable and I enjoyed the read, but it is misleading and has been responsible for leading people away from the truth as the Bible tells it. I would not recommend this book to a non-Christian or anything who is confused about Christianity and sincerely seeking the truth as it can lead them down the wrong path.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Well said, I agree. Thanks for reading the review and I appreciate your comment

  3. I agree with what Lee said. My Best and I decided to read this so that we could discuss it. but she couldn't make it past the the opening scene. I enjoyed the book as fiction, and have enjoyed discussing it with other Christians. I've never been able to really fathom what heaven is going to be like, so I liked those parts, a glimpse into what it MIGHT be like, from someone else's imagination.

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  4. It was very imaginative but a little too much for my taste. I'm glad I read it though. It offers a very unique perspective and since we don't know what heaven will be like you never know how close this description is. I happen to think heaven will be so much better though!