Customer Reviews for

The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

86 out of 90 people found this review helpful.

Best book I've read in 10 years!

I had very mixed feelings about reading a book about God that was on the best seller list and was being sold at Costco and Walmart. When I was given a copy by a good friend, I decided to dive in and see what the fuss was about.

I was shocked at how good it w...
I had very mixed feelings about reading a book about God that was on the best seller list and was being sold at Costco and Walmart. When I was given a copy by a good friend, I decided to dive in and see what the fuss was about.

I was shocked at how good it was, especially given all the negative things people have said about it (bad writing style, odd characters, odd theology, etc.). I found it to be an extraordinarily good depiction of the relationship within the Trinity, what that implys for God's relationship with us, and how God's love reaches out to us in our pain and confusion.

I have been a committed Christian since I was very young, but have struggled for years with the certainty that I could never live up to God's standards. By nature, I have been an intellectual Christian v.s. a relational one, and have always been somewhat suspicious and resistant to relationships of any kind, particularly when they involved religion or God.

The Shack's amazing narratives between Mack and God so captured my heart (where did that come from?!), that I've been on a trek ever since to discover more about who this God is (the theology of the Trinity, etc.), how He works in our lives and how I can rest in his love. Its been an amazing journey!

I highly recommend The Shack. Ignor the negative comments about it and make up your own mind. (Don't take my word for it, or theirs!) What is clear from reading the blogs is that it has touched many people's lives, especially those who have wrestled with loss of loved ones or other personal tragedies. There is also many positive scholarly reviews as well as negative ones (seems to be somewhat a function of vested interests in their own books and teachings). If it speaks to your heart as it did mine, it will be worth everything to you.

posted by 283998 on November 1, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

33 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

Author's voice too loud

The author clearly intended to deliver a theological message to his readers in this modern day allegory. And the message is a good one. God desires a deeply personal relationship with us and he loves us enough to give us the gift of free will. But I felt like Young was ...
The author clearly intended to deliver a theological message to his readers in this modern day allegory. And the message is a good one. God desires a deeply personal relationship with us and he loves us enough to give us the gift of free will. But I felt like Young was beating me over the head with his own personal interpretation of scripture. There was no room for me to contemplate. The author just told me what to think. I liked the message, but I didn't enjoy the book. I understand Young is not a professional writer. He wrote this story for his kids with no intention of being published. Still, it was not a pleasurable reading experience for me.

posted by Erika97 on February 11, 2009

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  • Posted June 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    An amazing story with a spiritual twist... A real delight for th

    An amazing story with a spiritual twist... A real delight for the mind.

    32 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was awesome. Reminded me of The Great Mystery, which

    This book was awesome. Reminded me of The Great Mystery, which is one of my other favorite books. The Shack is a bit more preachy than I like, but the message is worth anyone's time. Wonderful story!

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2008

    Still Reading...

    I am in the middle of this book now and it is actually making me emotional that I have to put it down for awhile...however, I can't wait to read more. It's such an easy read right from the beginning and I can't wait to finish it! I would highly recommend this book to anyone....

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2008

    Read This Book!!

    This book is so inspirational. If you are thinking about reading it you definately should. You go through a journey where a man finds god. The book is an easy read and very good. After you read this book you will question your faith in a whole new way.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2009

    The Shack

    This book is great fiction, and like all good fiction, it made me think about real life. The tragedy of a girl my little sister's age being kidnapped and murdered was really hard to read. The spiritual adventure that followed for this little girl's father was entertaining, thought-provoking, and a little uncomfortable. Mack (Missy's father and the main character) finds a note in the mailbox from "Papa" inviting him to the shack where his daughter was brutally murdered. At first he thinks it is a sick joke, then the murderer's attempt to get him away from his remaining children so he can hurt them, and last he reluctantly considers it might actually be from God, since Papa is the name his wife Nan has for him. When Nan decides to take the kids and go visit her sister for the weekend, Mack takes the opportunity to travel to the shack and find out who is behind the mysterious note. He has no idea what he is in for.

    At the shack (now turned into a lovely rustic cabin) he encounters Papa in the form of a hefty African American woman with a love for cooking, hugging, and talking. He also meets Jesus and Sarayu who represents the Holy Spirit. He spends a very intense weekend with this group I know as the Trinity. They have invited him there to force him to come to terms with "The Great Sadness", the lasting effects of the loss of his daughter almost three years before as well as his incorrect thinking about man's relationship with God.

    I have talked to many people who love the book, but also many who have stressed to me that it is not based on the Bible. I liked the book because it challenged me to think about my own faith and how we all can put God in a box and not allow him to be the Creator he is. Though I believe that Jesus calls God "Father" for a reason, God could do anything he wants to meet a person where they are, and I think that's what he did with Mack. Because Mack had a poor relationship with his own earthly dad and because he was feeling shaky as a dad himself because of not being able to protect his daughter Missy, Papa decided to meet him as a woman instead. Would God actually do this? I don't know, but who am I to limit him?

    The book made me think about the relationship that God wants to have with humans and how so many man-made ideas get in the way. The hardest part for Mack - and me, was the idea that we are not called to judge one another. That is God's work, and I know that. But I have never thought about humans that judge God when things go wrong in our imperfect world. The world that we screwed up!

    One of my favorite parts is when he sits down to eat a meal they have prepared for him and he stops to say a table prayer. Then he realizes he is sitting with the very one he is praying to and looks up to see them smiling at him. He simply says, "Thanks, guys. Can I have some rice, please".

    This book shows the journey of a sad man who can't get out of the depression he is feeling as the result of the actions of another. His journey includes learning to forgive the very man he blames for his misery and for the God who "allowed" it to happen. I think this fictional story helps us all to feel more human and more willing to let God love us as he does.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    A must read for anyone with questions about God's realness!

    I am thoroughly enjoying this book! A horriffic tragedy brings this man to a much better understanding as to why this happened in his family....so eloquently explained. Spiritually uplifting!! Many things relate to our lives through God as explained in simple but eloquent terms in this book.I am already planning to re-read this book and I am only half-way through reading it! You cannot miss reading this one!!! I am not a big book reader, but I am so glad I picked this one up! Soulalone

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    A book about religion that's TRULY different!!

    This book really made me laugh and cry. I felt that the author was really talking to me and about me. It gave me a different way to look at may of the things that happen in daily life. And it showed me why terrible thing happen even when we think God should step in and intervene.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2009

    How do you describe a story about God?

    I've read many reviews of this book and I think some you read a different book than I did. For me, this book was a lovely story of a man and his relationship with God. I thought the three personifications of God were beautiful and heartwarming. This book touched me and changed forever the way I view my own relationship with God. In other reviews I've read people are spending so much time judging the character choice (for me they fit perfectly) and not allowing themselves to be open to the concept of a personal relationship with God. For a person like me who has been gunshy of religion from a young age, this was the perfect medecine to heal some of the wounds I have delivered to my immortal soul by declining the fact that God loves me no matter what I do. I recommend this book to all people. Don't look at the grammar and sentance structure, just take in the story for what it is and allow it to settle into your soul and heal your heart too. I know it is only a story but I like the thought that God really does love all her/his children no matter what they do and who they are. And yes I know this means there may be some really bad people in heaven and this is hard for some people to imagine because of the hurt they have caused to families and even to the world. But to me this is better than thinking that if I do something wrong God will stop loving me. I am glad to know and believe that we are all loved. I am sorry if some of these words offend some people, I really am, but I would ask you to look deep into your soul and ask yourself why it bothers you so. This is my relationship with God.
    I recommend this book to anyone looking for a refreshing, rejuvinating and entertaining way to look at OUR lives with a relationship with GOD.
    Thank you.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Shack-an A-Ha moment

    This book set out to grab you right from the beginning but for me although the subject matter should have - the writing got you to the party without your dancing shoes. UNTIL, you get well into the book - but the discoveries, the thought provocation will take you well past the dance into the night. You will be aha-ing and hmmm-ing and even a little wow-ing I assure you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Book

    I own the paper back of this and it is amazing, and at times I had the sniffles and I wanted to cry then at other times I ws at the edge of my seat wanting to kick some @$$ or smack people for being stupid. Over all good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    I loved this book. So I bought it on audio book for my mom, because she hates to read. She liked it. I understand the contraversy behind it. I also agree that every aspect is not totally accurate. However, It is a book full of encouragement, and hope. If it leads you in the direction of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, then it has done its job.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Moving

    This book iscso moving & thought provoking Wow!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Highly Recommended!

    A wonderful, entertaining story that makes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit real and endearing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Surprise!!!

    I thought this was going to be a a sad thriller but after a few chapters it got really religious. I did enjoy it very much though.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2012

    Excellent Reading Experience !!!

    Highly recommend. A truely uplifting reading experience. Rushed to finish, and with all good stories sorry I did. Will read many more times.....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    The shack

    Loved this book could'nt put it down. Have recommend it to my friends and they loved it also.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    Thought Provoking

    I enjoyed this book. The first part of the book is super sad and I wanted to stop reading it but the person that recommended it to me told me to keep going because it would be worth it. She was right and I really enjoyed the different perspective the book gave. I totally recommend this book and I personally will think of Papa whenever I hear anyone mention the name God.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2012

    wonderful story, and great message. This is a must read!

    wonderful story, and great message. This is a must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    Loved it.

    This book gave a real world parallel of God and how to relate to Him in a non-denominational way. It is humerous,touching, and thought provoking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fasinating Prespective

    While I don't like stories about children in anyway being hurt, abducted or abused, this is one of those books that if you didn't understand a part of it, when you read it again a year or 2 from now, a part you didn't understand will make sense to you at that time.

    One mans journey through an abusive childhood, protective adult live and parenting, that is so gut wrenching you wonder how anyone would survive it or keep his temperment in check.

    While an invitation to meet God at a place that harbors his worst nighmares, he finds not only himself, but God and redemtion to heal all the wounds of his heart and mind.

    Definately a good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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