Being that "The Shack" has sold over 7 million copies, I suppose that it is a book that has been reviewed by countless bloggers. Regardless, once in awhile there comes along a book that has a message that reflects what people are feeling, and this is one of them. So, though it's been reviewed by many already, I will attempt to add something to the table.
Mr. William Paul Young wrote "The Shack" in just four months and printed 15 copies at an office depot, delivering a copy to each of his 6 kids and mailing the rest to friends who passed them onto their friends. This book started as a pass-along, word-of-mouth book, and that's also the way it became a best seller.
I would call the book unorthodox in its approach to theology, but I would say that Young is dead-on with his depictions of human relations with each other and with the God-head. The protagonist, Mack, is a likable character with inner demons that we can all relate to, and has issues with God that are not difficult to understand. The story is totally believable, though we know it to be fiction. It is a story that we can't walk away from without feeling a little more whole, or without having something make a little more sense. It is a book that certainly depicts how humans struggle with God and with themselves. In a nutshell, the message of the book is that humans spend all of their mental and emotional energy on politics, religion and economics and very little of their energy on their relationships.
The humor in the book is sprinkled in at the right moments. I've honestly never actually imagined God as having a sense of humor. It is with humor that Mr. Young has succeeded in putting an approachable face on God. I would suggest that if it's a theologically accurate book of fiction you're looking for, "The Shack" is probably not for you. If it's an uplifting, fantasy-type fiction that you want, then you will enjoy this book. "The Shack" will aid your imagination, rub salve on your wounds, and stretch the boundaries of your heart.
I've worked at a book store for over four years and "The Shack" is the first book that I've ever seen sell completely off the shelves simply by word of mouth, over and over again, the way that "The Shack" has done. I'm not going to give away any of the plot of the book in this blog, I only hope to write enough about the book to encourage people to read it themselves.
Here are a few paragraphs from my upcoming book on Chinese heroines: Chapter 1 Fu Hao (Lady Fu Hao), 13th Century BC Between 1,600 B.C. and 1,050 B.C., lon...