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The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity
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The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  291,973 ratings  ·  23,813 reviews
Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against hi
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Paperback, 252 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Windblown Media (first published May 1st 2007)
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Sandra In my opinion he finds more then God, he finds peace. It truly is a remarkable book and you don't have to be religious to enjoy it. It's inspiring. I…moreIn my opinion he finds more then God, he finds peace. It truly is a remarkable book and you don't have to be religious to enjoy it. It's inspiring. I would rate it right up there with the Alchemist (another excellent read)(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jay
I know, I know. Everyone loves this book. No fewer than forty-three people asked me "Have you read The Shack yet?"

Invariably, they responded to my negative response with something along the lines of "You have to! It changed my life! I was full of questions, and life stunk, and then I read the book, and God made sense to me, I understood quantum physics effortlessly, and all of a sudden I could spin flax into gold!"

So, what I'm about to say is going to make a lot of people pretty angry.

The Shack
...more
Kim♥
Sep 01, 2008 Kim♥ rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I don't recommend this book to anyone.
Shelves: emergent
Having had such high hopes for this book, I was sadly disappointed about its content, being for the most part simply unbiblical. Yes, there were poignant scenes and emotional moments that moved me to tears- but that does not tip the scales against all of the errors slipped in and truths that were twisted. Being protective especially of new Christians, I strongly caution anyone about reading it. This book should be read with much discernment.

Please read the Bible and learn about the Way, the Trut
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Renee
Pure drivel. This book read like a Betty Crocker recipe gone bad: take one all-American Jesus lovin’/fearing family, add one unexplainable tragedy, mix with equal parts anger , guilt and sadness , bake for three weeks and get a bitter man who has turned his back on God. Alias, no need to give up, because God writes our hero a personalized note, and tells him to meet him in “the shack” (the place of his daughter’s murder), funny thing is, god is a black woman cooking pancakes in the kitchen who s ...more
Amanda J
Sep 14, 2008 Amanda J rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amanda J by: Sharon & Ed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christie
First off this will be lengthy so don’t feel you have to read it
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This is a hard book to review because you pretty much have to separate it into two parts. The novel, and the theological.

This man is not a writer. As far as the novel aspect of this book, I don't personally believe it is well written. Both the descriptions and dialogue don't ring true to me. But if delve into a little of the back story regarding this author you find that he never intended this book to be published. After experienci
...more
Eric Bjerke
Jul 15, 2008 Eric Bjerke rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Eric by: Saw on internet, heard it was controversial
It is hard to not get carried away and be too effusive about this book. When one has spent time with someone or something, it is natural to feel a close connection to that thing and, I think, lose objectivity. Obviously I didn't try too hard to be calm and subdued in my praise because one can see that I rated it 5 stars; however, I think I will start with why I don't think it is a 5-star book.

It wasn't a book that I just couldn't put down. This is usually a prerequisite for me to rate a book so
...more
Mike
Note: After several friends challenged me to read the book again (I assume they wanted me to upgrade The Shack to five stars), I indeed read it a second time. As a result, I downgraded it another star. There are things I noticed the second time I didn't the first.

Added to my review below are several more specific drawbacks of the book. Unfortunately, every one of these would have been pointed out by first or second year writing students, which simply reiterates my main point below: Shame on you
...more
Mary
Feb 01, 2014 Mary rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one... not even my worst enemy
Recommended to Mary by: it was a Christmas present
This review has been removed for personal reasons.
All of you who liked, commented, and otherwise made it clear that you "felt me" on my response to The Shack are very much appreciated.
C.J.
This book was recommended to me by a book group I attended to speak about my book A Demon Awaits. I had not read this book prior to writing mine, but I was very surprised to find that the premise of our books (a man struggling to heal his relationship with God) was identical. Before I continue I’d like to share a bit of my bias because one’s perspective will vastly affect the enjoyment of this book. I’m staunchly conservative, religiously, politically and economically. I’m also a writer and I ch ...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill
I did NOT like this book. I kept hearing how good it was and got it from the library with no idea what it was about. The idea of a guy who loses faith in god because his child is abducted and then gets invited back to "the shack" where his daughter was found...this time to spend a weekend with god...is not my idea of appealing literature.
booklady
Feb 09, 2011 booklady rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone suffering loss
Recommended to booklady by: Rosemary
The Shack is a book you will thank yourself for reading. While it can be a bit didactic at times, it is not overtly so. It’s more a story of journey and relationship—discovering who you are through learning more about who God is to you. I’m no theologian, but I do like to imagine myself as the Theophilus Luke is writing to in the Book of Acts. So I read the book as a God-Lover and I write this review in the same vein.

It begins with an unspeakably horrible tragedy happening to a loving father. (
...more
Jennifer
Oct 22, 2008 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone!!! :)
Having had no understanding of this books content before opening it, I must admit it rocked my little world a bit. It is incredibly well written and engaging from the start. I don’t want to say too much as I think this book is meant to be experienced with as little influence as possible. I will say it made me see many things in a much different way. It helped me grasp something that I struggle with and ultimately confirmed some of my own thoughts about things. I am being cryptic I know—but I don ...more
Elisa
In case you can't read it, the tagline on this is "Where tragedy confronts eternity."

This is the story of Mack, a man whose 6-year-old daughter was abducted and brutally murdered during a family camping trip. The serial killer, a man who leaves a ladybug pin everytime he kills a child, was never captured, and the only clue to Missy's abduction was an undeniable, bloodstained red sundress on the floor of an abandoned shack high up in the middle of nowhere. Now, four years after Missy's murder, h
...more
Christina
Oct 06, 2008 Christina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone willing to dig deeper.
5 stars? Ya, I know it's crazy because I guess this is a super-controversial book... but I am rating it this way because of it's impact - not because of it's sound theology. The view of the trinity in this book is one I had never considered. And, although it challenged a LOT of my fundamentalist upbringing, it inspired me to return to the Bible and learn more - find the closeness with God described in The Shack and to see what God's Word said regarding his triune relationship. NEVER should anyon ...more
Bear
If you read one book in your life, read this one. I shall not delve into the story; let's just say this author thinks like I do. He also struggles with the same things I do; How to deal with people who have hurt others in the most heinous way. I really can't go into this too much; you just have to read it for yourself to understand how I feel about religion, "church", and the Trinity. We humans are so busy trying to control each other and control ourselves, that we miss the true message. It's so ...more
Jen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbi
I had to read this for book club and I did not like it. Bad theology wrapped up in a sappy soap opera type book.

I don't disagree with the message that God loves us and wants a relationship with us, but this book is so full of pot-holes and misinterpretations that renders useless:

The Jesus character says: “My life was not meant to be an example to be copied....It is a means for your independence to be killed”.

Huh?? What Bible is the author reading? What about St. Paul telling us to be imitators
...more
Donovan
Jun 07, 2008 Donovan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any Christian who wants to continue to ask questions and deepen their faith.
Recommended to Donovan by: Tom Sparks
Shelves: spirituality
When reading The Shack, be prepared some laughs and smiles, but mostly, be prepared for a well of tears. I'm a movie and book crier by nature. I'll admit that my wife and daughter give me the raised eyebrow and look at me strangely when I choke up while watching a sitcom and all I can do is sheepishly say, "Did you see how she helped that lady" or something like that. Well, be warned, if you also have a weakness for tears or if you are a father, the tears will hit you like a flood.

This book is a
...more
Latanya Mcqueen
My godmother bought me this novel because she believes I need Salvation with a capital S. My mother died less than three years ago and I think she believes this is her way of getting me to cope with it.
I tried, I really did, to read this book. I got about four chapter in and completely gave up. I'd get rid of the thing but she signed it and my conscience would bother me, and so it sits here mocking me, probably for forever.
I thought I couldn't finish it because the writing is bad, but I read the
...more
Marci
I can't tell you how disappointed I was in William P. Young's book The Shack. While at first look this is a tender story of a father who has lost his young daughter to a serial killer, the book is much, much more than that. It is an exposition on the very nature of God. In Young's The Shack, God portrays himself to the main character, Mack, as a large, round black woman. Being a work of fiction, I could go with that. I have large, round black women as friends and adore them. But God or Papa, as ...more
Chris
Sep 10, 2008 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chris by: Gary Deddo
I put off writing this review for a couple days because I wanted to give it some thought first. What I didn't have to think about was how much I enjoyed the book. Despite some distractingly clunky writing (the book was self-published and often reveals the need of an editor) it was truly invigorating, stimulating, and mind-expanding. I loved reading it. Young's story of a man's encounter with God, and his interaction with him over the terrible pain and suffering he has experienced, is packed with ...more
MJ Nicholls
Feb 10, 2013 MJ Nicholls marked it as getting-even
I have not read this landmark step towards universal healing and forgiveness but I imagine it boasts all the vitality and spirituality of Robin Williams’s 1996 family comedy Patch Adams. In this poignant movie, Robin is a maverick doctor who believes madcap slapstick humour goes hand-in-hand with serious medical practice, but the officious squares (Bob Gunton—the posterchild of po-faced authoritarianism in a brutalised America) deem his approach inappropriate. Being an inherently brilliant docto ...more
Werner
Feb 19, 2009 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: general-fiction
At first, I didn't expect to like this book; as I noted in a comment below, it was one I had to read because of my work. The premise of a young child's death at the hands of a serial killer (and serial killing in general) is one I usually avoid in my reading, and I'd read negative comments about Young's style and theology. My reservations vanished very quickly! Some of the commentary in the book description above verges more into the territory of a laudatory review; but for once, the praise is w ...more
Skylar Burris
This novel seems to be aimed at overturning (primarily fundamentalist) misconceptions about God and emphasizing that God IS Love. And although that is a noble and important goal, I find the novel itself to be overly didactic, with too many long explanations of too many things all placed directly in the mouth of God Himself (which seems to me a bit presumptuous).

Things are very often better explained and understood in story than in definition, and that is why I usually tend not to like didactic
...more
Katharine
The Shack was not particularly shocking to me on any level. I didn't find it life-changing, it didn't rock my perceptions of my faith, and it certainly isn't the best book about God I've ever read. On the other hand, neither did I think it was a cesspit of heresy and sacrilege.

In case you don't know, The Shack is about a man named Mack who has suffered great and terrible loss in his life. One weekend he receives a mysterious invitation to journey back to the shack, a place that represents the
...more
Tea Jovanović
Jedna od većih misterija za mene... Kako je ta knjiga postala bestseler kada sam naišla samo na jednu osobu kojoj se dopala a većina onih koji su se zeznuli i kupili knjigu, nisu uspeli da nadju nijednu lepu reč... Lično, mislim da je ova knjiga namenjena američkom mentalitetu...
Shane
Jun 15, 2008 Shane rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: certain Christians, with reservation
Recommended to Shane by: My grandpa
This is a very strange book. It seemed even stranger when I thought it was meant to be taken as non-fiction. So, as a warning to anyone who does read this, it is fiction and is meant to be taken as such.
Is this a good book? Not really. So many people seem to be obsessed with it and I can't quite figure out why. It seemed pretty mediocre to me. It takes itself to be answering some of the big questions about Christianity, like the problem of evil, the trinity, or questions about whether or not pra
...more
D.G.
I usually don't rate books I DNF but after I suffered through almost a 1/3 of this book, I think I have the right.

Despite the pompous subtitle and the fact that I'm a non believer, the description of this book interested me. I expected an emotional story where a man confronts God and demands answers for what happened to his daughter. I knew this book was Christian Fiction so I was sure that at the end the man would reconcile with God but I didn't expect the book to be so maudlin and preachy.

I li
...more
Jillzbop
A fresh, yet sweet look in to the Trinity. A story of a man's journey to meet with God after the tragic death of his young daughter. This completely rocked...is rocking...my world and the way that I see God.
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William Paul Young was the eldest of four, born May 11, 1955, in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, but the majority of his first decade was lived with his missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea (West Papua), among the Dani, a technologically stone age tribal people. These became his family and as the first white child and outsider who ever spoke their language, he was granted ...more
More about Wm. Paul Young...
Cross Roads The Shack: Reflections for Every Day of the Year Cross Roads Reflections: Inspiration for Every Day of the Year God and The Shack: Interviews With William Paul Young La Cabana: Donde La Tragedia Se Encuentra Con La Eternidad

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“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat......Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.........Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation.........Forgiveness does not excuse anything.........You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness......” 1162 likes
“Each relationship between two persons is absolutely unique. That is why you cannot love two people the same. It simply is not possible. You love each person differently because of who they are and the uniqueness that they draw out of you.” 836 likes
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