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The Shack

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  567,511 ratings  ·  33,634 reviews

The Shack, the cherished novel that sold over 23 million copies worldwide, spent 147 weeks on the bestseller list, and went on to become a major motion picture, is now available in a beautiful keepsake edition to celebrate its tenth anniversary of touching lives all over the world.

Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacat
Paperback, 248 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Windblown Media (first published May 1st 2007)
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Thrown With Great Force No. The prose is awful and you won't learn anything. It's a vanity project.…moreNo. The prose is awful and you won't learn anything. It's a vanity project.(less)
Lynda Yeates Praying isn't meant to change God, for He cannot change, praying changes us. Good and bad happens to everyone. Praying for God to intervene in our cir…morePraying isn't meant to change God, for He cannot change, praying changes us. Good and bad happens to everyone. Praying for God to intervene in our circumstances gives us hope. It's important to remember that God is moved not by our situations, but by our faith. Though we may not comprehend, we can trust and believe He is doing everything for a reason.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  567,511 ratings  ·  33,634 reviews

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Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
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 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Amanda J by: Sharon & Ed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natalie Vellacott
Jun 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
My updated comments on the book and movie are here;

I was given this book as a gift many years ago and read the first few chapters. I was annoyed by the profanity. I don't think it is ever okay for a Christian author to use profanity in any circumstances. Why not use alternative words especially in a fictional book. It's like the children who swear to try and shock people or to fit in with the crowd. Christians are called to do neither of these things....l
Feb 03, 2008 rated it liked it
First off this will be lengthy so don’t feel you have to read it
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
Eric Bjerke
Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
While most of my friends seem to have a love or hate relationship with this book, I can't say that I do. I am the rare reader that didn't have a strong opinion about this book, one way or the other. I found it to be good and entertaining enough, but I didn't find it to be life-changing or especially inspirational for me. It was certainly a change from my usual type of story, so that was refreshing in a sense. However, in the end it was in the "good but not great" category for me.

'The Shack' tell
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
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
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Stephanie *Eff your feelings*

Why did you make me do this book club? You all seem like nice people.....what did I do?

Seriously. I missed the book club meeting due to work or I would have yelled out at the top of my lungs 'NOOOOOOO, not The Shack!' But I wasn't there, so instead of reading Cloud Atlas, The Shack happened, and I let it happen with my absence.

*sigh* Where to begin.....

1. I am not a Christian. Strike one for The Shack and me. Many people are and that's fantastic, but this book was so stupid that I have hope
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Aug 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
One of the worst books I've ever read in my life. Don't like my opinion?

Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: poop, religion-or-not
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
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 not my idea of appealing literature. ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity, William Paul Young

The Shack is a novel by Canadian author William P. Young that was published in 2007.

The novel is set in the American Northwest. The main character is Mackenzie Allen Phillips, a father of five called "Mack" by his family and friends.

Four years prior to the main events of the story, Mack takes three of his children on a camping trip to Wallowa Lake near Joseph, Oregon, stopping at Multnomah Falls on the way.

Two of his children ar
Jan 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. (
Aug 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 18, 2008 rated it did not like it
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 it 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 imitato
Elyse  Walters
1.5 rating!

I read this years ago -during the hype. People were raving about it. It was a number 1 best selling book.
Yet, its a 'least' favorite for me. (the book with the manipulated ending)!

Its funny how we come across an old book we have read. (positive or negative). We meet a new member on Goodreads --and before you know it, memories return while reading their reviews.

Why people were so turned on about this book --I'll never understand.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Charlotte May
I really enjoyed The Shack! I found it provided hope and gave answers to a lot of very dark and difficult questions.
It's a book whose enjoyment will vary massively depending on your views toward faith and Christianity (if any) - I have relatives who are Christian and went to a Church of England Secondary School so it was something I was brought up around - which may be why I don't have such serious angry thoughts towards this book as I've seen other reviewers have.
It follows Mack - whose young d
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it
A book that seems to inspire strong emotions - people seem to either love it or hate it.

I am a little surprised to see so many people who did not like the book. One reviewer maybe explained the wide disparity in the need to seperate the work of fiction itself with theology. Perhaps many people are put off by the imaginitive take on Biblical ideals.

As a work of fiction, I found it original and thought provoking. Theologically, it was ungrounded, yet working as an abstract parable, it illustrates
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Skylar Burris
Jul 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christianity
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
Jul 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook, dnf, reviewed
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
Sep 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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Wm. Paul Young is a Canadian author. Young was the oldest of four. He spend the majority of his first decade with his missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea (West Papua), among the Dani, a tribal people. When he was six he was sent to a boarding school.

The manuscript, that later became The Shack, was intended only for his six kids and for a handful of close friends. After mu

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