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The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  444,562 Ratings  ·  29,739 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 his ...more
Audiobook, Unabridged, 9 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Oasis Audio (first published May 1st 2007)
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  • The Shack by William Paul Young
    The Shack
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    Release date: Sep 26, 2017
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    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…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

    (showing 1-30)
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    Jay
    Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    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♥
    Feb 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    ...more
    Renee
    Dec 01, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    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  ·  review of another edition
    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
    .
    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
    Candace
    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
    ...more
    Eric Bjerke
    Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    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
    ...more
    Natalie Vellacott
    My updated comments on the book and movie are here; https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...

    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
    ...more
    Books Ring Mah Bell
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    C.J.
    Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Jill
    Dec 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    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.
    Mary
    Jan 16, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    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.
    Christina
    Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Jennifer
    Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Stephanie
    Why?

    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
    ...more
    booklady
    Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    One of the worst books I've ever read in my life. Don't like my opinion?



    #haveablessedday
    Elisa
    Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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...
    Bear
    Aug 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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 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
    ...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
    Jen
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Donovan
    Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Lyn
    Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    ...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
    Elyse
    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.
    Werner
    Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    D.G.
    Jul 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: dnf, audiobook, 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
    ...more
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    15481463
    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
    ...more
    More about William Paul Young...
    “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......” 1403 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.” 947 likes
    More quotes…