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Shack, The Paperback – Jul 1 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Word Alive; 1st edition (July 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964729237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964729230
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


'Brilliant! One of the most faith-enhancing books I have ever read' Bear Grylls 'Clearly the book is speaking loud and clear to a lot of people' The Independent Bunyanesque ... bold, imaginative, humane and funny. Church Times This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his. It's that good! Eugene Peterson 'This is the most heart-warming, inspirational story I have read in decades. If you only read one book in the next year...read THE SHACK' J.John 'By far the most captivating, deliciously written and theologically refreshing page turner of a novel I have ever read.' Gerald Coates, Pioneer 'Dangerous, dangerous way to do off-the-hook theology, I love it! It's not just what happens when a theologian becomes storyteller: this is what happens when a survivor who has experienced God decides to tell a story. This should be required reading in spirituality/theodicy classes everywhere. The Shack will quickly become a modern classic, and it will inspire imitators. But very few will match the competence of this work.' Siku THE SHACK is the most absorbing work of fiction I've read in many years. My wife and I laughed, cried and repented of our own lack of faith along the way. THE SHACK will leave you craving for the presence of God. Michael W. Smith, Recording Artist This story reads like a prayer - like the best kind of prayer, filled with sweat and wonder and transparency and surprise. If you read one work of fiction this year, let this be it. Mike Morrell, Zoecarnate.com Reading THE SHACK during a very difficult transition in my life, this story has blown the door wide open to my soul. Wynonna Judd, Recording Artist --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Wm. Paul Young was born a Canadian and raised among a Stone Age tribe by his missionary parents in the highlands of former New Guinea. He suffered great loss as a child and young adult and now enjoys the "wastefulness of grace" with his family in the Pacific Northwest.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am one of the people who dislikes religious organisations, rarely goes to church, and have been unsure where a loving God fits into the dreadful things that go on in the world. I picked up this book by mistake, and read it with the intention of writing a harsh review advising others to save their money. It turns out that I was wrong. This is a very readable book, which addresses questions such as "Why did God let this happen?" and "Does God really have an interest in what goes on in the world?" without being preachy or pious. I was delighted by the humour contained within the pages, which made the sadness in the story bearable. Buy a copy for yourself and a friend! I'm not going to tell you what happens - you'll have to read it yourself.
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Format: Paperback
The Shack is clearly an influential book, and judging by its prodigious sales a lot of people are reading it. As well I noticed that it has (especially in Canada) received a lot of controversial reviews. There are those who love it, and those who hate it passionately. It seems that a lot of this depends on the reader's theology. I would like to critique this view not based on its theology, but on its inspirational value as a work of fiction

First I would like to start by arguing that this is a work of fiction and that fiction is not the same as nonfiction theology (which some reviews seem to claim). The purpose of a nonfiction theological work is to teach through instruction and argument. Fiction, such as The Shack, however is meant to inspire the imagination through the use of vivid and attention-grabbing tales; fiction strives to rouse our emotions and this allows us to consider issues in a different way. For this reason- and I hope this is already clear- The Shack is not a conclusive theological thesis, but a pointer towards a new way of thinking which can then be either validated or invalidated by looking more into the thoughts and feelings we derive from reading it. It is like listening to Silent Night on Christmas Eve as opposed to listening to a university theology lecture. It is what it is. What is important about this book is how it makes us feel and think.

It is within this context that I would like review The Shack. I do not really care whether it mirrors my theology or not, I care about how the book was written and whether it evokes emotion and personal reflection.
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Format: Paperback
A most impressive read and I gladly add my name to previous statements of having learnt a great deal and shed a tear or two. Yes, it is essentially based on Christian beliefs although I believe this predominantly as due to most people being familiar with God, Jesus and the Holy Trinity in the Western world - no more and no less. The understanding, healing and growing of the protagonist goes much further, much deeper, touching every single reader on a spiritual level, no matter their religious affiliation or lack thereof. I dare presume that everybody can learn a thing or two by reading this novel and will be touched on a very deep level.
The storyline itself is based on a man's life with a background of abuse by his drunken father and subsequently running away as a young teenager who suffers the horrendous loss of his youngest daughter at what appears to be a paedophile's hands. He and his family - especially his other daughter - suffer greatly, being caught in what is described as The Great Sadness, from which there appears to be no escape. When the man receives a note, he decides to keep it secret from his family and follow up on it on his own - and the healing and understanding of events begins.
The Shack essentially teaches about love, understanding and forging relationships in order to overcome hardships in life but equally allows for anger at/about a situation and every person working on themselves and through issues in their lives at their own pace. After all, we are all individuals with our own and unique characteristics and experiences in life.
So, please, do read this extremely well written, expressed and involved book and I assure you, you will not be disappointed!
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Format: Paperback
The Shack is a book that people appear to love or hate as evidenced by the disparity of reviews. Most are 5 stars and those who give it less appear to invariably give it 1 star. To stand out from the crowd, I've decided to give it 4 stars although I easily could have given it 5 stars.

While the book is written as fiction, it clearly is both a theological and psychological book intended to counsel and direct people toward a more personal relationship with God. Difficult concepts are illustrated in a way that make them easier for the reader to understand. This is the book's strength as well as its weakness. Calvinistic theologians appear to take offense at some of the concepts which is not surprising. Calvinism is more about approaching God intellectually and coming up with an answer for every question you can think of, and then some that you probably wouldn't.

It's evident to me that the author takes care in presenting the pictures and conversations with God and seeks to do so in a manner that is helpful. Clearly, it is impossible to present something, such as the Trinity, in a manner that doesn't fail at different levels. In that sense, I can understand the concerns of those who naysay the book, apparently afraid that refrigerator magnets of a black woman, Jesus and an asian women will appear in kitchens across the nation and possibly even replace Gideon Bibles in motels. The horror! Seriously though, there's good room here from some concerns and cautions to not take the message of this book beyond what I believe the author intended.

More than a theological treatise, the message I took away from this book, is that God is personal, accessible and big enough to stand up to our anger and judgement if we want to bring it to Him along with our pain and accusations.
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