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Shack, The Paperback – Jul 1 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Word Alive (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: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 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, 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

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

143 of 160 people found the following review helpful By Neko on March 21 2008
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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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Melissa M. Grant on Feb. 11 2009
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bart Breen TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 26 2009
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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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Peter Cantelon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 2 2008
Format: Paperback
The book tells the story of one man's intense tragedy, years of ensuing "great sadness" and his meeting with God one day which leads to some profound changes in his life spiritually and emotionally. It is a story profound compassion, forgiveness and healing that also manages to weave some pretty deep theology into the mix.

Eugene Peterson, the translator of The Message paraphrase of the Bible as well as the author of several books on pastoral theology says "This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his. It's that good!"

Like Pilgrim's Progress, The Shack is heavy on matephorical/allegorical imagery. This is a book I would call an exercise in stretching. Whether you perceive yourself as conservative or liberal, orthodox or unorthodox, modern or post-modern, evangelical or emergent this book will stretch you at some point in your theology. Sometimes stretching can lead to breaking but with The Shack I think the stretching is actually a good and potentially beneficial exercise.

At its most helpful The Shack offers a refreshing interpretation of the Trinity and what forgiveness and a healing journey with God might look like. At its most controversial (stretching) it offers some strong words about institutionalized religion/Christianity and a strong affirmation of the orthodox understanding of creation.

Scattered with quotes from a variety of people including A.W. Tozer, Dostoevsky, C.S. Lewis and Bruce Cockburn I believe The Shack will become an excellent resource in grief counseling and I highly recommend it - especially for book clubs and/or study groups.
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