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The Shack

The Shack

A Novel

Book - 2007
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Mackenzie Allen Phillips' 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 better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant, "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him
Publisher: Newbury Park, Calif. : Windblown Media, c2007
ISBN: 9780964729230
Characteristics: 266 p. ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

#57 The Great American Read

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Oct 24, 2020

"Christian fiction", but, of course, that's redundant.

Apr 30, 2020

There is a significant amount of controversy surrounding this book. This is understandable. In The Shack by William Paul Young, the story begins with Mack Phillips, still wallowing in a "Great Sadness" that occurred a while ago. The book then jumps back in time to explain the brutal, tear-jerking, and traumatizing abduction of his six-year-old daughter, a bloodstained memory that has prevented him from seeking God.
The beginning of the novel is easy to read: camping, a canoe accident, panic, police, and a country-wide search. As soon as the novel begins its heavy discussion of religion and philosophy, delving into concepts of judgment, abuse, and other raw subjects, through bizarrely portrayed members of deity we know, the book becomes difficult to process.
I can only say that I encourage you to continue reading. Like Mack, you won't understand everything. However, especially if you are going through, or have overcome, a "Great Sadness" in your life, Mack's slow and painful journey toward healing will perhaps help you with yours. I am nowhere near being a parent, but this grief of a father was nearly impossible to read about without shedding tears. I would strongly recommend this book regardless of denomination or religion: the raw emotion, character development, and questions about life make it worthwhile.
5 stars out of 5
@StarRead of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jan 17, 2020

murder/message from God

Jul 09, 2019

I think whether you like this book or hate this book (As seems to be the case in the reviews), this book is defiantly a must read. I think, even if you don't agree with the Philosophy in the book, it really makes you think about the roles we make ourselves and our Deities play in the game of life and afterlife.

Feb 12, 2019

Ok, my non Christian friend wanted to read this book so I decided to read it in order to see if it was a good book with a good message about God and if I would recommend it to my friend. I wouldn’t recommend this to my friend or to anyone else!
Since the very beginning of the book, i found the prologue and how it was written to be very confusing.
The part where the girl goes missing felt like I was watching some crime tv show episode, that part of the book I did like but it was literally the only thing I liked in this book.
When Mack goes back to the shack and he supposedly meets God and God is in the shape of a woman, I just couldn’t keep reading the book as that was just so weird, absurd and ridiculous.
Even when I don’t love a book, I always try to finish the book in order to be able to give a full review but with this book I just couldn’t finish the book nor did I even want to read one more chapter.

Oct 07, 2018

This book does not pretend to be scripture so as you read it focus on the allegory and spiritual message and listen to the love in your heart. Regardless of what you believe about God this story does a wonderful job of communicating the blessings of practicing forgiveness = more love, joy and peace every day.
I am definitely a "better" person for having read the book! Truly life affirming and transforming!

Aug 30, 2018

This book is definitely not for everyone. Right up until the whole meeting with God and the shack, it was like any other typical suspense type book.

There was a lot of theology and religious stuff in this, which totally had me glossing over. It was an interesting read for sure but definitely to everyone's taste as everyone takes away from this story differently.

It spends a lot of time with Mack and how he cannot cope with the tragic death of his daughter and how he blames God and has lost his faith. You can feel the anger for sure, but other than that emotion nothing seems to be really fleshed out.

Jun 19, 2018

Unfortunately, this is a quite poorly written folksy, homespun book that falls into the trap of most religious writing - "If I can't understand it, it must be God". I'm an atheist and a good book that intelligently investigates belief in a god via an engaging story can be a great read. I had hoped this would be in that category but sadly, it is not.

Nov 10, 2017

A spiritual experience as opposed to a religious experience. The Shack was very special, although my concept of the Devine does not follow the party line. I liked that the various images of God in The Shack were varied & weren't the ones peddled to me in church as a child. I liked that at one point that God was a black women. Another time he was hippy type of man, etc. It successfully strated the line between the natural & the supernatural world.

Aug 22, 2017

God is in control. He is sovereign over good things, bad things, weather, sickness, death--everything! I read Job before reading the Shack. In Job I learned that because Job trusted God, he could worship Him in his hard times. In the Shack I found the main character, Mack, was suffering for a number of reasons. God in three Persons loved Mack throughout the book reminding him how important relationships are and forgiveness and reconciliation and about the amazing redemption that God provides us through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, Who bore our sins on the Cross . The book reflected how God is right in the middle of all of this suffering wanting and willing to love each of us through our pain. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

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May 18, 2013

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May 27, 2010

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Aug 16, 2012

Provides a different view of justice and how to make peace with a tragic event. The characters are well developed and the read is captivating.

Sep 25, 2011

The synopsis of the book does not set you up for what is to come in the pages of the book. Very difficut content emotionally, followed by an extreme amount of religion and philosophy.


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Jul 08, 2014

" Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors".


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