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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Shack

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young is a publishing phenomena. It's subtitled "Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity. It is a novel about faith. A father loses a child. The question comes to him as to presence of God in a world filled with evil and unspeakable pain. In his search for answers he finally visits the the shack where his young daughter was murdered. There he meets God, who is a black woman who makes really good pancakes. Huh? Jesus a young middleaster fellow with a big nose. Very understanding and kindly is he. And The Holy Ghost, who likes purple, appears to be of Asian extraction and is otherwise quite undescribable.

Obviously it's a fairy tale. An allegory of the quality of Pilgrims Progress? I think not. Fairy tales though, can provide wonderful moral lessons or be just plain silly. Millions of people have, apparently, felt this book to be a life altering reading experience. At least many, who might be of a less than a traditional Christian point of view, have recommended it to their friends. That's how I got it. Perhaps it's a derivative of the "Emergent Church."

The writing is weak at times and the lengthy dialogue seems trite at points. Yet, to many the underlying questions and answers must be profound.

I don't believe in fairy tales. I know all about losing a child. A good book reviewer should be able to tell his readers whether a book is worth reading or not. I can't do that because, theologically speaking, quite simply this book was way beyond my understanding. You see in the end, it is a matter of faith.


Sarah Laurence said...

Excellent review! I've heard a lot about this book and have puzzled over it's huge success. It does sound original.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am sorry for your loss..parents should never out live their is not fair.
You are correct is all about faith.
I will pass on that book..I am backlogged and have enough books to read for years;)

EcoRover said...

Thanks for the review. Think I'll re-read Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD instead. Not so much about faith, but an incredible tale of love between a father & son, pure perseverance, the meanness of our brethren, and a lot of luck.