You’ll either love it or hate it–that is the general consensus from readers of The Shack by William P. Young. I was so sure I was going to hate it. Let me tell you why. In the past when churches have “created” a bestseller with all of their hype, I have not been a fan.
I wouldn’t call myself a book snob because I enjoy many genres, including Christian fiction (by a few select authors), and I generally finish novels whether they are good or not. My curiosity wins out in the end.
After having many people ask me about the book I finally went out and bought a copy. To be honest, The Shack is a great novel. It is well-written, entertaining, and personally, I am not offended by any of the theology.
While reading I kept thinking of something my dad always quotes. It is a blurb he saw about the movie Deliverance. This might be a bit paraphrased: “Twenty minutes into the movie and you are in the canoe with them.” The same can be said of The Shack. I was in the forest and in the shack with the main character, Mack. I cried with him and felt his anger. Mack is everyone.
Young’s characterization makes it impossible for the reader to separate themselves from the situation and circumstances Mack is going through in the novel. I had to set it aside several times, reread a few parts, and haven’t stopped thinking about the novel since reading the first page a few weeks ago. The only semblance of criticism I can bring myself to say is that the novel can sometimes make the reader feel too much.
Surprising even myself I have already recommended this novel to a friend. This discovery leads me on a new adventure to try some of the other books I casually scoffed at reading.