The Shack by William P. Young
Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

54%

27 Critic Reviews

The Shack is predictable. By the time you read the first 30 pages, you know how it's going to end. That said, it's an easy read, and Young tells a tight, well-constructed story that holds your interest. He really should have edited out the hokey walking on water scenes with Jesus, though.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

Mackenzie Allen Phillips's 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 this 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 wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.
 

About William P. Young

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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.
 
Published June 20, 2008 by Windblown Media. 298 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Comics & Graphic Novels, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Shack
All: 27 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 17

Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Karen Bentley on Aug 04 2009

The Shack is predictable. By the time you read the first 30 pages, you know how it's going to end. That said, it's an easy read, and Young tells a tight, well-constructed story that holds your interest. He really should have edited out the hokey walking on water scenes with Jesus, though.

Read Full Review of The Shack: Where Tragedy Conf... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Below average
Reviewed by Karen Bentley on Aug 04 2009

The Shack is predictable. By the time you read the first 30 pages, you know how it's going to end. That said, it's an easy read...He really should have edited out the hokey walking on water scenes with Jesus, though

Read Full Review of The Shack: Where Tragedy Conf... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Erica Smith on Mar 18 2014

Theology is a study of God so basically this book is consumed in literary genius and biblical thought. This is definitely a book all Christians should read and even discuss together.

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Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by Paul Erland on Dec 03 2012

Young's equal-opportunity casting offended many church people, but the real crime perpetrated by the novel is against good prose, dialogue, and plot.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Lynn Pinder on Mar 04 2012

I would encourage everyone to read this book. However, I would encourage Christian writers to read the book and glean from Windblown Media's example.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by DJ Streat on Jul 25 2011

The mystical visitation, captivation and rapture in the storyline of “The Shack” is an adventure fit for the big screen.

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Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Pam Hogeweide on Oct 25 2009

Amazing portrait of God as the gracious, merciful compassionate Being that he is as revealed in the Triune Godhead. I'd have given it four or five if the writing had wowed me a bit more.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Gail Welborn on Aug 06 2009

Written with exquisite emotional detail, the chapters end with such excitement and intrigue the pages—and time— slip by without notice. Don’t start this compelling book until you have time to finish it.

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Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Kevin Holtsberry on Jun 26 2009

The Shack is an interesting read that has some theological insights and packs some emotional punch but leans toward emotionalism and lacks coherence on a few issues.

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Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by Kathleen Perez on Apr 28 2009

The first part of the book, from the beginning to almost halfway through, is wonderful...It's too bad that the rest of the book was a huge disappointment.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Marcia Ford on Jan 23 2011

...if you understand allegory and don't have a problem with an open-minded exploration of the nature of God, you'll discover plenty of food for thought in THE SHACK.

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Pajiba

Below average
on Sep 19 2008

Young’s theology that he presents in the heart-to-hearts between Mack and the Divine also suffers at the hands of his poor writing skills, but in the end the great “message” of The Shack is just a bunch of watered-down Christian doctrine mixed with modern self-help psychology and swirled together in the spin cycle.

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About.com Bestsellers

Above average
Reviewed by Erin Collazo Miller on Apr 08 2015

This is a decidedly Christian answer in a somewhat shallow story with forced dialogue. It's not the best writing in the world, but I can easily see how if you read The Shack at the right moment, it has the power to change your life.

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About.com Bestsellers

Above average
Reviewed by Erin Collazo Miller on May 15 2009

It's not the best writing in the world, but I can easily see how if you read The Shack at the right moment, it has the power to change your life. I know I'm still thinking about it, and I received enough gems from the novel to recommend it to others.

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The Gospel Coalition

Below average
Reviewed by Tim Keller on Jan 27 2010

The Shack effectively deconstructs the holiness and transcendence of God...Half a God is not God at all.

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Journey With Jesus

Good
Reviewed by Dan Clendenin on Apr 12 2014

The Shack isn't great literature, but it's worth reading as a fresh take on what Christians claim is good news.

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Apprising Ministries

Below average
Reviewed by Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Sep 15 2008

The Shack, while occasionally getting things right is, in the end, a dangerous piece of fiction...misrepresents the biblical teachings concerning the Godhead and offers a New Age understanding of God and the universe. This is not a great novel to explain tragedy and pain.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by hilaryg on May 02 2014

For someone who didn’t know he was an author when he wrote The Shack, William Paul Young, not only had an impact on the world but had an impact on me.

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Teen Ink

Above average
on May 01 2014

The Shack is a book recommended to Sunday school classes looking for a quasi-engaging experience that will burn a few weeks of class.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Nolan on May 01 2014

I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fantastic read and a deeper look into the world of god.

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Devourer of Books

Below average
on Jan 23 2009

The premise and execution are very interesting, if the questions above hold an interest for you. The writing is pretty mediocre though, not anywhere approaching terrible, but definitely not great.

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Hope Chest Reviews

Good
on Apr 11 2015

I highly recommend The Shack to anyone who wants to be challenged in their faith and understanding of God or anyone who might be looking for a different interpretation of God than what many churches are offering today.

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Reading to Know

Below average
Reviewed by Carrie on Oct 21 2008

It is NOT just entertainment. It is subversive and distracting and therefore not worth the time of day...I'm truly sorry that this book exists.

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https://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com

Below average
on Apr 11 2015

The Shack is written with all the literary ability of a minimally talented 12 year old trying to sound like a grown up and contrives to be both patronizing and half-baked at the same time.

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http://catholicmediareview.blogspot.com

Above average
Reviewed by JULIE D. on Jul 24 2008

I did enjoy this book and definitely am going to reread it, if for no other reason than many of the things in it are true and inspiring. However, this is a work of fiction and the reader is warned not to swallow the author's occasionally dubious theology whole and adapt it as their own.

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Fervent Reader

Below average
on Jul 10 2009

This book simply wasn’t for me, though, and was very difficult to slog through. The idea of meeting God in a shack to hash out religious ideology seemed like a good one, but Young’s execution was just so hokey that I can’t bring myself to recommend this book to anyone.

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Below average
on Sep 01 2008

The Shack, while occasionally getting things right is, in the end, a dangerous piece of fiction. It undermines Scripture and the church, presents at best a mutilated gospel, misrepresents the biblical teachings concerning the Godhead and offers a New Age understanding of God and the universe.

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Reader Rating for The Shack
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13586 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Michael Manley 20 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5