ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Books & Novels

Book Review of The Shack by Wm. Paul Young - Updated January 2017 (with movie trailers)

Updated on January 26, 2017
The Shack
The Shack | Source

UPDATE JANUARY 2017

On March 3 of this year The Shack, the wonderful novel which has now touched an untold amount of lives is coming to the silver screen. It has been adapted and filmed as a feature film starring Tim McGraw (The Blind Side, Friday Night Lights), Octavia Spencer (The Help, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters), Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation, Avatar) and one of my personal favorites actors, Graham Green (Dances With Wolves, The Green Mile). Others attached to the film include Ryan Robbins (Apollo 18), Radha Mitchell (The Frozen Ground, Olympus Has Fallen) and Megan Carpenter (Red Riding Hood). This will be an amazing film for all to see! I will include two of the trailers here for all to see.

The Shack


My Review of “The Shack” by William P. Young

If you have already read this book, take a moment and let me know how you came to read it. Did someone suggest it to you? Was it given to you to read, and give back? Was it given to you to read, with the expectation of passing it along to another? I am interested to know how you came to know of it. I understand it has topped 18,000,000 copies sold. If you think about that, it is astounding. What astounds me more is that I believe each copy has been passed along to read by others more than once, bringing the total touched by this book to a level nearing unbelievable status. Myself, it came to me from one who worked for me. I didn’t know if they were trying to tell me something or not, but I took it as being something I would like to read for myself. Nothing was told to me concerning the plot, just a notion that I would enjoy it. I read, so I read.

I have now purchased, read and passed on seven copies of this book. I am on my eighth copy. Yes, eighth. I cannot say how many times I have read it but is is well into double digits.

This is a story about a man who has The Great Sorrow thrust upon him, and his family. I won’t tell you what it is, but it is a sorrow every parent fears, and one that I surely fear myself. The sorrow is explained in a manner that the reader will follow with difficulty, owing to the pain involved. But, as in all good stories, the event passes in time, although the sorrow lingers for the man. His wife is firmly founded in the spiritual love of her God, whom she refers to affectionately as Papa. I found this relationship between herself and God to be an enviable one, even though we are instructed to not be envious of one another. Who wouldn’t love to have that type of relationship with God, one that you feel so comfortable with that you could call Him that? The husband, however, is not quite that comfortable. In addition to The Great Sorrow, he has baggage from his past regarding his own father, so a relationship with God in that capacity is difficult. He desires it, but fear and anger cloud his ability to see his way clear to being close.

One day, while his wife and children are gone, he endures an ice storm to walk some distance to the mailbox to check the mail. Once there, he finds a letter, with no postmark, addressed to him. He opens the letter to find a note asking that he meet at The Shack. The letter is signed Papa. Angry at this letter, he feels first that someone is playing a cruel joke upon him and second that The Shack is where The Great Sorrow occurred. He thinks about the letter, and decides he will make the trip to The Shack, even though it is the dead of winter, and the trip could be dangerous.

Once there, he sees The Shack across the clearing, and nothing has changed. No one is there, and he becomes angry. Turning to leave, he feels a warm wind blow across his neck. When he turns back, he sees a changed landscape. Spring is in the air, and winter is nowhere to be found. He approaches the shack, hearing sounds from within. He enters, and finds….


From here, you need to experience the story for yourself. I will tell you I read this in an afternoon the first time. I was in God’s great outdoors, bow hunting alone, in a stand-alone blind on a warm, sunny late September day. I had no thought as to the reason I thought I was there for, which was supposedly to hunt deer; but now I wonder. In reality, I think I was there to better experience this amazing story. I laughed, I cried, I thought about my family, and my relationship with Papa. I forwarded the book along to someone I wanted to bless, for I came to understand that this was truly a blessing. Every time I enter a small bookstore, I look for this book. If I find it, I purchase it and pass it along to someone. Every person I have spoken to about it are amazed by it; every person I have passed it on to has thanked me and relayed what a joy it was to experience it. I have had it returned a few times, with the person returning it not because they failed to love it, but because they went and purchased their own copy. I pass it on, time and again. Look for it, and pick it up. While it is not a large book, it is powerful. It has the capacity to change lives as few works of the written word can do.


The video below explains some of why Young portrays God as he does. It is heartrendingly reasonable to listen to what occurred, both from his side and from another side of the story. Sadly, I believe that what he relays is far too common in religions today, and yet we are all supposed to be believing the same thing. Listen, and decide for yourself.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 2 years ago from Missouri

      I completely agree: those first chapters are hard! But the sentiment that follows, the understanding that God is there for us ALWAYS! All we have to do is open the door and allow him to greet us. How uplifting is that! Thank you Shanmarie for your endorsement; I hope others read the book as you yourself have and receive the gift that awaits all of us. Take care!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 2 years ago from Texas

      I have read thus book and I loved it. It was given to me to read by a friend in exchange for one of mine for her to read. Actually, now that you remind me, I gave it back to her and never received my own back. Oh well.

      I would totally recommend giving it to others to read. It's an incredible read that is highly thought-provoking. Although, it is hard to get through the first few chapters emotionally.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I will for sure let you know, Mike. And I will come back and watch the videos after I read the book. Thanks.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 2 years ago from Missouri

      My pleasure Phyllis! The videos don't really give much away, but they are surely worth a look and listen once you've read it. Let me know how you found it once you have read it; I would really be interested. Thanks, Mike.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Mr. Archer. I have not read the book yet, but certainly want to, for you have stirred the interest in me to do so - thank you. I did not watch the videos because I want to read the book first and get my own feeling for it.

      Thanks for this review and introduction of "The Shack".

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Johanna, thank you for your kind comments. I totally agree with your statement regarding a light bulb moment. We do not have to keep God at arm's length! He desires a much closer bond than that. This book brings to light that very thing, that He is as close as a thought, a touch, a dream. He is wherever we desire Him to be, or wherever we put Him. Some people and religions keep Him out of reach of the masses, perfering to direct the people through a single person: my God has never been such a God. I speak with him at any time of the day, regardless of what I am doing, where I am, or who I am with. I do not need confession; I confess anytime I feel I have a reason to confess.

      Sorry, I tend to ramble at times. I have to say that this book has touched an untold amount of lives. If I am not mistaken, it has sold some 10 million copies or more, and if you factor in the amount of times it has been loaned out, given freely, or checked out of a library, I would say that number increases several times over. The effects have been, and wil lcontinue to be far reaching. Truly, a great book.

    • Johanna Baker profile image

      Johanna Mary Elisabeth Baker 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I read this book after someone I worked with several years ago loaned it to me. Needless to say I was touched in a way that I had not thought possible even as a Christian, but it was a 'light-bulb' moment for me and brought a picture of God's reality up close and personal. I since went on to buy my own copy and I have loaned it to my sister. Sometimes the story really connects and other times not so much, but I would imagine not one person reading it could remain totally unaffected... Thanks for your well written and insightful hub on this wonderful book.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 5 years ago from Missouri

      Jane, not to be disrespectful, but which version of the Bible are you speaking of? There are many versions of the Bible, many interpretations of the original texts, all interpreted by man, and therefore open to mistakes, misrepresentations and such. The books of the Bible itself are a grouping of writings which were selected by men to be the text we read today. As with the many faces of religion, there are many texts which say theirs is the only true statement about God and His works. Some religions feel that only their followers will make it to heaven, and there is a finite number of those who will succeed in their quest. I prefer to think that God loves us and will accept us not because of the limitations we place on ourselves and the walls we create amongst ourselves, but because we live life based on His examples: treat others the way we want to be treated, and believe in His Son and that He died for our sins. I realize I am using the masculine in this statement, but that is only because I am comfortable in the usage. Others may not be. We, as fallible man, cannot hope to understand all that He is, and will only get that opportunity in our next life, in Heaven.

    • jdmanista profile image

      jdmanista 5 years ago from Ladera Ranch, CA

      That's a great point, Jenna. I don't think that the author it trying to insinuate whether or not God is a man or a woman. I believe that the point was that God can be whoever we need God to be, whether that is Father or Mother, or even Jesus. The Bible may refer to God as He, but it is obvious that God can take on any form that He chooses. I thought that the story was extremely compelling and that is what we should be focusing on, not the "logistics" as Jenna put it.

    • Jenna Kunc profile image

      Jenna Kunc 5 years ago from Colorado

      I think that the book isn't necessarily saying that God is a woman, but I also don't think that God is a man either. Yes, the Bible gives him male characteristics and refers to him as He, but we also have to acknowledge that God the Father is not a human. He isn't an old man, as people so often picture him. I agree that whenever a book talks about God, we cannot take it as doctrine, but I also think it's easy to get caught up in the logistics and forget the main idea. He's referred to as a Father because he is a caretaker, a protector, a fighter, and we are his children. But he is also not a man.

    • Jane Grey profile image

      Ann Leavitt 5 years ago from Oregon

      I was just discussing this book at church with some friends, and we were mutually concerned by the author's portrayal (or denial) of the trinity. God the father is not a woman, as the Bible specifically gives him masculine character traits. Another thing that was concerning was the book's carelessness with the doctrines that are the core of the Bible's theology and which have been upheld for centuries by faithful Bible historians. It's important to take any book that speaks about God and weigh it against the Bible, as the Bible is our ultimate standard and will always be the authority on who God really is.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 5 years ago from Missouri

      Jenna and jd, thank you for your comments. Jenna, you are right about how this book challenges how we perceive God. One of my favorite things to say is "God made man, man made religion". When I read how the author had Jesus feel about politics, religion, and economics, it really made me feel good to think others feel the same way: that these are man made artifacts which cause more harm than good in the world. I do not like the fact that religion separates us from one another, when we all are children of God. I asked a question on Hubpages recently about if God created man, and man created religion, what did religion create. Only a few answers so far, but it goes to show what we feel about this subject. And jd, this coincides with the Colorado tragedy perfectly. God doesn't create the tragedy, but he can work wonders with it. Read my story here on Hubpages "Hell's Half Hour". This is just a portion of the story. The rest is available on Kindle for a nominal charge. It shows what I thought of the F5 tornado which hit my hometown last May. Let me know what you think of this story, if you would. Thanks for the comments!

    • jdmanista profile image

      jdmanista 5 years ago from Ladera Ranch, CA

      I agree that this was an amazing book. My wife brought me to Christ and she was the one that recommended that I read this book. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first, but after getting into it, I have to say that it is an amazing read and really makes you think about tragedy in a different way. I was watching news coverage of the Colorado massacre this morning and someone mentioned how sad it is that the small child was killed and how it makes people debate the existence or will of God. After reading this book I will never debate his love or plan again, though I will no doubt see difficult times throughout my life.

    • Jenna Kunc profile image

      Jenna Kunc 5 years ago from Colorado

      I went to a Christian high school and one of the teachers recommended it during class. I think it's a great book that really challenges how we perceive God.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 5 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you for your kind comments. It most assurdedly is an amazing book. Read your copy again before passing it along. Thanks again!

    • calynbana profile image

      Christina 5 years ago from Toronto

      It really was an amazing book. I had it passed along to me by my fiancé. We then passed it along again. I bought another copy but I had forgotten until I read this Hub. I suppose it is time it finds a new home :) Great hub, I hope it encourages some readers to pick up the book and give it a read!