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