Spitzit’s House

Where serious topics come to relax

Book Review – “The Shack” by William P. Young


In short, I read The Shack and it didn’t change my life…but it did make me think.

There are a ton of reviews about this book on the internet and many of the reviews seem about as long as the book itself. I was glad to see that I am not the only one who was not gushing over this book, but not for the same reason as most. You see, I am not a theologian, and therefore I am not really able to speak intelligently on the biblical inaccuracies of The Shack. So, I guess I am just going to have to base my review on my personal, but human experience with this book.

Fact of the matter is, I don’t really care whether The Shack is Biblically accurate or not. It doesn’t matter to me. The bottom line is that the book is fiction, but is written in such a way as to make the reader potentially believe that all of this really happened. And if you really want to know the truth, it actually kind of pissed me off at times, simply due to the heinous nature of the crime that William uses in order to deliver his religious point. I am going to rant here for a minute…

There are a lot of people in this world that have a Great Sadness for losing a child or a loved one. Many of them, I imagine are angry or resentful just as Mack was, and many more are far beyond even that. If I were one of these “real” people soaking in a Great Sadness…and I just read this book…do you want to guess what I would be thinking?

Where the heck is my personal little note from “Papa” inviting me to come spend a weekend drinking coffee and hanging out with the Holy Trinity? I need some quality time strolling on water and skipping rocks with Jesus, eating heavenly pancakes with a big beautiful black female version of God, or working in the garden with the Holy Ghost all the while being comforted and brought to realize that I need to just let myself be completely dependent and trusting of God. Why did Mack get picked? Am I and everyone else supposed to just read this and live vicariously through Mack’s personal experience? If this happened to me, meaning a murdered child, then I can assure you I would need a weekend with God as well, and you know what? Mack would be saying the same thing if his Holy Intervention had not happened to him, and he found out that someone else got some hang time with the Lord and he did not.

By the way, God does not interfere or intervene in the affairs of humans. He (or She…or Whatever) is always with us, but will not intervene…except for with Mack, of course. This Holy Intervention is just one of the many contradictions in this book. Oh, and I am pretty sure that humanizing God in any form, and then putting words in His/Her mouth, in an effort to have the reader believe that these are really God’s words is probably not cool with God. But, then again, God and I haven’t been fishing or golfing together lately, so I could be totally wrong.

Anyway, I don’t want you to think I hated the book, because I didn’t. The Shack is truly an emotional book and it did make me cry in a couple of spots. But it made me angry as well, and then it made me really think about forgiveness and my own spirituality and personal relationship with God…

Holy Trinity, Batman! What am I saying!? It made me cry, it made me angry, it made me think? This sounds like all the ingredients of a book that sucked me in by striking a few emotional nerves. Hmmm, maybe that was Willie’s intent, or maybe not. Willie says he wrote the story for his six kids, and it is in some way representative of his own life and experiences. I don’t really know what to think. At any rate, I can unequivocally state that this book may have the greatest intentions, and it may positively affect many of the readers…I mean, hey, if you read it and walk away feeling like a better person for it then that is cool, but the book did not affect me or change me in any way, shape, or form…I don’t think.

Dear Lord, this is my humble opinion and I am sticking with it…unless you say otherwise, Amen.


December 17, 2008 Posted by | Book Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments