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The Shack

November 7th, 2007

»A review of The Shack, by William P. Young. Is it one of the best novels ever?


The Shack, by William P. Young, is one of the best books, the best stories, I’ve ever read.

After reading Shawn Anthony’s glowing endorsement and then a slew of excited reviews at, I decided to simply pick up The Shack locally and read it post haste. To my dismay, local stores from Family Christian to Borders had not heard of it and certainly did not stock it. So I ordered it from Amazon and waited.

By the time The Shack arrived I had tempered my eagerness a bit; no little novel is as good as all that. Also, you know how it is when your expectations have been built up too high. The reality is always less than your grand expectations.

The Reality of The Shack

Oddly enough, The Shack is better than those grand expectations. What’s odder still is that I was disappointed in a few respects, and The Shack is still better than my early, grand expectations.

One book that has always amazed me is The Great Divorce, by C. S. Lewis. It presents things in a way that I had never considered, but find fascinating. The Shack has all the wonder of The Great Divorce and two or three times the joy.

It will be tough to think about God in the same way after reading this book.

The Plot

The Shack is a story of a man who meets God. For me to explain more would run the risk of ruining the joy of reading it for yourself, but it is probably safe to quote the back of the book.

Mackenzie Allen Philips’ 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 the 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 a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.

Read The Shack

The Shack is a must-have, must-read book.

The Shack is written in an engaging, creative style that will move you to tears, cause you to laugh out loud, and make you feel renewed (but a little sad) when you finish it.

There are a several points while reading The Shack where my brow furrowed and the book was looking maybe a bit “out-there,” but it redeemed itself handily in all but a couple spots. And again, it is still a phenomenal book, tiny little warts and all.

Visit The Shack website.

Tags: Books · Christian · Reviews

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