6.28.2011

The Shack


"Each relationship between two persons is absolutely unique. That is why you cannot love two people the same. It simply is not possible. You love each person differently because of who they are and the uniqueness that they draw out of you."

This is not the sort of book I typically read. Most often I research my books ahead of time by reading reviews, or discussing them with my sisters - who read more than anyone. This time though, I was at the airport and a co-worker recommended the book to me.

I am on the fence about whether I liked it or not. I surely didn't love it, but I feel like there were some important things I learned from it. From a literary standpoint, it was a disaster. Most of it was dialogue for the sake of dialogue, when only one character was saying anything worthwhile. The main character struggles to develop because other characters are so strongly developed. Admittedly, this book has a lot of flaws.

I was reading it at the dentist, and he asked me what it was about. "Theology" I replied, although I wasn't entirely sure. It is a Christian book, but not really theology - I am not sure where I would put it. At the beginning it states that you can decide for yourself whether or not the events are true. I hated that. Either it's true or it's not - it was too bizarre to be creative nonfiction, and if based on real events, I am not sure what those events are. I was bothered that I couldn't place it in any genre, and that no truth is admitted.

Still, there were some beautiful, redeeming themes that made it a worthwhile read - (if you have already read the Western Canon :) So much was based on forgiveness, moving on, and most of all God's love. Although I definitely don't agree that God is a black woman who cooks all day, some of the text reminded me of God's own love for me. There is a part similar to the miracle of Peter walking on water. That has always been one of my favorite parts of the New Testament, because I think we are all so much like Peter. I also love any sort of fable or tale told within a story and there is a great one about an Indian maid.

Honestly though, I probably wouldn't recommend this book. There are so many more books that made me feel so much more alive than this one, although that was its blatant aim. However, if you enjoy reading Christian literature, you might love it.

Have you read The Shack? What did you think?

10 comments:

annie said...

i read it a while back and just thought it was so-so. if i recall, it stirred up a lot of controversy amongst believers, but truthfully? i'm not sure why. although i suppose some took issue with God's portrayal as a black woman, i didn't mind the comparison. really, it was just the writing and the overall story that i didn't care for. i'm with you: i don't really recommend this one. there are just too many other powerful stories out there, even in Christian literature.

Ash said...

Hated it. I had to read it for a religion class at UGA. Some of the author's interpretations of the Bible and spiritual things rubbed me the wrong way, and a lot of it just seemed like total nonsense, honestly. Just a lot of words with deep meanings strung together.

I also probably feel this strongly about it because my religion professor was kind of bigoted, and he really enjoyed this book.

Emily Meyerhoffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily Meyerhoffer said...

My husband is really obsessed with books and loves to read- I on the other hand haven't read a book sense Jr. High.. and he really wants me pick it up so I can read at night with him. Any suggestions for me? (I'm really not into all the history type books in his collection.) I like love stories and stuff!

Can you help me?

Emily Meyerhoffer said...

Thanks dear! My husband loved The Humger Games too- that might have to be the one!

I'll let you know how this goes. Thanks again!

Catherine Anne said...

I have never read this book, but I have heard about it and I love that quote you picked from it!

Alex said...

I started it and just could not finish it. There was absolutely nothing about it that grabbed me or made me want to keep going. You're right, the writing really was a disaster. It came SO highly recommended, so I was very disappointed.

curlygirl27 said...

No and I couldn't finish it either. Major conceptual disagreements with it as a Christian. I was very disturbed by its lack of acknowledgement of God's HOLINESS and difference from us. "My thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways..."

Most Adoringly said...

interesting book, i too have mixed feeling about it. my dad read it and recommended it to me.

Most Adoringly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.