I realize I’m arriving at the party late, but if you enjoyed The Shack, (or plan on enjoying it) you might not appreciate this review. I did not enjoy it. “Hate” is a strong word, so I really disliked it for several reasons. So if this were a real party, Iwouldn’t be sad to miss it.
This isn’t the type of book I’d normally pick up, but it had been recommended to me by several people who I consider to be highly intelligent, so I gave it a shot. I almost didn’t finish the book, but I kept on, in hopes of it getting better. It didn’t.
What I was hoping for in reading this book were some answers to the universal question we all ask, if God is all-knowing and all-powerful, then why is there so much bad in the world? Why do terrible things happen to good, undeserving people? This book not only doesn’t answer or even entertain answering this, but instead it talks in circles with horrendous, hokey dialogue, while simultaneously painting a picture of the characters of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as rather depressing entities. Depressing because of the way they speak, which is indirectly, with flowery language that, stripped down, ultimately means nothing.
It feels as if the author was trying to relay some “aha-moments” to readers via what are supposed to be “deep” revelations but what, to me, just felt like one big contrived plot covered in unicorn dust – this author loves to be unnecessarily descriptive, using cheesy descriptions at that; if a Thomas Kincaid painting could speak, this book would be the result.
Mack is the main character of the book, and his daughter was brutally murdered years ago in an isolated shack. He gets a note from “God” one day, asking Mack to revisit the shack where his daughter was murdered, and what supposedly unfolds for the next couple hundred pages is “life-changing.” Mack meets the Holy Trinity, who manifest as a large, African-American woman, a Middle-Eastern man, and an Asian woman. Mack spends the next few days with them, listening to them dispel the secrets of “God’s plan” in between winking and chuckling a lot. I was ready to throw the book across the room if I read about one more person winking or chuckling. As for helping Mack find some peace surrounding the death of his daughter? Well, he seems to be cool with the answers he gets. I’m not. In fact, I’m insulted.
What I got out of this book is that God likes to cook. Jesus is clumsy and the Holy Spirit is annoying.
A lot of people seem to love this book and get a lot out of it, so don’t let one negative reviewer rain on your hope parade for this one. Although, I had high hopes for it, too. I know that none of us really knows the answer of why bad things happen in the world, but then I felt that this book shouldn’t claim to have the answer. I’ll be checking out some C. S. Lewis now for what will hopefully make me feel a little better.