The Shack: more of a Shambles

A Christian friend of mine lent me a copy of The Shack a few months ago and I figured that I’d read it. I might be a bit of a heathen but I have quite an interest in theological things.

This book has an enormous following around the world with well over a million copies of this 248 page book in circulation and glowing tributes printed all over the cover, front and back.

I have no idea why this is so. I thought it was a rather badly written book with dubious ideas.

Don’t get me wrong – I quite liked the idea behind it. A guy’s daughter is abducted and presumably murdered, he has a crisis of faith before God comes along and explains a few Truths about the purpose of life and the love that God has for His creation.

My main problems with the book arise from the fact that the author really isn’t a very good writer. His prose is adequate enough I suppose, but he’s more talented amateur than professional novelist. It’s all a bit preachy too, especially if you don’t think that we all descended from Adam.

I hear from another Christian friend that there’s some rather dodgy religion in here too. I can understand why. The book portrays the Holy Trinity is a rather unusual way. Nothing wrong with that but the author’s made some very strange choices with the characters that he’s picked. He’s also unable to portray his character’s voices in a convincing way – just about all the speech in the book in indistinguishable between characters (author’s voice rather than the character’s) and it really spoiled the whole read for me.

Clearly this book wasn’t aimed at me. It has no hope of changing my opinion about the creation of mankind especially as it uses a very literal Christian view of Creation. It isn’t written well enough to engage me as a novel as I really didn’t care about any of the characters.

So, why do so many people rave about it?

Not my cup of tea

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