136 of 154 people found the following review helpful
the only book I started rereading as soon as I finished,
This review is from: The The Shack (Paperback)
I would normally stay far away from 'Christian fiction' genre. A friend lent me this book so I read it. It is incredible.
The story is simple Mack's young daughter is abducted and killed on a family camping trip. Obviously this changes his life and makes him very bitter to God. The book is about a weekend Mack spends with God at the invitation of God at the place where his daughter was killed. It seems a really risky subject matter particularly as fiction. The conversations between God in his three persons and Mack which form the main part of the book are hugely thought provoking and unsurprisingly rather moving.
I found a sense of understanding about some issues that have been doubts in my faith. The overwhelming message is about how incredibly God loves every one of his children - people of faith and no faith. It certainly blows away a lot of the way 'religion' is seen and I found that hugely refreshing.
As soon as I finished reading it I started reading certain sections all over again.
For the reviewer who suspects a conspiracy because the other reviewers who gave a 5* hadn't reviewed anything else - I have, if that somehow makes any difference to my opinion.
I don't know how a reader of other faiths or no faiths would find the book - I suspect fairly irritating, although I feel still a lot could be taken away from it.
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Initial post: 20 Jun 2009 23:08:14 BDT
You reviewed a lot of books about religion. For the average reader looking for a fresh perspective this book lacks REAL depth.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2009 00:17:19 BDT
I read a fair variety of things, but I guess I may read more on religion than the average reader. The review was my opinion of the book and I wasn't trying to speak for the average reader as I am not sure who they are.
I would ask what do you mean by REAL depth? It is a novel after all. What would you have felt needed to be done to give that depth?
However thankyou for commenting as it's more interesting to know why people agree or disagree with my reviews than simply get "yes" or "no" helpful remarks, as it seems they often seem to be given by people who have read the book and either agree or disagree with the review - it's helpfulness in chosing a book seems irrelevant.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2009 10:55:06 BDT
I'm interested in religion and wasn't looking to dislike this book. In fact I really wanted to react to it in the same way as you and the many others who have given it 5 stars.
The "real depth" I refer to means that I hoped it would be though-provoking. I was disappointed that the silly imagery (God=folksy black woman who likes cooking; Jesus=carpenter with a big nose!!??) detracted from the message.
The fact that the author took so many religious metaphors and repeated them (walking on water, Adam and Eve) instead of taking fresh angles, was it's biggest failure. The Shack serves the strong believers who unquestioningly take the word of the Bible as absolute fact and history. Like so many "average readers" I was looking for something with a fresh perspective to engage me in religion instead of reusing imagery (with the exception of God - but even that was reminiscent of The Matrix) and stories already told.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2009 23:07:20 BDT
Ok I understand better now. It is interesting you comment on God being like the woman in The Matrix, I had forgotten that, and have heard that for quite a lot of more traditional white believers it has been a challenge to even consider a black God.
Obviously I am not clear what your views are on Christainity and I am not looking to get into a theological discussion on line.
I suspect if you read the Shack you are not resistant to the ideas of the Christian faith. As you commented I have reviewed quite a few books on religion. In reality some of the other novels I've read I did not review since there were already so many reviews out there and adding one more didn't seem very worthwhile (of course that could easily be said for the Shack now but it wasn't the case when I wrote the review). In terms of readable but more deep stuff I was really impressed with "Finding My Way Home" by Henri Nouwen. He was a French Catholic priest and Harvard professor who ended his days living among a community of disabled people in Canada, it is his reflections on his Christian God seen from his experiences in L'Arche community.
However I fully accept that since you don't agree with my assessment of the Shack, I might not be the best person in the world to be recommending other books to you.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2010 17:49:16 GMT
Oh, for goodness sake. God is not a person. God does not have a colour. God is a concept, a personification. The problem with most human beings is that their imagination is so limited that they can't think of the divine without giving it human attributes. Personally I think that is one of the essential problems with Christianity as opposed to, say, Buddhism.
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