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The Shack  By  cover art

The Shack

By: William P. Young
Narrated by: Roger Mueller
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Publisher's Summary

After his daughter's murder, a grieving father confronts God with desperate questions - and finds unexpected answers - in this riveting and deeply moving number one New York Times best seller.

When Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter Missy is abducted during a family vacation, he remains hopeful that she'll return home. But then, he discovers evidence that she may have been brutally murdered in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness.

Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note that's supposedly from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment, he arrives on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever. 

©2013 William P. Young (P)2013 Hachette Audio

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What listeners say about The Shack

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  • LL
  • 08-07-19

Very religious - not as expected from description

I saw a mention of God in the Audible description and though I’m not religious, I am open minded. This book goes far beyond a mention of religion though - after hours of listening to preachy rhetoric, I’m done with this audio book & can’t even finish it.

I wanted to hear the character’s story & instead it’s like the author is attempting to use this fictitious story to try and convert readers/listeners. The parts where Mack is basically told he’s nobody without God and that women are born of men to be man’s perfect partner sent me over the edge. These may be common themes in religion and are likely the reason I wasn’t brought up to be religious.

Audible - please emphasize the religious content of this story in your description so others who aren’t interested in this type of content don’t waste their money!

258 people found this helpful

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Deeply Disappointing, Dangerously Naive

I was willing to forgive a lot about the writing if the message was thoughtful and engaging. Instead, the writing was mediocre, and the part where there was supposed to be a transformative message was just weird, gratuitous, and fantastical. Personally grappling with God's role concerning deeply evil people and traumatic and cruel circumstances throughout my own life, I was hoping to find a strand of encouragement in my search to redefine a relationship between myself and Him. It took me a little over a year before I felt ready to read this book with an open mind, following some serious trauma through abuse, homelessness, poverty, and loss. The story addressed some of my questions (common ones among survivors of violent crime, parental alienation, childhood abuse, spousal abuse, and murder, etc), but instead of offering a path toward reflection based in scripture - or at the very least, a believable fictional scenario - it made a distracting mockery of them through the truly ridiculous and the vomitously formulaic. It made me angry, actually, with its overblown saccharine tones. Look people, Evil is a real thing. Some folks are evil, and irredeemable. They live among us. God is not the deeply and embarrassingly stereotypical black nurse maid, hand feeding blue jays on the windowsills, and who is "jolly-yet-mournful-for-yo'-troubles-honey-chile," and tucked magically within in idyllic scenery, as this book would rather have you believe. Get real. (And seriously? How did the author think this wasn't going to come across as naive at best, but still insensitive and tone deaf?) Understanding and coping with the reality of Evil among good is urgent to meaningful spirituality. This book paves over it, repressing one of the most critical driving forces behind Love; which is the willingness to truthfully identify and resist Evil. Disabuse yourself of the notion that everything and everyone is forgivable...unless you are prepared to forgive Satan himself, who doesn't even want to be forgiven, as he derives power and pleasure from being a malefactor. And that is pretty much what I think this book would have you do. Avoid.

179 people found this helpful

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Soul Changing

When my son passed away eight years ago, after some time of grieving it was recommended I read this book as a way to bring me to God and alleviate my grief. I had heard many good things but I was afraid - though I never really understood why. I found my way to God about five years ago and have had many encounters with him in my grieving process. I recently put The Shack on my Audible wish list and after seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie I knew it was time to "read" the book. I have never experienced such a profoundly positive effect from any piece of literature except for maybe the Bible. My eyes, mind, heart and soul are forever changed - I so look forward to continue growing in my relationship with God, Jesus and "Sarayu". Thank you - thoroughly enjoyed!

154 people found this helpful

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Restoring!

I didn't know what to expect because I didn't even know the story line. I was looking for a book to listen to for a long drive. This one jumped out at me and yelled 'Read Me'! So, I did. What a wonderful book! You won't be disappointed. This is the first review I have written. Don't normally do. Been a listener for 2 yrs and never written one until now!

137 people found this helpful

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Written for the deeply religious

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Very religious people.

What was most disappointing about William P. Young’s story?

I felt like I was being preached to. I don't mind reading spiritually themed books, but this was over the top. I was not moved, sympathetic or intrigued. Just annoyed. It was dull and long-winded. I was surprised because the ratings and reviews did not even hint at the fact that this book was so incredibly heavy-handed on the god stuff. From the reviews and the synopsis I expected a spiritual theme but certainly not the sermon on the mount that it turned out to be.

Any additional comments?

If you are a person of deep faith and religion then you will probably enjoy this book much better than I. If you are not a believer or just a light believer, then you probably won't.... unless you like 9hrs of being preached to.

134 people found this helpful

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Changed me to my core

I can't even begin to put into words what this book has done for my heart, my mind, and my soul. This book brought me to God. This book opened my eyes and heart. This book helped me to finally break my chains and be a soul of God. This book ultimately saved me life.

119 people found this helpful

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Healing all the guilt and shame...

I lived 40+ years with Lutheran guilt that clouded my relation with God. Amazing how one fable can crack that mile thick layer of shame and guilt!!

119 people found this helpful

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NOT a mystery thriller as promoted!

What disappointed you about The Shack?

It turned into a far fetched Christian fantasy book --- NOT a mystery/thriller at all.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The first couple chapters were good . . .

105 people found this helpful

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Was unsure

I was unsure about this book because of what I heard regarding the theology. I don’t like regurgitating what I hear from others so I decided to check The Shack out on my own.....so I could properly criticize it. After listening to it I was left stunned and had to seriously rethink some of my theology. This is truly a awesome book!!

96 people found this helpful

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Wrongheaded

The opening chapters of this book are quite appealing and provide an engaging and realistic view of a young, outdoorsy, churchgoing family living in the Pacific Northwest. When a double tragedy strikes on the same day, the subsequent narrative is believable and even compelling. But three years later, like an unpredicted storm, the entire novel suddenly becomes a misguided piece of confused pseudo-Christianity. This is, sadly, neither a book to strengthen a person of faith nor one to introduce an outsider to it.

71 people found this helpful

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  • WRP
  • 08-23-17

Excellent

Forget the Theology, forget your religious hang ups. Allow the love of God to permeate your soul as your enjoy a great book of fiction.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nadine
  • 02-12-19

Incredible

This is one of those books i could read every two years or so, the audible version really captures the story well. Love it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christo Nel
  • 08-18-18

A life changing book

This is the fictional book that changed my life and helped me to heal and discover the Triune God of Father, Jesus and Spirit. I always viewed them as different from each other, however The Shack allowed me to grasp that Papa was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, because we are his children.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Eachan Harrison
  • 03-17-17

This book can be life-changing... If you let it!

Listen to this with your heart and mind wide open and it will change your life!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joel
  • 12-01-21

Must read no matter your background or worldview

Captivated from start to finish. Excellent narration. Couldn't stop listening until it finished. Great for both personal reflection and relational discussion between spouse, family and close friends.

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  • Paul Marais
  • 01-11-21

Absolutely amazing!

A must read for anyone who wants to understand the real nature of our Creator.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-25-18

My Christian Journey Crystalised

This book has altered and restored my perspective of God and the God Head and given me such peace. I cannot stop listening to this book. Such Spirit filled insight. Thank you Mr Young.

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  • James
  • 04-09-18

A fantastic read; not biblically sound.

Would you listen to The Shack again? Why?
I would definitely listen to The Shack again because even though it is based on fiction, it helped me explore my biblical understanding of God, his workings, and plans for us.

What does Roger Mueller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
His timing is spot on. And the way he reads it as if the character is figuring it out for the first time really helps me to engage with the events in the story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Definitely the part where... oh wait, that would ruine it for you. You’ll just have to read it yourself.

Any additional comments?
Don’t be turned away by the sound of this book. Yes, I know for the most part God is portrayed as a Woman (which is not biblical), but it explained why in the book. It is a work of fiction and therfore there are some elements which I had to go and cross reference myself... But for the most part, it got me thinking about my own relationship with God, how I treat him, and how he treats us.

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  • Jennie
  • 06-30-17

Fantastic book

I loved this book, it was beautifully written in a way that challenges common thought with regard to God. It seems bring about a sort of clarity in understanding God while trying to contextualise Him in a way that bypasses the confusion that can accompany "religion"

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  • Rebecca K Hall
  • 06-13-17

Wow

Loved it. It has a way of touching your life in ways that aren't even imaginable.