Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Book 72: The Shack by William P. Young

I feel so terrible writing this, but I really disliked this book. At the beginning, I found myself being sucked into the story and the character of Mack. I like Mack, I really do. I just couldn't stand anything in the middle 200 pages of this book.

If I had a whole weekend with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, the last thing I'd do is waste it talking about theology. Duh - ask about dinosaurs, the universe, you name it - anything else. This book felt like a theology lesson unsuccessfully incorporated into dialogue - the result was an unnatural-feeling discussion between characters that weren't developed well enough to hold them.

I guess my own personal faith - or lack thereof - had some bearing on my distaste - but truly, I didn't like the style, the lack of creativity, the repetitive descriptions, and the lazy way the author developed his characters. For me, character development is incredibly important. (Read early Stephen King novels to see a master at work.) Young expected his readers to simply accept his characters outright rather than allowing us to get to know their appearance, mannerisms, and quirks.

If I were a devout Christian, I might be angry that the author chose to stray so far from the pillars of the Bible to formulate his own opinions of the nature of the holy trinity. There were times when the theological stuff was so wacked out, it seemed like a chapter right out of Alice in Wonderland.

It was just crazy, all of it... I was fed up with it long before it ended.

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