September 3, 2008

stepping on toes

Those of you who know me, know that I love to read. This summer, with summer school being as demanding as it was, I hardly got to read at all - so with all the hype over "The Shack," it has been so hard for me not to be able to know what the fuss is all about and to read this supposedly brilliant work for myself. Now, I find myself halfway through this novel, and I'm just not into it. I read before bed the other night, and I just felt like there was something wrong with me - I should love this! It comes highly recommended, it's supposedly the next "Pilgrim's Progress"... WHAT IS THE DEAL? Well, I'll tell you what the deal is. I don't like it. And here's why.
Don't get me wrong - I do really love what William Young is trying to do. I love the idea that God meets us where we need him, as we need him - whatever form or manifestation that is. I love that the Holy Trinity lives in relationship with one another - that we can see their love and affection for one another in a tangible way. God IS love - and since God's love is not contingent on us, he must express that love in some way. It really is, in all seriousness, a beautiful concept. Having taken some theology, I find no beef with Young's ideas of God or presentation. It is a beautiful idea and a really wonderful picture of the depth and breadth of God's love for his people. So, you're wondering, just like I was... what is the deal?
The deal is, as I said, I don't like it. It is not a well-written book. I like, on paper, what is presented, but I am bored to tears by the presentation. The narrative is not especially engaging, it is nothing to write home about in terms of literary merit, and it is so obvious that its making me crazy. When I say obvious, I mean just that. You don't have to do any work to read this book. It leaves nothing to the imagination! Young just kind of tells us whats going on. "I'm God! This is Jesus! I'm the Holy Spirit!" BORING. Nothing is left to figure out, to try and work through. I know - I'm being critical. But its the truth. I suppose its doubly frustrating that I do find the subject matter so... worthwhile, that I wish it was just a better book.
Normally, I wouldn't deign to this kind of push-my-opinions-on-you-through-my-blog thing, but I had a conversation with a friend the other night about the book, and we were both so relieved to hear someone else agree! I mean, here I am, a Christian, and I don't like the Christian book of the year. Now, not to be dramatic, but that's bound to create some shame! So, I'm opening the door for you to be critical. If you want. Or to tell me you think I'm smoking crack. Either one is fine with me.

Any thoughts?

1 comment:

PletcherFamily said...

Thanks for the review! I have been thinking about getting this book - like you, very interested in what the hype was all about. Even Mat's Aunt Betty Pletcher thought it looked good. Thanks for saving us. I am glad to hear what it was like!