So, I know. I promised book reviews. I said I read a lot. And I do. And I wish I had something to review. But my problem is the book I'm currently reading, so perhaps I should make this sort of a quasi-review from the trenches, as it were.
My mother sent me a copy of The Shack, by William P. Young. She was terribly excited about it, and apparently has given a copy to just about everyone she knows.
The basic premise: Guy's daughter gets killed by a serial child-murderer. They find evidence of her death in a shack in the woods. Years later (wait, maybe just one year? See, we'll get to why I can't remember.), Guy gets a note from someone signing himself "Papa" requesting that Guy come back to the shack. "Papa" turns out to be God.
I'll put aside the apparent doctrinal issues with the book, and the fact that several bishops have urged their parishioners not to read it, because that's not the point of this post (though it may be the point of a future one.). But I have to admit that I gave the whole idea of this book the side-eye because of that, and because it seems to be a hit with Fundamentalists (with whom I disagree on just about everything.). (To be fair, I also give the side-eye to Oprah's para-spiritual endorsements, as well, so I spread my disapproval pretty wide.)
In any case, Mom wanted me to read it, and hey, I'll give it a shot for her.
The writing is excruciating. Bland, basic, boring, bad. I'm editing the thing as I'm reading it, so that every few words I'm thinking, "No, use this instead", or "Wow, that was awkward. Didn't this guy have an editor?" And thus, the details of the story are slipping away as quickly as they came. Did he receive the note one year or several years later? How many kids does he have again? What's the dead one's name? Where do they live? What's going on?
I'm not helped by the fact that I'm also reading The Beauty Myth at the same time, though usually, concurrent reading doesn't confuse me. But I put off returning to this stupid thing for too long, and then I've lost the thread again, and have to go back pages to figure it out.
My mother sent me this book in - October? No, September, I think. The thing is 256 pages long.
I'm on page 79.
I may just try to sit and read it all in one sitting. I'm sure Mom will ask about it soon - even with her horrid memory, she'll remember eventually that she gave me a book, and I'll be up the creek if I can't discuss it with her. I'd also like to know what William P. Young is saying about God that makes bishops ban him.
So if I ever finish it, I'll tell you everything, so as to spare you the experience of reading this gem. Seriously, you'll thank me. Maybe.