Friday, February 27, 2009

A Quick Book Review - The Shack

Ramblings Post #14
I like to read. There I said it, I'm not ashamed to admit it and I feel so much better for it. I've been reading since I was little. Comic books, Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, The Great Brain, Westerns, Science Fiction, Whodunits, Adventure, at one point I was bored and Harlequin Romances, War stories, Novels, Poetry...did I mention I like to read? If it wasn't for pesky ole law school, I would still be reading at a pace of a few books a month. So every now and then, I think I'm gonna review a book. My way of course.

When someone gives you something to read, not a pamphlet or an article, but a book or something of substance it means two things. One, it means they figure that you're reasonably intelligent and will understand or take enjoyment in the reading and Two, that you're actually going to read it. My little brother gave me a book this year for Christmas. I gave him an iPod. I figure we're about equal. But then just the other day Sporty mailed me a book.

One of the things I've always liked about Sporty is that she is a reader. I am stunned at the number of folks I meet, talk to and associate with who haven't picked up a book since the last time a class imposed that duty upon them. And of those who do read, a good number disappoint when I find out they only read "black" literature. Um..., I am black, I don't need to read about the black experience, I'm having the black experience. Okay, a little Walter Mosley from time to time, but not a whole whole lot more.

The book she sent was The Shack, a story of spiritual awakening and personal redemption. If you haven't read it, the story is about a man who has lost a child and is enmeshed in sadness. Then one weekend, he gets a note from God asking him to stop by. Thinking himself crazy he shows up and meets God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who turn out to be a old black woman, her Arabic son and an Asian woman, in that order. Not quite was he expecting. What follows after is the meat of the story, his conversations with what appear to be the Holy Trinity and his own personal growth and examination of his own viewpoints . He weekends with God, I mean, how's that for bragging rights?

I read it in one sitting. Okay, in one day...I actually did do some work on my paper, er..brief.

From the blurbs on the back, I expected to moved to tears or re-awakened in my soul or something else epiphanic. It was a good story don't' get me wrong. It had some moments that made you re-read a paragraph or two and made you think about some things, always a sign of good writing, and it certainly gave me a new way to look at some other religious concepts. But it wasn't earth shattering for me. My paradigm didn't shift. I may read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything. The ending was kinda cliche, a little telegraphed I must say, but by then you'd gotten most of the message, so you kind of needed it for wrap up. If it that ending hadn't occurred, what preceded it might have come off a little less spiffy.

Would I suggest it for a read? Sure.

Hey Barkeep, what kinda smoothies you got?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Which brings two questions to mind:
1. Why did Sporty think this a book that you would want/need in the recesses of your brain?
2. Why is Sporty still sending you anything?

Cut the chick loose, man. She's heartache on a stick and stringing you along so that you aren't fit for anything new.