Sunday, October 26, 2008

Quick thoughts on "The Shack"


I LOVE books!

Love book stores, libraries, book clubs, etc...

I was always the geeky kid that ordered the most books from Scholastic Books during my grade school years.

Love books. Love to read really good books. When I'm in the middle of a really good book, I can't wait for the time in each day where I get to pick up my book and read.

So when I read a book that has been highly recommended and I find it less than wonderful, I feel a great sense of disappointment.

And that's how I feel about The Shack.

As a Christian, I agree with almost all of William Paul Young's descriptions of relationship versus religion and the importance of the first and the detriment of the second. As best I can remember, at only one point in the book did I think, "Nope, don't agree with that." (In reference to relationship versus religion.)

But

It could be that I have misinterpreted his point.

For those that have not read the book and are planning on doing so, I'll not go into detail. If anyone would like to know the point I am referring to, please ask me in a comment and I'll discuss it there.

While I'm glad to see a fiction book that takes on the difference between relationship with God and religion on the New York Times bestseller list, I just wish it would have been a book with smartly written dialogue.

The dialogue in The Shack is actually painful it's so poorly written.

The basics to a good story is there, but the dialogue is just plain bad.

Sadly, this is what I find in most "Christian" books and movies -- really, really, really bad dialogue.

It's as if these writers are so afraid of being real, they use some sort of "writing for the Christian market" formula and the dialogue turns out to be nothing but a bunch of cliches and "usable" words and phrases from popular TV shows.

And The Shack is full of this type of dialogue between the characters.

Knowing that Mr. Young did not write this story with the intent to publish it, but rather as one for his children makes me feel a little hesitant to comment on the writing...

But

Since he is looking to turn his book into a movie, I am sincerely hoping any producer that options this book will include the right to hire a [dialogue] writer in his/her contract.

And

Then will hire a good one.


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