In my defense it's just under 300 pages long, and a quick, easy read. Without giving too much away ...
A man suffers an incredible and brutal loss and resents God. Three years after the incident, he receives a note in the mail inviting him to The Shack, signed by God. Intrigued, he travels back to the scene of the horrible crime and spends what feels like 3 days with God.
It's easily written, some of it is overly simplistic and then a lot of it turns around on itself like a bad riddle. Most of the book centers around the main character coming to terms with his grief and having conversations with God. If you're like me ... you hesitate when it comes to an author writing as if he's God ... the only word of God is the Bible, so this is just a fiction book written by a man who is obviously trying to find words and understanding that can solidify his relationship in some real (human) and possibly modern way.
I'm of a mind that anything that brings up the question, that raises the issue, that encourages you to pray or allow Jesus further into your life, is a good thing. Do I believe I should take extreme lesson from this book? No. It's not the Bible. Some of what I read struck me as an agnostic trying to ... not justify, or find, resolve maybe? ... trying to resolve what he knew of God removing the element of religion, Christianity, in particular. And the book ignored the great commission, almost entirely.
I encourage you to read it. I'd be interested in your thoughts. If you need more information ... here is the Books Website, the Authors Blog, an article in the New York Times, and this website I found that thinks its awful stuff.
The book, in my estimation, is one person's way of dealing with whatever tragedy overtook him. It does not jive with everything I know Christianity or even God to be.
The book says some not so great things on sin, which we all know The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord Romans 6:23. The book ignores sin, or more correctly minimizes it to the point that it's something God knew was going to happen and doesn't blame you for.
Eh, not so much. If sin is not something inherently evil and wrong, than Jesus would not have needed to die for us. His sacrifice is what makes everything possible, and what makes our entrance into heaven possible. Without that sacrifice, our sins would go unforgiven, and we would be forever separated from God. Because of our sin. So it's not so minimal at all.
I also believe that there is a right and wrong. The book proposes there is not. I believe the 10 Commandments were given from God to Moses, and intended for us to try and follow. I believe Jesus was sent here so that we could live in his image. Not living in his image and expecting to get into Heaven seems ... wrong.
I'm not especially smart at these sorts of things. I have not been to seminary and I haven't read my Bible cover to cover in ... 5 years now? So nothing I'm saying here in any way resembles religious fact or even intention. It's just what my brain has taken, absorbed, and is trying to send back out into the world.
I do think if you have time, you should read the book and let me know your thoughts. If the book is blasphemy, the questions and dialogue that arrive from it might very well bring more people who want answers. And those that have them, or can point them in the right direction, should try and supply those answers.