I didn’t read the novel “The Shack,” which William Paul Young, an office manager and hotel night clerk, self-published for his family and friends in 2007. By June, 2008, the novel had sold one million copies.
And I hadn’t realized until just now when I looked it up, that “the shack,” is a metaphor for the house you build out of your own pain or for the places you get stuck, get hurt or get damaged. “The thing where the shame is,” according to an interview with the author.
Obviously, the novel touched some universal chords, though it was roundly criticized by Biblical scholars. With Hachette Book Group it was the number one paperback trade fiction seller on the New York Times Bestseller List from June 2008 to early 2010. Eventually, the novel sold 18 million copies.
In bookstores this week is Young’s third novel, “Eve” (Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books), and I’m curious to see if it takes off.
Here’s a bit of the jacket copy: “When a shipping container washes ashore on an island between our world and the next, John the Collector finds a young woman inside -- broken, frozen, and barely alive. With the aid of Healers and Scholars, John oversees her recovery and soon discovers her genetic code connects her to every known human race. She is a girl of prophecy and no one can guess what her survival will mean...”
Makes me wonder two things: How in the world Young gets away with such absolute nonsense. And, two: Why can’t I come up with just such absolute nonsense myself!