By William P. Young
Windblown Media, 2007
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Call it the little book that could. William P. Young's The Shack, a 256-page self-published novel that was turned down by several Christian publishing houses (ostensibly for being too theologically edgy) is finding a grassroots audience that just keeps growing. Seldom has there been such a buzz about religious fiction.
With endorsements from Wynonna Judd ("this story has blown the door wide open to my soul") to Eugene Peterson ("this book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his"), The Shack has captured the imagination of readers and garnered sales figures only dreamed of by most authors. A little more than a year after its May 2007 publication date, The Shack has more than 1.1 million copies in print. (Consider that 10,000 copies is a respectable number for a novel in most Christian publishing circles.) As of July 9, it sits atop the trade paperback fiction lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly, and ranks #5 and #6, respectively, in overall Web sales at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The Shack has now spent 22 weeks on USA Today's Top 150 bestsellers list, and is currently in its highest position at #5. Capitalizing on its success, Windblown Media has entered a copublishing venture for future titles with FaithWords and is currently in the pre-production phase of turning The Shack into a feature-length film.
For all the hubbub, it's a simple story. Mackenzie Allen Philips is on a camping trip in Oregon with his three young children, when his youngest daughter, Missy, is kidnapped ...