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The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary…
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The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

by Michael Finkel

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Interesting story of a man who lived by himself in the woods in Maine, for over 30 years. He had an unusual childhood, parents were rather self-sufficiency sort, grew what food they could according to principles of thermodynamics, not social or sociable types. He did steal, minimally, what he needed to live over the years, & when caught, insisted he had just "followed a different path", that living as he did was preferable to spending the prime of one's life in a cubicle, on a computer. Who am I to say he is wrong? ( )
  JeanetteSkwor | Oct 2, 2017 |
For 27 years, Christpher Knight lived in complete solitude in the woods of Maine, becoming known by locals as the North Pond Hermit. Knight only encountered a handful of wayward hikers in his quarter century in isolation, tucked away in a large camp that he made into his own makeshift home. Year after year, Knight survived on his own, meticulously scavenging from others' campsites and burglarizing unoccupied vacation cabins for food, toiletries and survival essentials like batteries, flashlights and clothing more than 1,000 times.

This enthralling book opens with Knight's eventual apprehension by police in 2013 and gives a detailed account of how he lived during his years in the woods. Such information is supplied by Knight himself through various interviews he did with the author while in jail awaiting trial. The author also interviewed several of the folks who had been burglarized by Knight over the years, as well as local law enforcement and some of Knight’s former teachers and classmates.

The Stranger in the Woods is riveting most when it focuses on Knight, his survival skills, and ventures into his psyche. It’s less interesting when it delves into other forms of isolation – from religious monks to prisoners in solitary confinement – and hypothesizes why Knight exiled himself into the wild in the first place. Despite this, the book tells the story of an incredibly unique and resourceful individual and is one worth reading.


Dan R. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
1 vote mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
🌟🌟🌟🌟The Stranger in The Woods by Michael Finkel. Have you ever wanted to just walk away from it all? Family? Cell phones? Tablets? Computer? Job? Just throw in the towel and hide? No one does it quite as well as Christopher Knight. Surviving hot summers and harsh winters and no human contact for 27 years in the forest in Maine until one night by a series of unfortunate events he gets arrested for over 1000 counts of burglary. The details from Chris himself make life seem like it would be so much simpler alone away from the noise. An amazing story if you need a slow down and relax kind of read! ( )
  SBoren | Sep 22, 2017 |
It truly was an extraordinary story about an extraordinary person who just wanted to disappear from the world and live by himself. Very, very interesting story with a lot of history of other groups or individuals who chose to do the same thing. How he survived for so long within such close proximity to others is astounding. Heard about this book on CBC and knew I had to read it. ( )
  clamato | Sep 17, 2017 |
The book's subtitle brands this "extraordinary story." It's not an understatement. Finkel's narrative is never boring and offers some fascinating insights into the life of a hermit who spent more than a quarter century in self-imposed exile. My one problem -- and it's probably not the author's fault -- is that I felt at the very end of the book that I really didn't quite understand what made Christopher Knight "tick." Another lingering concern is actually addressed by the author. I kept wondering if Knight might have received some assistance during his 27-year odyssey. Still, "The Stranger in the Woods" is a captivating story. ( )
1 vote brianinbuffalo | Sep 1, 2017 |
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Epigraph
How many things there are that I do not want.
 - Socrates, circa 425 B.C.
Dedication
In memory of Eileen Myrna Baker Finkel
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The trees are mostly skinny where the hermit lives, but they're tangled over giant boulders with dead fall everywhere like pick-up sticks.
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And anyway, when was a journal ever honest? "It either contains a lot of truths to cover a single lie," he said, "or a lot of lies to cover a single truth."
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