The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

The Stranger in the Woods

Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality--not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have...

Details The Stranger in the Woods

TitleThe Stranger in the Woods
Release DateMar 7th, 2017
PublisherBooks on Tape
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir

Reviews The Stranger in the Woods

  • Petra X
    Four stars, just. There were two stories here, but the author only told one. I understand why but I am frustrated so I added, 'just'.All-American kid age 20 abandons his new car and wanders off into the woods to live alone and make a career out of burglary. Strange eh? Not half so strange as his family who never even report him missing or make any attempt whatsoever to find him. The book would have been shorter if the author had stuck to the titl...
  • Ashley Brooks
    This book has left me with intensely conflicted feelings. For a while I felt like I'd be rating this quite highly.The story of Christopher Knight is fascinating. However, the motives of the author are questionable at best and his behavior is positively icky.It didn’t dawn on me how intensely Finkel was harassing Knight and his family until the last twenty pages or so (all of this the author seems to be aware of, but doesn't seem to find anythin...
  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    Wow! This book . . . I couldn't even put it down! This is the story about Christopher Thomas Knight who at 20 years old, walked into the woods and ever came out until he was caught at 47 years old. He lived in the Maine woods for all of those years in bad weather and in good weather. The only thing he did wrong was burgle cabins and Pine Tree which was a place for people with disabilities. He took any kind of food to survive, watches, books, prop...
  • Elyse
    Christopher Knight is possibly the most solitary known person in history. Capturing Knight after 27 years..... known as the "North Pond Hermit" was like "netting a giant squid". When captured he was wearing a pair of LandsEnd jeans - size 38 - with a brown belt:Stollen goods! Knight's story continued to be equally as fascinating after he was captured as much as why Knight chose a reclusive life in the woods of Maine in the first place. There are ...
  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    *looks around at high ratings on Goodreads* *Decides to still review this stinking ass book*Okay, so when I first starting reading this book I actually liked it. It tells the story of a shy man who just decides to leave civilization one day and head off into the woods. He lived completely by himself and survived by robbing a neighboring camp and cabins. For twenty seven years. TWENTY SEVEN years.I find that part just fascinating. Christopher Knig...
  • Julie
    The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel is a 2017 Knopf publication. Is it fact or fiction? I don’t suppose this story ever showed up on my Newsfeed here in Texas, or if it did, it didn’t register with me at the time. But, I will say, that as an extreme introvert, I am no longer concerned about my tendency to avoid social gatherings, because Christopher Knight’s case makes me feel like a ...
  • Diane S ☔
    At the age of twenty, Christopher Knight, leaves his large though taciturn family, his job, and society as a whole and disappears into the Maine woods. He will live within a short distance from others but make no personal contact, will steal what he needs from cabins left empty from the winter or weekend and survive totally on his own. When he is caught, never having physically harmed anyone, he will not have spoken to another human being for 27 ...
  • Carol (Bookaria)
    Excellent account of somebody's choice to live isolated from society.The irony is that although the “hermit” (Christopher Knight) despised the idea of being part of a community he still was completely dependent on society for food and supplies and resorted to regularly stealing these items in order to survive. I listened to the audiobook which had a great narrator. Overall, I loved the book and highly recommend it.EDIT: I want to share one of...
  • Diane
    This book was so fascinating and engrossing that I had to give it five stars.The Stranger in the Woods is the unbelievable-but-true story of Christopher Knight, who in 1986 decided to go into the Maine woods and live alone in the forest. He wasn't discovered until 2013, when he was caught stealing food from nearby cabins. In those nearly three decades, Knight lived outdoors in a tent, never once sleeping in a building. (This is an astounding feat...
  • Ammar
    Michael Finkel's The Stranger in the Woods is the mesmerizing account of Christopher Knight's disappearance into Maine's forests for 27 years. For reasons Knight himself never fully articulates, he abandoned civilization for a hermit's life in his early twenties. Knight made his home in a small camp encircled by concealing boulders and dense flora just three minutes (by foot) from a nearby cabin. Developing into a master thief, he survived by ste...
  • Eve
    "Silence, it appears, is not the opposite of sound. It is another world altogether, literally offering a deeper level of thought, a journey to the bedrock of the self."Can you think of a time when you isolated yourself for some quiet time? No communication with the outside world or other beings? I can remember a time in my mid twenties when my routine was as follows: after work on Fridays, I would turn off my phone, head to the grocery store for ...
  • F
    I was sent this book from Goodreads.I really enjoyed this book. More than I thought I would. Really interesting.
  • Sheri
    Interesting and thought provoking story. While you may go into this thinking the hermit has issues, you will come out of it thinking the author also has issues. I’m glad I read it and would recommend it just for the thought provoking content.
  • Sam Quixote
    In 1986, 20 year-old Chris Knight walked into the Maine woods and didn’t emerge for the next 27 YEARS! He made camp at a hidden spot near a place called North Pond and survived by repeatedly burglarising the surrounding cabins, most of which were uninhabited for much of the year. Astonishingly, he wasn’t caught until 2013 and up until then had become a local legend dubbed the North Pond Hermit. Journalist Michael Finkel interviewed Knight sev...
  • Darlene
    "Modern life seems set up so that we can avoid loneliness at all cost; but maybe it's worthwhile to face it occasionally... some philosophers believe that loneliness is the only true feeling there is."This incredible book, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit written by Michael Finkel, poses some thought-provoking questions... questions which really have no definitive answers. This book tells the story of Ch...
  • Brandice
    This story is Fascinating! I truly enjoy my fair share of alone time and being independent - I’m just fine with silence, but could not fathom doing it for 27 years, alone, in the woods, with no technology and barely encountering just 3 people in that time period. Christopher Knight took hermitting to the extreme. The Stranger in the Woods shares his story. Knight walked into the woods in Maine one day as a 20 year old, and didn’t leave until ...
  • Connie
    Have you ever felt like getting away from the stress of modern life for a few days? Christopher Knight took that idea to the extreme, walking into the woods of Maine and living in isolation for 27 years. He was an introverted, intelligent twenty-year-old with a dry sense of humor. He had been brought up in a family that prided themselves on their practical skills and self-reliance, and set up a camp hidden by large boulders. But Knight had to ste...
  • Jennifer
    “...sometime in the 1990s, he encountered a hiker walking in the woods. “What did you say?” asks Vance. “I said, 'Hi,'” Knight replies. Other than that single syllable, he insists, he had not spoken with or touched another human being, until this evening, for twenty-seven years.” Dang, that's some solitude right there. After no identifiable antecedent, Christopher Knight walked into the woods of Maine at the age of twenty years old ...
  • Char
    3.5/5 stars. This book has me conflicted! I listened to it, narrated by Mark Bramhall, and he was excellent. What follows are my thoughts on this book while trying to avoid spoilers, (even though the synopsis tells a lot already). Perhaps my feelings will become more clear as I write.What I found most fascinating was this: think about how long you've gone in your life without talking to or touching another human being. I'm talking phone calls, in...
  • Ron
    The extreme examples in life interest me. Those who climb mountains, strike their own path, live through tragedy, walk into the wilderness alone. This true story about Christopher Knight is like that last example. What I didn’t know before reading the book is that Chris actually lived very close to civilization, almost unbeknownst "neighbors" surrounding a small lake in Central Maine. If he had not broken into their cabins for necessities to li...
  • Laura
    I started this book and finished within 24 hours. It's absolutely fascinating. I do not think that it was acceptable to steal from others but it's pretty amazing that this guy stayed off the grid for 27 years. This book was so interesting. It has taken alot of self-control not to tell every detail to my family members. If you need a book to discuss in social settings where the people are not book nerds(like me), grab this one. Totally recommend t...
  • Barbara
    3.5 starsThis is the story of Christopher Thomas Knight, also known as 'The North Pond Hermit', who lived in the Maine woods, without human interaction, for 27 years - from 1986 until 2013. Christopher Thomas Knight*****Christopher Thomas Knight grew up in in the small town of Albion, Maine with his parents and five siblings. The Knight family - which was exceptionally clever, capable and self-sufficient - kept to itself, rarely interacting with ...
  • Cathrine ☯️
    4+★The words Extraordinary Story in the subtitle were certainly applicable with this one.A young man drives as far as his car will take him, then abandons it, walking into the woods where he will live hidden for 27 years. To avoid detection, he leaves no footprints, never building a fire for warmth or cooking throughout the subzero winters of Maine, subsisting on provisions which he steals from uninhabited summer cabins.In a global world of sam...
  • Melanie
    "Modern life seems set up so that we can avoid lonliness at all costs, but maybe it's worthwhile to face it occasionally. The further we push aloneness away, the less we are able to cope with it, and the more terrifying it gets. Some philosophers believe that loneliness is the only true feeling there is." Interesting book. While I don't think Christopher Knight is insane I do feel he has some sort of personality disorder. For someone to leave soc...
  • JanB
    3.5 starsHaven't we all at one time or another just wanted to escape and get away from the noise and hustle and bustle of modern life? Maybe for a week or two. And maybe with a spouse or friend. Christopher Knight did just that - except he lived totally alone for 27 years in the woods in Maine, with extreme weather and no human contact except for one "hi" when he accidentally came across a hiker.The word hermit conjures up a vision of an ascetic ...
  • Jeanette
    This author pushed hard to get this story. Almost too hard considering the cognition and emotive perceptions and receptive states of the hermit of this book's subject, Christopher Knight. And the title? Is he really the "last true" hermit? I completely doubt that and if he could do if for 27 years, than others have too.This is worth the read. The chapters 20-22 were 6 star, and some of the rest, especially in the first half was heavily padded wit...
  • Marchpane
    Such a fascinating book, I absolutely tore through it, despite feeling it was a flawed depiction. The author over-romanticises his subject, portraying him as a philosopher-monk who "lived for a living" (um, nope - he stole for his living) and who "observed modern life and recoiled from its banality" when in fact he relied entirely on modern conveniences to survive. Among his favourite things: Everybody Loves Raymond and boxed mac & cheese. Still,...
  • Britany
    This was a fascinating read. Christopher Knight went on a road trip from Maine to Florida and back again when he decided in wanted to be alone in the woods. He literally pulled over and left his car and walked into the woods, not to emerge again for 27 years.Michael Finkel writes Christopher's story after meeting with him multiple times while imprisoned. Corresponding with him via letters and shared interest in literature and painful life experie...