The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit (Paperback)

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A hermit has been haunting the woods of North Pond, Maine, hidden out-of-sight, secluded from society, forced to forage and steal for his survival. One day in 1986, Christopher Knight decides to drop-out of life, ditches his vehicle and disappears. Without a trace. Knight descends into a daily life or death struggle, determined to remain isolated, for nearly three decades. Is Knight a homeless hermit, happy to have little to his name, while silently suffering from schizoid personality disorder?  Or, is he a fraud? Find out in this fascinating account of The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel.

— Kristin Bates

Christopher Knight, an intelligent, young 20 year old, conscientiously made the decision to live alone, on his own terms, as he stepped away from “the grid”.  Into the wilderness of Maine, this young man drove into the forest until his gas tank had been expended, threw his keys on the dashboard of the car and wasn’t seen or heard from for the next 27 years. 

In this “Extraordinary Story of The Last True Hermit”, we learn about this young man’s survival free from the constricts of society, as he relies on his wits to survive bitter winters, his ingenuity in storing of food and water, his innate ability to avoid serious illness and death. 

With Knight’s arrest for pillaging necessities from local community homes he frequented, we learn about the challenges he overcame to survive. In the interviews conducted by Finkel Knight give us his answers to the basic question “Why?”.

— From Alex Byron


A National Geographic Best Book of the Year

National Bestseller

Many people dream of escaping modern life. Most will never act on it--but in 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight did just that when he left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another person for the next twenty-seven years.

Drawing on extensive interviews with Knight himself, journalist Michael Finkel shows how Knight lived in a tent in a secluded encampment, developing ingenious ways to store provisions and stave off frostbite during the winters. A former alarm technician, he stealthily broke into nearby cottages for food, books, and supplies, taking only what he needed but sowing unease in a community plagued by his mysterious burglaries. Since returning to the world, he has faced unique challenges--and compelled us to reexamine our assumptions about what makes a good life. By turns riveting and thought-provoking, The Stranger in the Woods gives us a deeply moving portrait of a man determined to live his own way.

About the Author

Michael Finkel is the author of True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa, which was adapted into a 2015 major motion picture. He has written for National Geographic, GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in western Montana.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101911532
ISBN-10: 1101911530
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: January 30th, 2018
Pages: 224
Language: English

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