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The Stranger in the Woods
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The Stranger in the Woods

The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

By Michael Finkel
Narrated by Mark Bramhall / 6 hours 18 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

The Stranger in the Woods

“This is one heck of a very strange true story. When Christopher Knight was just 20 years old, he drove his car north towards Maine. When the car gave out, he began walking, carrying a tent and a few belongings, hiding in the woods, then finding a place that he liked in between some boulders. He made a camp, where he lived for almost three decades, without speaking to another human being. The winters were bitter cold and he set his watch to wake up and move so he wouldn’t freeze to death. He stole food and fuel (and books) from nearby cabins. He walked on stones and boulders so he wouldn’t leave footprints, and he buried all his trash. When he was finally arrested, the writer Michael Finkel became obsessed with Knight, going to visit him in prison, trying to understand why Finkle became a hermit and how he survived for so long. Knight finally told Finkel to stay away from him. The book is gripping, and the narrator, Mark Bramhall, tells us this story with a bare bones voice, simple and direct. This is a haunting and astonishing book.”

Loganberry Books image Sarah, Loganberry Books

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. 

New York Times bestseller

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 a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

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