The Stranger in The Woods by Michael Finkel


Our Review…The Stranger In The Woods, by Michael Finkel.

This is the extraordinary story of the “Last True Hermit”- a man who spent 27 years alone in the forests of central Maine.

At times we all might think that we would like to be alone for awhile, of possibly just abandoning it all, getting back to nature and finding peace and solitude. This is the fascinating, intriguing and true story of someone who actually did this. For Christopher Knight, that “for a while” turned out to be 27 years. Twenty-seven years of living in solitude, living in a tent, never building a fire, speaking to anyone or even taking a hot shower. In order to survive, he broke into vacation cottages to steal food and supplies. He did however have his own code of ethics, and he was also an intellectual.

Why would Knight willingly walk away from society and live completely alone for nearly three decades? And how did he survive? What did he do to pass the time and keep from going crazy from boredom? What kind of person could live in such isolation for so long? Finkel provides the answers in this book. The answers are at turns, surprising, revealing, troubling, sad, wonderful and interesting.

We are drawn into the strange, insular world of the hermit – Through Finkel’s exhaustive interviews and extensive research into the historical nature of solitude, the reader gains a better understanding of Knight’s mindset through the exploration of other recluses and solitaries. This book allows us a glimpse at the sort of man who would willingly embrace such a life.

This book was a very fast and thought-provoking read and I was hooked from the very first page and completely entranced to the very end.
It is one one of the most profound, touching and astonishing book I have ever read.
Review by Jenny @ Great Escape Books