The Stranger in the Woods

The Stranger in the Woods

The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

Book - 2017
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Comments (31)


e
esquetee
Nov 22, 2017

I loved this book. I want to read this book again sometime. I only wish this book had been longer. Are there issues with the way the information was obtained / the telling of this person's story? Sure, yes. I hadn't heard any of the interviews or read anything about the background of this book. I saw it on a shelf at the library and the subtitle immediately grabbed me. Ended up reading the ebook version. To read about someone doing exactly what I've often fantasized about doing (except the stealing parts) with bits of history mixed in about other people who have done this throughout time ... it was like taking a little hermit vacation myself.

AL_LESLEY Oct 26, 2017

The fascinating story of Christopher Knight and his return to civilization after 27 years alone in the woods of Maine. Told with feeling by the author.

f
fred98115
Oct 03, 2017

Read by the fireplace when it is the last book in your stack. A twenty-year old man disappeared into the Maine forest in 1986, living in a camp for nearly thirty years without human contact except for his burglaries of food and equipment from cabins. Eventually caught, arrested and convicted.

t
thebritlass
Sep 19, 2017

I really enjoyed this and found it hard to put down. The actual story of the hermit, while interesting, doesn't take long to tell, but the author takes time to explore the themes of the man's story - silence, time, withdrawal, hermits, etc. that was also good food for thought.

AL_HOLLYR Sep 18, 2017

One of the most intriguing, thought-provoking books I have read this year. The fascinating tale of the man who may have been the the last "true" hermit in the United States. Well-written with lots of interesting musings about the question of whether or not socialization is a necessary part of being human.

n
nellybells
Sep 11, 2017

Absolutely amazing book. I actually listened on audio cd but comments are not posted for that format. I listened to it about a week ago and can't get it out of my head. Imagine - 27 years living in a tent in the Maine woods. (He actually had made it quite comfortable because of his stealing) But he was near death from cold and starvation. It is such an incredible story. There is so much to say: why he did it, he doesn't know. Perhaps autism spectrum. He definitely wasn't a crazy man. And I thought I was reclusive!

AL_SARAHD Sep 05, 2017

Many of us wish to make an escape from this world; to go off into the wilderness and never return. Christopher Knight is the exception. He left his world, his family, and his possessions for a life of complete silence and solitude. They called him "hermit" or "insane" but it is only through his own words, that we are finally given truth.

c
Clamato
Sep 05, 2017

Just finished this remarkable story and am hoping that Chris Knight is doing well where ever he is. As a child, my father took myself and a few others on a hike to meet a hermit. Not at all sure how he knew of him but this guy was eccentric. I remember the collection of small wind up clocks - all ticking. Cheap plastic toys you would get at a summer fair lined up on shelves and when I tried to touch them - he got mad at me. I was 5 or 6. That was contact though with other humans whether he liked it or not but C.K. did not see anyone other than a hiker in the decades he was in his wooded home. Remarkable. I can't imagine how painful it was for him to be dragged back to a modern world with so many technological changes, so busy and so noisy. To see his mother and siblings again. To be caged in a jail.. Very interesting read and enjoyed all the historical references. Was glad to get to know this interesting and fascinating person.

multcolib_susannel Aug 19, 2017

True story of a man who loves everything about the world except its people.

b
bronteside
Aug 10, 2017

Stunning.
An original work of non-fiction mystery.
The irony of a man who leaves the world to escape people
But needs them to finance his new world.
Hermit, loner, misanthrope : Christopher Knight belies all labels.
Michael Finkel gets close to this outlier, but never penetrates
The enigma of Knight.
Nor would anyone else. Knight probably doesn't understand himself, nor cares to.
A disturbing,fascinating and compelling read.

e
elleryqueen
Aug 10, 2017

What a wonderful read! I really enjoyed this book. I can't imagine stealing from other people though. I would miss having contact with other people. Too bad this man could not have found a way to be a Hermit without stealing. Elleryqueen

s
SiouxieQ
Aug 09, 2017

I listened to the Audiobook and I oftentimes found myself sitting in the driveway just waiting to see what happened next. This story is fascinating and inspiring in a way that you wouldn't expect. It's a quick "read" and is perfect for sitting on a comfortable couch, curled up with a blanket. While though-provoking, it is accessible and the descriptions of the wilderness are like a mini-vacation for your mind. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

m
MplsTA
Jul 26, 2017

Once I started this book I could not put it down. How can someone live in the Maine woods with virtually no human contact for years? Someone did and this is his story. I enjoyed the author's attempt at getting to know this modern day hermit and learning what his day to day life was like and what it took to survive in the woods for many years with a homemade tent encampment. Why would a man leave everything to "camp out" by himself for so long- getting everything he needed from the woods or breaking into cabins and just taking what he needed to survive.

The author tries to understand "hermit-ism" and living a life of solitude. There are many books on the subject and the titles are listed at the end of his book. I am looking forward to reading several.

I have read the author's other book called "True Story: Murder, Memoir and Mea Culpa" which was turned into a movie. It is also a very good read.

ehbooklover Jul 22, 2017

This book tells the fascinating story of a man who lives in a forest without any human contact for almost 3 decades. It is not only his story, but is also an examination of the history of solitude and of hermits. I really liked that the author managed to avoid treating the subject in a sensationalized manner. Rather, it was treated in a very empathetic and sympathetic way.

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forgeman
Jul 15, 2017

I found this to be a quick and easy read as it flowed along nicely without being too complicated. but how do you complicate a story of a guy whose sole wish was to just be left alone. there's only one person who knows why Christoper Knight chose the path he did, and apparantly he's not talking. The author did some thorough research to chronicle Knight's time in the woods and to think of what he went through is fascinating. I'd love to hear what he's up to these days, is he still at home? has he gone for a walk with the Lady in the Woods? has he found another fortress of solitude? I guess we'll never know.

t
taylorwoods
Jul 08, 2017

Such an incredible, well-researched, and well-written book about a man who just wants to be alone. Makes me want to read "hermit books" as this book refers to.

l
lizbeth51
Jul 05, 2017

I enjoyed this book very much, so much that I couldn't read anything else. But I am a solitary person, I enjoy it! However, I don't think I could go as far as Chris did to achieve it. I mainly enjoyed learning how he lived, why he felt the need to live alone, (although that wasn't explored quite enough) and also the affect his crimes had on his victims. I recommend this one.

m
mclarjh
Jul 03, 2017

Entertaining, but not extraordinary.

LPL_DanC Jul 03, 2017

I can't stop talking about this book! It raises so many questions, many left unanswered. Except this one: What are the hermit's favorite books? He was a voracious reader during 27 years alone in the woods, speaking to a another human only once, to merely say "Hi." His entire reading life consisted of books he stole from summer cabins. To see his list of recommended reads, check out "The Stranger in the Woods."

AL_KATI Jun 26, 2017

Wow--this held my interest the entire time. It had a bit of adventure, crime and facts about solitude that I wanted to give it all up and move away. Except I like my creature comforts too much to do that. Highly recommend if you want something about the woods that's a little on the short side (and also mosquito-free!).

SPL_Shauna Jun 26, 2017

Full review available under Summary.

b
babbo47
Jun 05, 2017

Much better than anticipated... reads like a novel... very interesting, especially if you like to spend time alone. Lots of "fun facts" about hermits

Cynthia_N May 26, 2017

Sometimes life is the most interesting story! Before reading I was thinking this was an "off the grid" story and it was a fail because he kept stealing supplies but I was wrong. Christopher Knight had his own reasons for needing to remove himself from society. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and just wish there were more details (and at least a few pictures of his camp!).

** There are pictures of his camp online.**

j
jnewday
May 10, 2017

In search of solitude Chris Knight walks away from the everyday social context most of us manage for our entire lives.
Why he does and how he does comprises the story. The how is complete, the why can never really be explained. Most of us could not live so apart from the rest of the world, in an extreme state of separateness that eschews any form of human contact.
The natural world has its rhythms and cycles, these are his calendar, they describe his routine and frame his preparations for maintaining his solitary continuance.

m
Mudita
May 01, 2017

I liked this book. But then I love solitude. Thin and a quick read but well organized and posses many good questions - some answered some not. I wonder what Chris is doing now?


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