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The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True HermitThe Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I don't know what I expected with this book, but I know I didn't get it. Frankly, I did not find the story all that "extraordinary" nor would I call Christopher Knight the "last true hermit", at least the "last" part of that statement.

Christopher Knight, at the age of 20 left the world. He abandoned his car, hiked out into the wilderness of Maine and disappeared, avoiding human contact. Only instead of living off the land, to survive, he chose to break into cabins and camps to scrounge for food, clothing and other living essentials. To avoid being caught, he never built a fire, even in the deepest depths of the Maine winters. To cook, he stole propane from the camps and used a small camp stove.

When he was caught, the author started a correspondence with him, though it appears to be very grudgingly on Knight's part. And the author flew from Montana to Maine to visit him in jail several times, despite Knight repeatedly demanding to be left alone. Once Knight was released from jail the author again flew out to see him, despite the family telling him to go away, despite Knight begging him to go away and leave him alone. It wasn't until Knight threatened to call the police did the author finally stop trying to contact him. To me, that's not journalism, that's the stalkery actions of a paparazzi.

The story did not make me hate it, and I finished the book, but I'm kinda glad I only borrowed the audio from the library rather than wasting a credit on audible. Not something I would generally recommend to others.





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