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

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Chris Knight was just barely out of his teens when he drove his car into the woods and disappeared for 27 years. All that time he lived on his own with no help or contact from the outside world. He had no protest agenda, no quest for the spiritual - he simply wanted to exist without human contact. It wasn't until he was caught for burglary that anyone really believed that he actually existed. This incredible story delves into the story of one man's determination to be alone. Knight’s story will resonate with those of us who crave our solitude and fascinate those who could never dream of not speaking to another person for years on end. 

— Kelli O'Malley


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.

A 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.

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: 9781101875681
ISBN-10: 1101875682
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Pages: 224
Language: English