I have been waiting for this book since it’s release in March. I have almost bought the e-book several times but finally the library pulled through. It was totally worth the wait.
The Stranger In The Woods is the story of Christopher Knight a young man who walked into the Maine wilderness in 1986 and was not seen in society again until 2013 when he was caught stealing food from a camp closed down for the winter. This book documents the legend, the impact, and the actual true story of Christopher Knight, also known as the North Pond Hermit. With insight gained directly from Knight himself as told to Michael Finkel the author, you may find yourself conflicted between whose side your on, societies or Knight’s.
Finkel is the one and only journalist Knight would speak with regarding his story. He visited Knight’s camp numerous times along with obtaining interviews with Knight’s distant relatives and a small circle of people who knew him personally. He also provides information obtained during interviews with numerous families who Knight stole from in order to sustain his life in the wilderness.
Finkel presents Knight in a very honest way throughout the entirety of the book. If you are one that has ever wanted to get lost in the woods and never return, you will at times feel very connected to Knight as his true inner thoughts are revealed. He left society as a young man, fulfilling the urge to just wander, but never told anyone where he was going. He came close to death on numerous occasions but felt he would rather die in the woods than in a chaotic and self-indulgent world. Although his methods to living are controversial having stolen everything he had except for his eye-glasses, you will find yourself sympathizing with him and wishing to protect him from the mean, evil world.
Some families that owned cabins in the area which Knight broke into for needed essentials want justice and protection from the man who stole food, books, batteries, propane and other small items while others want to simply buy land for him to live on. As the reader you will find yourself conflicted, stuck between societies standards, your own, and Knight’s.
I found this book very thought provoking as I read more on how Knight survived thousands of days in the wilds of Maine. Would I be able to survive such conditions? Would I even take that first step into the woods with hardly any gear or food? Would I be able to live almost three decades without any human contact? Christopher Knight’s story will leave you with these questions and more. You will be provided enough information to form your own conclusions on why Knight left and how he should have been punished, or should he have been punished at all? Perhaps we should all look to Knight for guidance for he did something we all dream about, he left it all behind for the wilderness.
Check out this book at your local library or find it online with Amazon here!
(Illustration of Knight’s Camp As Featured In “The Stranger In The Woods”)
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Other Book Suggestions/Reviews I’ve Done:
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