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The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
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Archive: Other Books > The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel 3 stars

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Cheryl Coppens | 381 comments At 20 years of age Christopher Knight walks into the Maine woods and remains there for 27 years in seclusion until he is arrested for stealing. The first 2/3 of this short book (191 pages) was interesting and thought provoking. It was the story of Christopher Knight. Some background information then the story of how he lived and survived until he was caught stealing. Then it was if the author needed to make the book longer so he started telling of hermits through history and how they were thought of and this went on and on and on and on. This section of the book was just plain too long and boring. The book then finishes up with Knights' life after jail and how he was getting along. The book left me with many questions and a sense of doubt that the entire story was true. A 20 year old with 2 living parents and 4 other siblings disappears and no one looks for him or contacts the police? Not likely, but maybe. Harder to believe a man lives year round in the Maine woods in a tent and NEVER once lights a fire or leaves his site if he might leave a foot print? He steals food, batteries, propane,clothing and books for 27 years in the same area before he's caught? He is also supposed to have been extremely clean and clean shaven while living this way. The most disturbing part of the book is towards the end when Knight basically tells the author he is planning to die by going back to the woods when the weather gets cold enough wearing very little and freeze to death and no one seems to feel that he's planning what he says he is. While the book was mostly interesting it did drag when it wasn't about Knight himself and left me with many questions and a lot of doubt as to the truth of the "facts".

message 2: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) I've been considering reading this. One of my sons seems to have a similar perspective on life to Knight's. I've been doing some research, and I do believe the story, though it does seem incredible. For example, an interview with the author is compelling. imo:

I think that I'd like the broader scope revealed by the explorations of other hermits. I read about individuals to learn about humanity. My question while reading would be: What does Knight have in common with with other hermits, and with the rest of us?

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