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

5 CDs. 6:30 hrs. Books on Tape. Mar. 2017. ISBN 9781101924921. $32. digital download. BIOG
OrangeReviewStarWhen Christopher Knight was 20 years old, he quit his job, drove into rural Maine, left his car on the side of the road, and simply walked into the woods. That was 1986. In 2013, after 27 years of living as a hermit, he was arrested while breaking into a building to get food. Finkel (True Story: Murder, Memoir, and Mea Culpa) covers Knight's nearly three decades of living entirely outdoors in the Maine woods. To survive, Knight broke into nearby cabins more than 1,000 times and stole what he needed, including food, beverages, and propane. The book examines the history of solitude and hermits worldwide, including the benefits and severe effects of living alone. The trial of Knight is brief, and the aftermath creates great tension for the listener. Mark Bramhall narrates with his usual talent. His reading of quotes from Knight, who has a slow, gravelly New England accent, brings the listener fully into both the story and the freezing environment.
VERDICT Fans of Finkel and anyone who has ever thought about walking away from life and living as a hermit will find a wealth of entertaining knowledge here. Highly recommended. ["With inevitable comparisons to Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, this book will appeal to recreational readers interested in outdoor adventure, survival stories, or escaping the mainstream": LJ 11/15/16 review of the Knopf hc.]
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