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The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit (4/5)
This would be the second time I read this book. It’s the incredible, in the true sense of the word, story of the north pond hermit.
Christopher Thomas Knight one day decides to go live in the forest alone for a while. He ends up living there for 27 years. He battles through deadly cold winters without lighting fires for fear of betraying his position in the woods. He survives by stealing food from nearby holiday cabins. After his apprehension many are of the opinion that they should release him so that he may live quietly in the wild while others strongly oppose this and want justice. Whilst his loot is petty (snacks, food, magazines) he did rob a sense of security away from the holiday homes meant for rest and relaxation.
He’s extremely introverted and whilst in prison, after his apprehension having evaded the police for 27 years, he is contacted by the author who shares an article on the Hazda in the hopes this would build a rapport. This is how Michael Finkel is able to write this book.
I think his story appeals to my sense of being alone for a while and not minding it at all. I think I’d quite like to go travelling alone at some point. However, 27 years of self isolation is absolutely ridiculous.
I gave it a 4/5 on Goodreads, mainly just because the story is so insane. It’s a short book and I think it took me less than a day to read it (it was a rainy one). If you see it lying around or happen to receive it (as happened for us), it’s a good read. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it though as you could get just as much out of reading this article on Chris Knight that Michael Finkel wrote for the National Geographic.