The Stranger in the Woods - Michael Finkel - ISBN: 978-1-101-87568-1
Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. told in a riveting narrative, this is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for twenty-seven years and made this dream a reality. 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, as well as a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
Who will like it?
Fans of non-fiction or memoir will love this short novel, as well as anyone looking for a short and sweet story to read as we finish out the semester. Lastly, nature lovers and adventurers...anyone who has ever contemplating abandoning everything and pursuing the hermit life.
Things to look out for
- Emphasis on the importance of nature
- A hermit's moral code
- Civilization v Nature
- Human Nature- The Tribe v the Solitary Wanderer
- Sociological study and commentary
What are others saying?
Most agree that Knight's story is captivating with its divergent hero. It will draw you in whether you're an introvert longing for the hermit life yourself, or an extrovert who can't imagine not talking for 27 years! The few critics this novel has argue that the story doesn't go deep enough and that the novel could have been much longer- and I can't say I disagree...it's just so good!
***I know that this calendar says 2016, and we are in 2017 right now, but the days aren't too off so I figure it works