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


When Christopher Knight was 20 years old, he quit his job, drove to rural Maine, got out of his car, leaving the keys on the console and walked into the woods.

That was in 1986. In 2013, after some 27 years of living as a hermit, he was arrested while stealing food from a summer camp.

Finkel covers nearly 3 decades of living entirely outdoors in the woods of Maine. To survive, Knight broke into nearby cabins, more than a 1,000 times. He only took what he needed. Food, batteries, old clothing, gas. He never broke a window or a door or took anything of value. Some residents started leaving things out for the hermit to take.

This book examines the history of solitude and hermits as well as the benefits and severe effects of living this life. The trial is short and really no one wanted him to go to jail, but he did. And when he got out he had no idea how to live in this world and wanted more than anything to be left alone.

There were some really good quotes in here on solitude. My favorite is from French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “because to me the most desolate solitude seems preferable to the society of wicked men which is nourished only in betrayals and hatred.”

A most interesting read, Mr. Finkle!

Meet the North Pond hermit, who lived alone in the Maine woods for 27 years / Boing Boing:   For 27 years, the North Pond Hermit was to rural Maine what the Loch Ness Monster is to Scotland: lore, myth, legend, a perverse point of local pride. Those convinced of his existence regarded him …: Christopher Thomas Knight (born 7 December 1965), also known as the North Pond Hermit, is a former hermit who lived almost without human contact for 27 years in the woods in Maine.[1] He survived by committing approximately 1,000 burglaries against houses in the area,[2] or approximately 40 per year.  Knight entered the woods in 1986 without saying goodbye to anyone, aged 20, and was captured during a burglary in 2013.:

xx Patricia



  1. Stealing from others, whether to finance your hermit lifestyle or a drug habit, is wrong. Why should I work 55+ hours a week only to have a person steal the fruits of my labor because he himself does not want to work?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this book and empathized with Christopher who is just one of so many who are disaffected with our crazy modern world.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. great review choice! interesting how we all have different ways of being — & how others react differently to us …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This one sounds like something I would like to read. Thanks for the review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was very interesting how he managed to survive so long.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These types of books, about survival in all types of situations, are among my favorites to read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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