If you read the synopsis of this book and are a bit wary, just know that I was too. A hermit in the woods who lived off stolen items screams to me nothing to see here; move along. But I was encouraged to pick it up, and Im so happy I finally did. This story is absolutely fascinating. The North Pond Hermit lived alone for 27 years never speaking more than a hi to a single hiker and lived off goods he stole from cabins. Failed and shunned journalist, Michael Finkel, started correspondence with the jailed hermit in an attempt to figure out what made him tick. Christopher Thomas Knight was not crazy. He was not a criminal mastermind. He was not an environmental activist. He was just a man that walked into the woods one day and decided to never go back to society. He knew it was wrong to steal, but he did what he had to in order to survive. The Stranger in the Woods is a true story that really delves deep into how Christopher Knight lived in solitude for 27 years and explores his mental wellbeing. Id highly recommend it for lovers of fiction and nonfiction, alike, as this story is just strange enough to be fiction.
"For readers of Jon Krakauer and The Lost City of Z, a remarkable tale of survival and solitude--the true story of a man who lived alone in a tent in the Maine woods, never talking to another person and surviving by stealing supplies from nearby cabins for twenty-seven years. In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. 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 in winter, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store food and water, to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothes, 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 the why and how of his secluded life--as well as the challenges he has faced returning to the world. A riveting story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded"--Publisher description.