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The Stranger in the Woods

Narrated by: John Chancer
Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

Non-member price: $22.78

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Publisher's Summary

In 1986, 20-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine and disappeared into the woods. He would not speak to another human being until three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food.   

Christopher survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store food and water in order to avoid freezing to death in his tent during the harsh Maine winters. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothes, reading material and other provisions, taking only what he needed. In the process, he unwittingly terrified a community unable to solve the mysterious burglaries. Myths abounded amongst the locals eager to find this legendary hermit.   

Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life and the challenges he faced returning to the world. The Stranger in the Woods is a riveting story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude and what makes for a good life. Above all, this is a deeply moving portrait of a man determined to live life his own way.

©2017 Michael Finkel (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"An extraordinary story about solitude, community, identity and freedom." (Guardian

"A meditation on solitude, wildness and survival. It is also, unexpectedly, a tribute to the joys of reading." (The Wall Street Journal

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad but didn't really go anywhere

wanted to know experiences of living so isolated but wasn't forthcoming. narrator was good though

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  • Jo Fox
  • 20-08-2019

Interesting subject, poorly researched

The first half of the book was OK but then I think the author ran out of material and wrote some general chapters with next to nothing in then about Mr Knight. These chapters were excruciating to read if you know anything about the subject matter. He got his facts wrong in so many places that it made me question the whether any of the first part of the book was accurate. I wouldn't recommend this book at all. I regret buying it.

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  • booklover
  • 02-05-2019

Interesting life story, very annoying author

I am really fascinated by hermits and their motives, and the life story of Mr Knight is not without its contradictions, but he is thoroughly relatable to me.
What I really did not like it the author´s refusal to leave him alone after the interviews were concluded. Even interviewing him and writing the book could be seen as an overreach in itself, even though then we would not be able to hear his story.

VERY worth listening to, very philosophical and deep.

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  • Mr. J. Sagen
  • 27-11-2018

A fantastic story of a true sage.

One of the most altrisutic, and brave souls who had the courage to abandon society and walk and live completely alone embracing silence.. Remarkable. He was truly open to living in presence and peace.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-10-2018

Amazing story, well told

Brilliant I was torn between wanting to know more and leaving him alone.
The author covered all angles as honest as possible without over explaining.
I loved how it made me question my own thoughts on 'hermits' and life needs in general.