The Stranger in the Woods - Michael Finkel

The Stranger in the Woods

By Michael Finkel

  • Release Date: 2017-03-07
  • Genre: Nature
Score: 4.5
From 357 Ratings


Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own. 

New York Times bestseller

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, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.


  • Interesting

    By Promise316
    Good read, true story, very interesting
  • Easy Read

    By Cheapcollector
    I enjoyed this book. I thought it was very well written and thorough. As an introvert myself I found the idea of living a hermit life fascinating. Ultimately I don't think I could survive a lifetime of solitude. But this book provided a nice glimpse inside what that life looked like for Mr. Knight.
  • Loved it

    By Peak2Peak
    Amazing treatises on the virtues of solitude and the dilemma what we owe to society vs what we owe to ourselves to guarantee a live well lived on our terms. I couldn’t put this down.
  • Amazing

    By Pattyjoe1
    Simple story that in the wrong hands would never have been told as skillfully and thoughtfully as this author has done. There's so little and so much to the central character, Chris Knight. As good or better than Into the Wild by John Krakauer.
  • The Stranger in the Woods

    By Hastings4him
    A Very good read. I highly recommend it. Especially to families or individuals who have autism and mental illness that runs in their families. As I've thought long and hard throughout the years about the science of psychology as relates to mental illness and autism this book gave me a whole new perspective. I felt it in my own gut as I read this account. It made me think about what could have been the motivation to begin with when Chris was a young boy, what his feelings might have been, the heart and gut felt emotions of Knight's life before his exile, during his time in the woods, after his capture and the little that was recorded about his life after going home and until his death, if in fact he is dead. Worth reading, for sure.
  • Great book

    By Mattynadz
    I don't read books often but, after reading the article in GQ and hearing the stories on the local news channels I just had to read this book. I was very happy I did, what a great story with a sad ending. I cannot imagine spending that much time in solitude. That took great discipline.
  • Quick read

    By Cyber_Grunt
    With great insight to a troubled man. Well researched and edited. Good read.
  • Good Read

    By Ventrie
    Couldn't stop reading. Interesting from beginning to end.
  • One question?

    By Don Sokol
    Simply only question...Did anyone ever find the car he left 27 years ago
  • Hermit 👑👑👑👑

    By 👊❤️😎🌪
    I live in the northeast that works in the construction industry that is nonstop chaos. Reading this excellent book makes one look this book with tremendous awe. Knight to me is vastly more interesting than the fraud celebrities we see and read about. Knight one day walked into the woods and stayed there for over 25 years. His story touch my heart and left me to wonder if the answers we so seek are the simple things in life.