The Stranger in the Woods
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.

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.

The Stranger in the Woods Details

Book TitleThe Stranger in the Woods
Book Author
FormatAudio CD
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The Stranger in the Woods Reviews

  • Beth
    Mar 17, 2017


    Fascinating! I can't wait to hear the author speak when he visits Breckenridge at the end of the month. ...

  • Dylan Perry
    Mar 15, 2017

    Dylan Perry

    Overall, I was underwhelmed by this book. The subject matter is fascinating, but the execution failed to grip me. The beginning read like a shitty pulp novel, and even once we got to the meat of the book, I couldn't help but feel bored throughout the whole thing. The most enjoyment I g...

  • Vegantrav
    Mar 13, 2017


    I found this story and its protagonist, Christopher Knight, utterly fascinating--all the more so because it is true. Why would Knight willingly walk away from society and live completely alone for nearly three decades? And how did he survive? What did he do to pass the time and keep fr...

  • Lisa
    Mar 13, 2017


    I had not heard of Christopher Knight or his story of living in the woods for 27 years. This story is well written and intriguing. Why and how are everyone's questions and the author attempts to solve them through his correspondence, visits with Christopher, interviews with experts as ...

  • Melissa
    Mar 13, 2017


    I can say reading it at first, I was a bit skeptical thinking I could always read it in a newspaper. However, reading through it I have no regrets. Empowering, and inspiring. It's interesting to see how many people throughout time or countries have spent life or many years alone, or in...

  • Elissa
    Mar 12, 2017


    (3.5 stars) In 1986, a 20-year-old man got out of his car and disappeared into a Maine forest. For 27 years, he lived in a blind spot of the forest 3 minutes away from civilization, by stealing food and provisions from unoccupied cabins in the area. He never even built a fire for fear ...

  • Carolyn
    Mar 12, 2017


    This is the incredible true story of Christopher Knight. He entered the Maine woods at the age of 20 and remained there in isolation for 27 years. He set up a tent near summer cabins which was so well concealed that it was never found despite searches to locate him. Knight found conten...

  • Sarah
    Mar 12, 2017


    I remember reading the GQ article about Christopher Knight that preceded this book and feeling fascinated by the story, so when I found out Finkel had written a full length book on him I couldn't wait to read it.The book begins with Knight's eventual arrest, as he is caught stealing fo...

  • Sarah
    Mar 11, 2017


    I was really intrigued by Christopher Knight and his decision to abandon society at age 20 and rough it in the forests of Maine for 27 years. For someone that admittedly stole from innocent families over "a thousand times", you'd expect such a guy to be unlikable and even kind of crazy...

  • Angela Boord
    Mar 11, 2017

    Angela Boord

    This is the first Book of the Month selection that I've really enjoyed without reservation. A good, quick read exploring introversion, modern distraction, the nature of the social pact, and a guy who found society so overwhelming that he disappeared into the Maine woods alone for 27 ye...