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

Version: Unabridged
Author: Michael Finkel
Narrator: Mark Bramhall
Genres: Biography & Memoir, Non-Fiction, Psychology
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published In: March 2017
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours, 30 minutes
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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. 

A 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.

Reviews (6)

Written by Emily S. on April 23rd, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I loved this book!


Written by Joan J. on May 21st, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Fascinating book.

Written by Joseph G on February 15th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is a very interesting story, I hope this book becomes a movie some day. I like how the author gave other books to read about hermits at the end. I highly recommend this book.

Written by fred C on December 4th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great Book that makes you examine what's inside you.


Written by Kate T on July 31st, 2017

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Didn't realize that I'd be receiving an intellectual barrage of what a hermit may or may not be. However, if you remove that and listen to Chris' story, it is a good "read". It's good to understand that some people just want to keep to themselves and that's ok.

Written by Joan Morabito on March 22nd, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Excellent book. Great story told with great detail. Makes me appreciate the people in my life that do not necessarily follow the norm. They are not, and Chris wasn't , any less because they want to live a different life than most. Was truly saddened to hear about how sad and frustrated this kind soul was when he was forced to live "typically" in our society

Author Details

Author Details

Finkel, Michael

Michael Finkel has written for National Geographic, GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair, the Atlantic, and the New York Times Magazine. He lives in western Montana.