The Stranger in the Woods
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Could you leave behind all that you know and live in solitude for three decades? This is the extraordinary story of the last true hermit – Christopher Knight.
‘This was a breath-taking book to read and many weeks later I am still thinking about the implications for our society and – by extension – for my own life’ Sebastian Junger, bestselling author of The Perfect Storm
‘A wry meditation on one man’s attempt to escape life’s distractions and look inwards, to find meaning not by doing, but by being’
Martin Sixsmith, bestselling author of Philomena and Ayesha’s Gift
‘Not all heroes wear capes. My latest one is a man called Christopher Knight – a silent idol for anyone who has felt the urge to just sack it all off and live the life of a hermit’ Lucy Mangan, Stylist
‘A meditation on solitude, wildness and survival. It is also, unexpectedly, a tribute to the joys of reading’ The Wall Street Journal
In 1986, twenty-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.
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