The Stranger in the Woods

The Stranger in the Woods

Downloadable Audiobook - 2017
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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. 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.
Publisher: [S.I.] : Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2017.
ISBN: 9781101924938
Branch Call Number: eAUDIO OVERDRI
Additional Contributors: Bramhall, Mark
OverDrive, Inc

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JM_555
Apr 06, 2018

I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel after reading a short blurb describing a book about a hermit who spend many years in the woods with no desire to be found. It was deeply interesting to hear his thoughts, confessions, and motivations, and to learn how he pulled the whole thing off. This hermit was both brilliant and uncomfortably relatable. The narrator did an excellent job with the different voices. I was sad when it ended as I loved getting to know the North Pond Hermit!

SPL_Shauna May 16, 2017

For introverted lovers of the outdoors, the idea of escaping into the woods alone for weeks can seem like a balm. But, Christopher Knight managed to vanish into the Maine woods for 27 years without a trace, beyond a legend based on the tiny absences he left behind in sustaining himself. Known to some as the North Pond Hermit or The Hungry Man, his thousands of small, self-sustaining thefts unsettled a community for a quarter century while he lived his peace.

This is my first experience reading nonfiction with an unreliable narrator. The author is a journalist who admits issues in the past with fudging his stories (he merged a number of sources into one voice for narrative benefit in an earlier project and was caught out). He tells you this midway into the book, and it makes you wonder a bit about what liberties he may have taken with Knight's story; among them, the extent to which Knight understood and gave permission for his tale to be told. It's an uncomfortable reading experience, to be sure, but fascinating as well.

The audio is well recorded, and the reader does a solid job, although I found his Maine accent sometimes took me out of things a bit. Still, he captured the various voices well enough to give them life. This audiobook is highly recommended to readers who love nonfiction focused on outdoor lifestyles and adventures.

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