The Stranger in the Woods
The Stranger in the Woods The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit By Finkel, Michael Book - 2017 | First edition.

This book was a very interesting true story about a twenty year old man, who waked away from society and chose to live in the woods. This takes place in a remote area, of the state of Maine. The story about Chris Knight is interesting, however, what fascinated me was how Finkel goes into detail about the history of living in solitude, or what might be considered being a "hermit". There are different titles given to these individuals, such as, recluse, monks, swamis, anchorites, ascetics. He describes three general groups to explain why they hide: protesters, pilgrims, pursuers. All the information Finkel provides regarding these three groups was what I found so fascinating. For example, there are around a million protester hermits living in Japan right now, called hikikomori -"pulling forward", who have rejected Japan's pressure-cooker culture. What's bizarre about these people, is that many have retreated to their bedrooms and never come out. Pilgrims, considered religious hermits, are the largest group. Jesus Christ for example would be considered a Pilgrim. Finkel sights several familiar people I would not have considered as hermits, but he describes why they would be. I loved this book and the history it provided about this subject.

NANCY ELIZABETH WHITLATCH's rating:
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