The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

Earlier today, as the sun was setting, I saw a red fox moving quickly across a frozen lawn. It must have felt energized by the cold and the fading light. The fox barely slowed down for a glance at a garden, and to mark one of the fence posts, before it was gone, into the trees. I thought of Christopher Knight, the elusive figure in this story. Finkel’s reporting and involvement pulls a reader right through to the end, following Knight deep in the woods of Maine, in all seasons. Knight made peace with his existence. He never bailed out for more comfortable, drier or warmer temporary shelter. The author works hard to add sense to what seems to us (but not to Knight) like a desperate and lonely and unnecessarily severe way to live: as an absolutely solitary camper and careful forager on the edge of society for 27 years: like a lone wild animal, foraging, with polite human deftness, what he needed from unoccupied cabins and camps, surviving through discipline and luck, reading the woods and reading stolen books.

See the source image

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: