Civilization and its Discontent: Reviewing Michael Finkel’s 2017, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

On the other hand, Finkel does not gloss over the more unsavory aspects of this story: the fact the Knight was a terror to the local population of North Pond. Debbie Baker, one of the person’s interviewed for Finkel’s story and quoted at the top of this piece, perfectly highlights the fact that this is not some romantic narrative about one seeking refuge from the monstrousness of civilization. Rather, Knight was the horror. To Baker’s children Knight was the monster in the closet and under the bed, the boogeyman, the thing that goes bump in the night and every other unsavory beast that children dream up in the deep dark of their minds—except he was real. Knight had become the reason children need night lights. Knight himself acknowledged as much after his arrest in 2013.

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