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11+ Works 2,337 Jäsentä 137 arvostelua

About the Author

Michael Finkel is a contributing editor to Skiing, Bicycling, Snowboard Life, and P.O.V. His work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, Outside, Audubon, and Men's Journal. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

Includes the name: Michael Finkel (Author)

Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002 (2002) — Avustaja — 593 kappaletta
The Best American Travel Writing 2001 (2001) — Avustaja — 236 kappaletta
The Best American Travel Writing 2002 (2002) — Avustaja — 189 kappaletta
The Best American Travel Writing 2010 (2010) — Avustaja — 99 kappaletta
Adrenaline 2000: The Year's Best Stories of Adventure and Survival 2000 (2000) — Avustaja; Avustaja; Avustaja — 49 kappaletta
National Geographic Magazine 2012 v222 #4 October (2012) — Tekijä — 26 kappaletta
Escape: Stories of Getting Away (2002) — Avustaja — 26 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Kanoninen nimi
Finkel, Michael
Bozeman, Montana, USA
The New York Times



Perhaps the world’s most active art thief, Stephane Breitwieser, maniacally lifted all types of art from 1994 to 2001 in Europe. An amoral thief, Breitwieser claimed to be motivated solely by his love of the works. And, in fact, until the very end of his “career” he didn’t sell any of them. I have really mixed feelings about this book because, although I didn’t buy it (I checked it out of our local library),I almost feel complicit in Michael Finkel’s profiteering from Breitwieser’s escapades. As I progressed in the book, I told my wife (who didn’t read the book) about the story. Her reaction was, “Why would you read that thing?” And I have to admit, I do feel a little guilty giving Breitwieser the time of day, much less the several hours it took to read “The Art Thief.” Believe me, if you decide to read “The Art Thief,” whatever sympathy you might have for the pathological kleptomaniac in the earlier parts of the book will dissipate quickly.… (lisätietoja)
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FormerEnglishTeacher | 17 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 25, 2023 |
Michael Finkel was a respected and up and coming staff writer for the New York Times when he violated one of the major rules of journalism: He made something up. While reporting on a story about child warriors in Africa, he created a "composite" character as the focal point of the story. When the malfeasance was discovered, he was fired "for passing off as true a story that was, instead, a deceptive blend of fact and fiction."

He was out west licking his wounds, humiliated and wondering what to do next when he was contacted by a reporter. He thought he was being contacted about his firing, but the reporter wanted to know what he thought about Chris Longo. He learned that a man named Chris Longo had just been arrested in Mexico, where he had fled after murdering his wife and three young children. While in Mexico, Longo had adopted the identity of and passed himself off as New York Times writer Michael Finkel. Intrigued by this connection, Finkel contacted Longo, and began a correspondence with him, and a friendship of sorts developed. Over the next several years, Finkel interviewed Longo on a number of occasions, and when Longo was tried for the murders, Finkel followed the trial. This book resulted.

It consists of alternating chapters describing his relationship with Longo (as well as the story of how he, Finkel, came to falsify his reporting) and the story of Longo's life and how he came to murder his wife and children.

I mostly enjoyed this, but in undercurrents I occasionally got the feeling that Finkel doesn't really believe that what he did was really so bad that he deserved to be fired. Of course, he was fairly young, and also somewhat arrogant, with a dream job, and maybe a little bit power-mad. To me, he occasionally seems to try to justify himself, with quotes like this:

"I'd cheated on the quotes, but I had captured the correct story. My article was true in spirit--it was a higher truth than that bound by mere facts and figures--and I was able to delude myself that this was all that mattered."

And again, "I knew what I had done was against the rules. I hid my actions from my editor of the Times, though I believed I could wheedle my way out of it in the unlikely chance I was caught."

So while he admits that he knew he was doing wrong, he nevertheless deluded himself into thinking it was really not that bad, and if he got caught he could wheedle his way out of it. So I'm not really sure we can believe he has learned his lesson, and that we can trust that in the future his reporting will always be faithfully true, including this book. So I found myself sometimes taking what he writes with a grain of salt. Maybe it's a case of the man doth protest too much: the opening line of the book is: "This is a true story." And the last line is: "He won't be pleased, he said, unless everything in this book is absolutely, unassailable true."

2 1/2 stars.
… (lisätietoja)
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arubabookwoman | 11 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 21, 2023 |
I listened to the five hour and thirty minute Audiobook. This is an account of art theft that took place in countries all over Europe over a period of many years. Stephane Breitwieser and his girl friend were the culprits.
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MrDickie | 17 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 1, 2023 |
I don’t usually read much nonfiction, nor am I someone who enjoys spending a great deal of time in nature. And I certainly don’t enjoy “roughing it.” I prefer my creature comforts: a warm bath, a soft bed, a 5-star meal cooked by a celebrity chef. (What? Just me?) So imagine my surprise to find THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS utterly captivating. The subtitle claims the story is “extraordinary”, and as hyperbolic as that might seem, it’s also absolutely spot on.

Finkel’s research, attention to detail, and his dedication to his subject matter is impressive. He went to great lengths to understand Knight, going as far as spending a number of nights at his campsite after it was discovered. Throughout all this, Knight attempted to stop him at every opportunity. Not in an outright hostile way, but in the only way he knew how: by being standoffish and uninterested in the nuances of forming a true relationship with anyone.

I was riveted by Finkel’s descriptions of Knight’s life in the woods. How he survived, his resilience and tenacity in the face of incredible adversity. In addition to Knight’s incredible exploits, Finkel also peppers the book with fascinating information about hermits across the ages and around the world. It’s a striking look at a subculture most of us aren’t familiar with, and would find difficult to understand if presented with it.

The book is fascinating, inspiring, and at times, a little hard to take. I loved the present-day narrative interspersed with examples and stories from Knight’s past. And I particularly enjoyed following the tentative friendship Finkel and Knight formed after his arrest.

Engaging and hard to put down, THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS is a fabulous addition to my nonfiction shelf.
… (lisätietoja)
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Elizabeth_Cooper | 106 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 27, 2023 |



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