Between a Rock and a Hard Place Author:Aron Ralston One of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told -- Aron Ralston's searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home. It started out as a simple hike in the Utah canyonlands on a warm Saturday afternoon. For Aron Ralston, a twenty-seven-year-old mount... more »aineer and outdoorsman, a walk into the remote Blue John Canyon was a chance to get a break from a winter of solo climbing Colorado's highest and toughest peaks. He'd earned this weekend vacation, and though he met two charming women along the way, by early afternoon he finally found himself in his element: alone, with just the beauty of the natural world all around him. It was 2:41 P.M. Eight miles from his truck, in a deep and narrow slot canyon, Aron was climbing down off a wedged boulder when the rock suddenly, and terrifyingly, came loose. Before he could get out of the way, the falling stone pinned his right hand and wrist against the canyon wall. And so began six days of hell for Aron Ralston. With scant water and little food, no jacket for the painfully cold nights, and the terrible knowledge that he'd told no one where he was headed, he found himself facing a lingering death -- trapped by an 800-pound boulder 100 feet down in the bottom of a canyon. As he eliminated his escape options one by one through the days, Aron faced the full horror of his predicament: By the time any possible search and rescue effort would begin, he'd most probably have died of dehydration, if a flash flood didn't drown him before that. What does one do in the face of almost certain death? Using the video camera from his pack, Aron began recording his grateful good-byes to his family and friends all over the country, thinking back over a life filled with adventure, and documenting a last will and testament with the hope that someone would find it. (For their part, his family and friends had instigated a major search for Aron, the amazing details of which are also documented here for the first time.) The knowledge of their love kept Aron Ralston alive, until a divine inspiration on Thursday morning solved the riddle of the boulder. Aron then committed the most extreme act imaginable to save himself. Between a Rock and a Hard Place -- a brilliantly written, funny, honest, inspiring, and downright astonishing report from the line where death meets life -- will surely take its place in the annals of classic adventure stories.« less
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L. G. (L) reviewed Between a Rock and a Hard Place on
Helpful Score: 5
Excellent story of how Aron survived being stranded in the wilderness. It's an amazing story, and an easy read. There is one graphic photograph, however, so one should be aware of that before they order this book.
Foolish though he was to go hiking all alone in a potentially dangerous place, Ralston's courage and resourcefulness saved his life. This is an amazing and unforgettable story.
In spite of its being highly unlikely that I would ever be in a situation to need it, my mind has filed away a vivid recollection of the ingenious method Ralston finally hit upon to free his hand. I am only grateful that it doesn't replay in my dreams!
This book is a very good survival story. As I read through the book I got the idea that Aron wasn't exactly reckless but he did barge ahead into situations without thinking sometimes. His sheer determination is what got him out of trouble more than a few times. Maybe it was this reckless determination that got him into the situation he found himself but it was probably also what got him out of it. The book was written by him and is written very well. It doesn't read like the typical autobiography of an untrained writer. Personally, I'd like to know when the guy slept.
This is the rare nonfiction book with an unlikeable protagonist. This is the story of Aron Ralson and his life of adventures, running marathons, climbing mountains, climbing canyons, etc. and how he ended up pinned beneath a stone. Aron was forced to amputate his own arm to escape from the canyon he was pinned in. The problem I had with this book, as mentioned previously, is that Aron is unlikeable, at least as the protagonist of this book. He recounts a number of adventurous events in which he or someone close to him was very nearly killed (this is well before the rock) because of silly mistakes. He seems to have little regard for the people in his life who care about him in taking off on a moment's notice and leaving no one with information on how to find him. After he succeeds in cutting off his arm, he becomes very bossy and arrogant to other people who are just trying to help him. He whined about having an IV drip of antibiotics for several weeks instead of just being grateful he was alive. He also littered the canyon with a number of articles that he didn't feel like carrying back out of the canyon once he was freed; these items included a CD player and some climbing rope which could have easily been stuffed back into the bag he was carrying. I hope the real Aron is more responsible than he comes across in this book.