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.
A very well written book by a, somewhat, arrogant young man. A harrowing experience is related to the reader with flashbacks thrown in for effect. You become more familiar with the young man as you read about all of his athletic endeavors prior to his accident and then even more after his accident. I admire him for his accomplishments and his book is quite a "first book"! He does 'live his life'!
Aron Ralston, 27-year-old extreme outdoorsman, makes the mistake in April 2003 of not telling anyone of his plan to hike the remote Blue John Canyon in Utah. A freak accident caused a boulder to pin his arm to the side of the canyon, and he remained stuck there for over a week, with a meager amount of food and water. Dying, he makes the decision to amputate his trapped arm and managed to hike out the canyon himself. This is a story of astounding strength of spirit, as well as an autobiography of this fascinating young man. The story details early on his entrapment, and through a series of flashback memories gives us his autobiographical background as filler for the book. I did find myself impatiently going through the filler to get to the meat of the story, which to me was the detailing of his impromptu surgery, but his life and climbing exploits were interesting as well, so I did not find it tedious. Although gruesome and certainly not for the weak of stomach, the recounting of the amputation itself was not too horrible. This should become an adventure classic like John Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Joe Simpson's Touching the Void. Oh, and he took pictures too!
I enjoyed reading this book, and I admire Mr. Ralston's fortitude. I hope that should I be faced with a situation like that, I would have the same courage that he displayed in self rescue.
However. I do not laud his practices in outdoor avocations. I have been an outdoor enthusiast for many, many years, and would never dream of going into the desert so ill prepared. His narcissistic tales of adventure reek of recklessness, ill-preparedness and a case of extreme good fortune. I am surprised that he hadnt found himself in predicament much sooner, and can only hope that he has LEARNED a valuable and weighty lesson for when he ventures out in the future.
Do not read this book if you are faint of heart or the least bit squeamish. Aron Ralston not only details a harrowing, life-threatening event in his adventurous outdoor life, he also details how he came to be trapped in a Utah canyon and how he grew up to become a mountain climber, adventure skier and risk-taking canyoneer. His is a compelling, if at times scary story written in rich detail. While it helps to be familiar with many of the mountaineering and climbing terms he uses, the story still can be grasped by those who don't know a caribiner from a fourteener. You just have to let this young man's story carry you away to mountains high and canyons low. Just be prepared for a disarming (pun intended) finish!
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.
LOVE THIS BOOK! Love this story, loved the movie. It took years for me to be able to watch/read it after the initial news stories, but wow, what an amazing man with an amazing thought process. Based on the movie 127 Hours (or vice versa) the book will give you everything that the movie left out. What happened after?? What happened before leading up to this accident? How did he cope? Who is this guy?? I couldn't put this book down. Don't miss out on this story because you think you could never do what he did. You're right! But he's amazing and I'm so glad he shared his experience with the world. Very talented writer too.
I'm the "reader" in the family, but when I recommend a book to my husband, he will usually read it because he trusts my judgement of what he likes. So I read this and automatically thought he'd enjoy it-which he did!
Before the book came out, we watched his story on a Tom Brokaw special and were intrigued and naturally had to get the book to get the whole story. I liked how he told his story which flips back and forth from that day's activities to how he came to be at this point in his life because, of course, everyone knows how it ends.
It is truly inspiring, but it tends to drag a little in the middle when he recounts how many mountains he'd climbed, and when,and with whom. But, all in all, a book I would recommend to those who love living the adventure through others
Although a bit too long, this book is excellent. I could almost feel what Aron was feeling...the lonlieness and desperation, but also the hope and positive attitude that saved his life. What a guy. This book inspired me.
Sometimes hard to listen to because ;he , the writer is the man recounting the events so well. I found myself listening and imagining the desperation of his situation. More than once I felt my own arm as he talked and shuttered at the choices he had to make. Well written and Aron reads his own tale in the audio version. No one else could have done as well. This book is as real as it gets. Now I will search out the movie. This book stays with you whenever you put it down.