Adena's Reviews > Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
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Jan 29, 12

it was ok
Read in January, 2012

I actually was quite fascinated by the actual story of Aron's travail in the canyon, the day-by-day process he went through, and his amazing story of escape and survival. That story was haunting and awe-inspiring. What I didn't like about this book was Aron himself. Over half the book describes his many adventurous exploits, during which he committed stupid acts on nearly all of them, and almost died numerous times. By the fifth adventure or so, I found myself unsympathetically declaring that I sure was sorry he got trapped in the canyon, but it didn't really surprise me. He kinda was asking for it, in my opinion. Additionally, his description of his exploits were always accompanied by a tone of pride and ego; he rarely seemed humbled by his stupidity, even after the canyon event. In remarks later, he said the greatest thing he learned from losing his arm and nearly dying is that "I can be a great inspiration to other people." That self-centered, prideful response seems pretty typical of his entire personality, which, unfortunately, bugged me the entire book. I kept waiting for the profound, life-changing moment of humility and revelation to come, and it never really did. Even when he did realize that maybe he should be feeling a bit of regret for some of his past decisions, he brushes it off and says he had no regrets and then proceeds to justify his stupidity. For Aron, it seemed to be all about "good times" and the fun he had, about his accomplishments, not anything that really struck a chord with me. What could have been a deeply profound book in the end was a bit empty for me.
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