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

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
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really liked it
Recommended for: people who like survival stories, adventurers, mountaineers

Now, I will start first by saying I saw the movie, 127 Hours first.

Of course, I then had to read the book. Usually the book is much better, but the movie is one of my favourites and Aron's fight to survive really resonated with me- whereas the book, although had mostly good points, it also has some flaws.

His adventures:

As other reviewers have said, much of this book seems to be a filler of Aron's boastful stories of adventures and near-death experiences. At first they were really interesting, but I soon grew tired of the endless dangerous situations that he continued to put himself in...sometimes I had to put the book down- which is never a good sign.

However, once I reached the point in the story when he gets trapped in the canyon slot, I could not put the book down.


Thoughts on Aron's character:

The last few chapters of the book made up for the rest of the cocky adventure anecdotes. Some people classify him as a douche/conceited/careless, and maybe that is so, but what I took away from his story is that he did finally reflect on the person he was pre-accident; his arrogance and risk-taking had many consequences.

I think the experience in Blue John Canyon taught him some serious lessons. He lost his arm, but he also lost many other aspects about him life too. He mentions the friends who stopped talking to him because of his carelessness. This leads me to believe the canyon accident taught him something about the person he WAS. He seems to acknowledge that his alpha-male personality dominated him, and so he didn't think he needed to take safety precautions.

You also learn information that you don't get from the movie, which I also liked; his life immediately after being rescued, post-amptation, all people who were affected by what happened, etc.


All in all, Aron is a positive person who can make the best out of a bad situation. Getting trapped by the boulder? Such a freak accident that really could have happened to anyone (any adventure taker that is). Aron's survival and zest for life inspired me to look at my own life differently, and a book that has the ability to do that for me is a book worth reading.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 24, 2011 – Finished Reading
June 26, 2011 – Shelved

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Melissa Morris I also thought it was boastful, but only because I read some of 'Michael's' review (another Goodreader). However, I put it down to the fact that he has a very strong sense of adventure and can't change that. I also found it very hard to put it down. I was so glad that the first attempt at surgery failed, otherwise he would not have made it (probably). I am glad you didn't give him one star based on his overly adventurous nature. :-)

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