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127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place [Mass Market Paperback]

Aron Ralston
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 26 2010

Aron Ralston, an experienced twenty-seven-year-old outdoorsman, was on a day’s solitary hike through a remote and narrow Utah canyon when he dislodged an eight-hundred- pound boulder that crushed his right hand and wrist against the canyon wall. Emerging from the searing pain, Aron found himself completely stuck. No one knew where he was; no one was coming to rescue him. With scant water and food, and a cheap pocketknife his only tool, he eliminated his options one by one. On the fifth night, wracked by delirium and uncontrollable shivers, Aron scratched his epitaph into the rock wall, certain he would not see daylight.

Yet with the new morning came an epiphany: if he could use the rock’s vise-like hold to break his arm bones, his blunted pocketknife could serve as a surgeon’s blade. . . .

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127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place + Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Ralston's story is one of the most gut-wrenching and compelling real-life adventures in recent years: in early 2003, the avid rock-climber and outdoorsman became trapped in a Utah mountain canyon when an 800-pound boulder pinned his right arm. He spent six days there, fighting both the physical challenges of pain and dehydration, and the psychological horror that eroded his hope and energy. Eventually, he amputated his own arm with his pocket knife in order to gain his freedom. It's a truly remarkable story, and hearing Ralston retell it is alternately fascinating and unbearable. After a brief setup that details his life as an adventurer, he arrives at his moment of horror, walking the listener in painstaking detail through everything he felt and thought; his honest and blunt language (" 'What are you doing, Aron? Get that knife away from your wrist!' I feel vaguely ill... my vision blurs in a nauseating swirl"), paired with his direct and non-sensational delivery, wrap the listener in a mental blanket of claustrophobia. Although squeamish listeners might find this audio presentation too overwhelming, it's a riveting document of one man's extraordinary trial.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School - From midday Saturday, April 26, 2003, until midday Thursday, May 1, Ralston was pinned between a boulder and a canyon wall in a remote area of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. He had little food and water. No one would even wonder where he was until he didn't show up for work on Tuesday. Unable to sit, lie down, use his right arm (that was the part between the rock and the wall), or sleep, he knew right away that he was in for an excruciatingly difficult time. Those 120 hours of what he calls "uninterrupted experience" tested to the fullest his physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being. His eventual rescue led to international headlines, partially due to his dramatic means of escape: he severed his arm with a cheap, dull, dirty knife. This is a searing and amazingly detailed rendition of his ordeal, along with accounts of several of Ralston's previous wilderness adventures. He is one active and tough guy, but readers never get the sense that he is boastful or seeking notoriety. Rather, he seems genuinely intrigued, even mildly befuddled, by his insatiable drive to be active in the wild. One could say he takes too many risks, and that he has a tendency toward carelessness. He himself notes this. But the man's drive and devotion to his calling are nothing but admirable. Sixteen pages of color photographs add considerably to readers' experience of this nuanced, gripping survival story that belongs in most collections. - Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beating The Odds Nov. 12 2004
By A Customer
This is one man that knows what beating the odds is all about. He has been close to death, yet, his courage and determination to survive is remarkable. He writes with poetic justice and you can almost see the scenerios he paints. Highly rated!
Other good books to read are: Nightmares Echo ,Skywriting and If I Knew Then
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5.0 out of 5 stars unbelievable read July 18 2007
By Linda D
The books I most enjoy reading are survival stories and this book is one of the best I have ever read. Maybe Aaron Ralston is super human because his account of survival after dislodging a boulder and subsequently being trapped in a remote canyon is so extroadinary it almost seems impossible. Obviously Ralston had the will but also the common sense to portion his rations and eventually break the bones in his wrist and sever his hand to free himself. Frankly I'm guessing few people would have had the courage or even the intelligence to formulate such a survival plan. And then to survive an amputation whilst in a remote setting, well you can see the odds were against him! This was a page turner, I was on the edge of my seat at times nauseated by the graphic details but nonetheless amazed he managed to suvive what was literally a death trap.
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5.0 out of 5 stars encouraging Nov. 15 2009
I purchased this book for a girlfriend who sent it on to her grandson. He's in the military, in boot camp. They have no TV, no computers, no iphones or Blackberrys, no movies. They can read, but only what their family will kindly mail to them. I know he loved the book.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Really good but too long March 5 2006
By A Customer
Wow. I had never before heard of Aron Ralston before I read this book. This is a really amazing and surprisingly honest read. Ralston portrays himself very honestly with his faults along with his many attributes. His determination and resoursefulness show that he's worth the hype. My main critisism is that this book is too long. He interwinds chapters about his different expeditions before the accident and a very long and detailed account of each day trapped. I had to work really hard to keep myself from just skipping ahead to the end. I still recommend reading it, even if you do skip some chapters or read the end first. After all, we all already pretty much know the ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Between a rock and a hard place. Nov. 7 2011
By ellab
I sent this book to my niece. She loved it and it arrived on time in excellent shape. Good service.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read Oct. 19 2011
By Barney
Very inspirational book. Only downfall was the other stories that were told throughout the story made it a longer read than it needed to be.
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