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Between a Rock and a Hard Place [Paperback]

Aron Ralston
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Library Binding CDN $25.76  
Paperback CDN $12.41  
Paperback, Aug. 30 2005 CDN $13.86  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $9.92  
Audio, CD, Abridged, Audiobook CDN $12.26  
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Book Description

Aug. 30 2005
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 mountaineer 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.

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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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FRAYING CONTRAILS STREAK another bluebird sky above the red desert plateau, and I wonder how many sunburnt days these badlands have seen since their creation. Read the first page
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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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