Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


On Saturday, 26 April 2003, Aron Ralston, a 27-year-old outdoorsman and adventurer, set off for a day's hike in the Utah canyons.

Eight miles from his truck, he found himself in the middle of a deep and remote canyon.

Then the unthinkable happened: a boulder shifted and snared his right arm against the canyon wall.

He was trapped, facing dehydration, starvation, hallucinations and hypothermia as night-time temperatures plummeted.

Five and a half days later, Aron Ralston finally came to the agonising conclusion that his only hope was to amputate his own arm and get himself to safety.

Miraculously, he survived. BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE is more than just an adventure story.

It is a brave, honest and above all inspiring account of one man's valiant effort to survive, and is destined to take its place among adventure classics such as TOUCHING THE VOID.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages, 16pp colour plates
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: sport
  • ISBN: 9780743495806



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First, what he did to get him in such a situation was not smart--something in which we all (including Ralston) can agree. That being said it still is a good survival story (however, for a better, more complex one I enjoyed "Touching the Void"). Unfortunately,the tone of the narrative for the first few chapters is pretentious and narcissistic. He spends a large part of the beginning as an opportunity to boast about his climbing achievements a little too much for my taste. Ralston tends to write from a outdoor persons technical perspective, which has him come off as a bit pretentious--especially considering the eventual situation he found himself in. Alternately, you could say that the beginning helps give the perspective that he was overly confident as a result of his experience, which led him to venture out alone in the slot canyon--but this is only my opinion as he never overtly suggests such an evaluation. Given this shortcoming it still becomes an interesting story that ends with an infamous do or die decision, helping it be a worthy and inspirational read.

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