Customer Reviews for

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Average Rating 4
( 168 )
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(82)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

An amazing true story

After reading this book,the original from 2006 "BaRaaHP", I didn't think of Aron as just another "unprepared" or "rank amateur" outdoors-man. The guy knows his stuff and was just a victim of fate/bad luck/karma... Here it is, another gripe about e-book prices: $11.99 fo...
After reading this book,the original from 2006 "BaRaaHP", I didn't think of Aron as just another "unprepared" or "rank amateur" outdoors-man. The guy knows his stuff and was just a victim of fate/bad luck/karma... Here it is, another gripe about e-book prices: $11.99 for nookbook is ridiculous. Get the paperback.

posted by murphious on February 26, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place or a Bed and a Pillow

This three hundred and fifty two page autobiography by Aron Ralston, is about a near fatal climbing accident. Aron Ralston was an outdoor enthusiast, who moved to Colorado as a young boy and fell in love with it slowly after. His love for the outdoors followed him all o...
This three hundred and fifty two page autobiography by Aron Ralston, is about a near fatal climbing accident. Aron Ralston was an outdoor enthusiast, who moved to Colorado as a young boy and fell in love with it slowly after. His love for the outdoors followed him all over the world. From mountains in Colorado and Washington, to the dessert of Arizona, the beautiful national parks in the U.S, to Japan's Mount Fiji. Aron was known for his reckless behavior through out his trekking adventures, he thought nothing of his behavior, and he claimed it was all part of the experience, until one mistake could have cost him his life. Between a Rock and a Hard Place, goes through Aron's life starting from a little boy, to graduating college at the prestigious Cargnie University, and his engineering career. The book switches from his present situation to the past. Slowly Aron runs out of food and water and stays three nights in cold unbearable desert nights, till he finally realizes what is needed to be done to save his life. The theme of this autobiography is survival, determination, and passion. Whether you're in a life or death situation, or how to survive just in the world. In Aron's case it was how to survive in a horrible situation. Having the determination to cut your own arm off, yet still not is afraid to go out and do what you love. After Aron's accident he is still determine to climb fourteners. His determination and passion for climbing and the outdoors, proves the themes of the book.

Personally this book was over rated, and nothing how critics claimed it to be. The best part of the book is the pictures. The entire book was a whirlwind of unnecessary information about, rocks, scenery, climbing gear, and outdoor conditions. Readers do yourself a favor and get to the juicy part of the book; skip all unimportant chapters and read chapters involving Aron trapped with his arm in the boulder. All other chapters are boring and put you to sleep. This is a book one must read sitting upwards. If you think this book is filled with juicy disgusting bits of how Aron sawed his arm off layer by layer, you are defiantly wrong and will be highly disappointed by this book. If you're an outdoor enthusiast like the author Aron Ralston, you would otherwise highly enjoy this book, and his descriptions of the places he has ventured to!

On a scale from one to ten this book would get a whopping rating of a three. It doesn't keep readers hooked. I found myself skipping chapters just to get through with the book. There is no doubt in my mind that what Aron did was admirable, but his writing style took a long time to get to the best part of the book. Hopefully this is the first and only book from this author.

posted by 1110062 on March 16, 2009

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    An amazing true story

    After reading this book,the original from 2006 "BaRaaHP", I didn't think of Aron as just another "unprepared" or "rank amateur" outdoors-man. The guy knows his stuff and was just a victim of fate/bad luck/karma... Here it is, another gripe about e-book prices: $11.99 for nookbook is ridiculous. Get the paperback.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place or a Bed and a Pillow

    This three hundred and fifty two page autobiography by Aron Ralston, is about a near fatal climbing accident. Aron Ralston was an outdoor enthusiast, who moved to Colorado as a young boy and fell in love with it slowly after. His love for the outdoors followed him all over the world. From mountains in Colorado and Washington, to the dessert of Arizona, the beautiful national parks in the U.S, to Japan's Mount Fiji. Aron was known for his reckless behavior through out his trekking adventures, he thought nothing of his behavior, and he claimed it was all part of the experience, until one mistake could have cost him his life. Between a Rock and a Hard Place, goes through Aron's life starting from a little boy, to graduating college at the prestigious Cargnie University, and his engineering career. The book switches from his present situation to the past. Slowly Aron runs out of food and water and stays three nights in cold unbearable desert nights, till he finally realizes what is needed to be done to save his life. The theme of this autobiography is survival, determination, and passion. Whether you're in a life or death situation, or how to survive just in the world. In Aron's case it was how to survive in a horrible situation. Having the determination to cut your own arm off, yet still not is afraid to go out and do what you love. After Aron's accident he is still determine to climb fourteners. His determination and passion for climbing and the outdoors, proves the themes of the book.

    Personally this book was over rated, and nothing how critics claimed it to be. The best part of the book is the pictures. The entire book was a whirlwind of unnecessary information about, rocks, scenery, climbing gear, and outdoor conditions. Readers do yourself a favor and get to the juicy part of the book; skip all unimportant chapters and read chapters involving Aron trapped with his arm in the boulder. All other chapters are boring and put you to sleep. This is a book one must read sitting upwards. If you think this book is filled with juicy disgusting bits of how Aron sawed his arm off layer by layer, you are defiantly wrong and will be highly disappointed by this book. If you're an outdoor enthusiast like the author Aron Ralston, you would otherwise highly enjoy this book, and his descriptions of the places he has ventured to!

    On a scale from one to ten this book would get a whopping rating of a three. It doesn't keep readers hooked. I found myself skipping chapters just to get through with the book. There is no doubt in my mind that what Aron did was admirable, but his writing style took a long time to get to the best part of the book. Hopefully this is the first and only book from this author.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2009

    Good Book!

    Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. The journey he went through with his accident was really inspiring. The detailed descriptions of Aron's past treks became a little monotonous so I skimmed over them. --K--

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2009

    amazing book

    absolutly the most inspiring book i've ever read. The detail he uses and the pictures really make u feel like you are there going through this struggle with him.You will not be able to put it down. 5/5 without a doubt

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2005

    5 stars but he's pushing his luck

    A lot of people write in their reviews that they are amazed at how Aaron was able to survive this 'ACCIDENT'. I question the term accident because it was inevitable that Aaron was going to get himself into ANOTHER life or death situation. The book actually lists the prior near death experiences he had in the wilderness. And what infuriates me even more is that he almost boasts about these events. And even worse it's almost like he still doesn't see how he not only endangers himself but people who do value their lives, which are the rescue workers. It's definitely an interesting book but I have a hard time with the fact that I paid money for this book, which will in turn allow him to continue his foolish ways. It will not surprise me in the least to hear about his tragic death in the near future. A book that really explains the mentality of people like Aaron is Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. This is a must read book for outdoor people, extreme sports people or anyone who is interested in why people live and die in difficult circumstances. Enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Great

    I have never read the book but the movie was terrifec!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2012

    Great book, would recommend to everyone...

    This book Between a Rock and a Hard Place is about an outdoorsman Aron Ralston. While Hiking in Blue John Canyon Ralston was trapped under a rock for five days. This book shows how Ralston was fighting to free himself from his entrapment, he tried chipping down the rock, and sawing off his arm, both without success. He waited, hoping for someone to come along and rescue him or until he was reported as a missing person from friends and family. On the edge of death, Ralston receives a premonition with a three year old boy, who he knows is his. This premonition revives his will to live and he stabs his knife into his arm, and cuts it off. He then escapes the canyon he was trapped in and hikes for six miles back towards his truck when he comes across some hikers. He is then rescued.
    I liked how he described the way he felt in this predicament, also how descriptive he was while writing about the situation. I did not like, however, how the book would continuously bounce back and forth from an expedition to his past, and how he was trapped under the rock. The first few stories were nice because it gave a general background of who he was, but I wanted to read his situation trapped under the rock.
    I believe everyone should read this, so they understand what Ralston was put through, and how he got out. It would show them that life is precious, and you cannot waste it away. Ralston refers to the book Into the Wild, which I would suggest others to read as well as this book, because Ralston explains how it inspired him to become an outdoorsman.
    I would give this book a four out of five stars because although it was a great book to read, there were some parts that I wanted to skip through to get to the good part.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Its way better than the movie

    I love it

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2011

    An inspiring read, but not one without faults.

    Trapped alone in a canyon, miles away from civilization, with little food and water; this is the fate that befalls Aron Ralston, an avid outdoorsman, in Between a Rock and a Hard Place. The novel is a first person account of Aron's entrapment in the Blue John Canyon in Utah, and his subsequent narrow escape and rescue. The story begins with Aron biking in Utah on his way to the canyon. Once there, he takes his meager supplies and begins exploring the fissure. After navigating some treacherous terrain, he reaches a large boulder blocking a narrow passage in the canyon. Attempting to climb over the obstruction, Aron accidentally dislodges the boulder and causes it to fall and trap his right arm. He immediately tries to free his arm, but to no avail. Throughout the rest of the book the narrative transitions from his present day predicament, to flashing back throughout his life. Aron is a passionate adventurer, and has done many diverse activities as climbing all of the fourteeners in Colorado during the winter, to narrowly drowning in a river, and other near escapes from death. After failing to free his arm through various means, such as chipping away the boulder and attempting to lift it, Aron resorts to trying to survive as long as possible. He depletes his meager water supplies in only a few short days however, and has to resort to drinking his urine to survive. After his friends and coworkers notice that he has been missing for several days, the police are notified and a search is mounted. Nearing what he believes is the end of his life; Aron uses his video camera to record his final thoughts in hopes that his family and friends will someday find his last message. In a final stroke of desperation he severs his crushed arm and manages to escape to civilization. The major theme in the story is that hope can overcome any obstacle, which is demonstrated by Aron's refusal to give up and die while in the canyon. The strong points of this novel were the fascinating story of survival, the inspiring dedication of Aron, and the message of hope. There were some annoyances found in the book however; Aron often comes across as an egomaniac as he recounts his many adventures and near death experiences, and he often makes obscure climbing references. These aspects of the book can become frustrating, but do not detract significantly from the overall read. Taken as a whole however, this book comes recommended, with a final rating of four out of five stars. Between a Rock and a Hard Place is an enjoyable read, but not one without its faults.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Boring

    K its cool he survived and cut off his arm. This book is a total brag fest of how cool he thinks he is. He does not hold back on the language and it is totally offensive at points. Very disappointed......

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The tale of a mans will to live

    Aaron Ralston showed the world that in a life and death situation, people are capable of going through amazing feats to survive. It starts off with him going on a typical solo trip through the Horseshoe Canyon in Arizona. He meets two girls along the way, but they end up splitting off onto their own ways, planning to meet at a bar later. He finishes his trip by completing the Blue John Canyon solo. He has a boulder dislodge on the way, crushing his right arm, and his six-day entrapment begins. I found half of the book quite interesting. The other half, however, I felt shouldn't have been put there. He splits off between him being stuck and past adventures, which I feel are probably highly over exaggerated. One of his passages describes how a bear followed him for a day. He described the bear following at a 20 ft distance, him falling in the snow, the bear gets to close, he throws a rock at it, the bear climbs up the tree, he gets up to walk away, the bear climbs back down and the process repeats. I feel like he is throwing in hyped up stories (possibly lies) to prolong the book. Without these stories, I think the book would be much better and more fun to read. I enjoyed reading about him being stuck, the thoughts that went through his mind, how he made due with what little supplies he had, and ultimately escaped what he thought was certain death. Simply reading this made me think about how I might have dealt with the situation, my ultimate solution was to avoid falling boulders, which made me keep on reading to compare ourselves. While he is undoubtedly not the best writer, he did a good job at describing his ordeal. While at times it can get slow, when he starts cutting his arm, it's hard to put the book down. If you like survival books, this book is well worth your time. Even though his tangent stories of bears and avalanches can seem far-fetched, they are still all tales of adventures and are often kind of comical. If you have a weak stomach, however, I wouldn't recommend reading his book. At times it can be quite graphic and burns unforgettable images into your mind. I would rate this book a hardy 4/5. He gave me what I wanted to read, and while I didn't enjoy the side stories as much, it's mostly because I felt that all this seems a little too extravagant to be true. If they happen to be true, more power to this guy, even after this accident he keeps on going with his adventures. I would recommend books similar to "Into the Wild" or "Hatchet", both good adventure/survival stories. I would also recommend trying a nice hike of your own, possibly one of Colorado's fourteeners for a adventure of your own rather than a tale of another's.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2005

    Fascinating primer on what not to do

    While I cannot, and will not condone the author's actions I must say this was a fascintating read. Use it as primer of what NOT to do in the wild. Mountains, like the sea, and aviation are extremely unforgiving of mistakes. The author made a reckless practice of pushing the edge of the envelope in his many endeavors. He delineates many, many occasions wherein the only reason he survived was pure stroke of chance. It was unfortuitous that he be caught, as he says, between a rock and a hard place but as you read about his (mis)adventures and the poor judgement he exercised it appears inevitible that if not here (in this slot canyon in Utah) then somewhere else. It would appear that he's not learned from his mistakes as from the tone of bragadoccio evidenced in this book. Nonetheless this is a great book to read; it kept me captivated from start to finish.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    The memoir, Between A Rock And A Hard Place, is written by Aron


    The memoir, Between A Rock And A Hard Place, is written by Aron Ralston. The story is about when Aron goes on a hike, but not long after he starts, he finds himself with his arm pinned between a large boulder and a rock wall. He is stuck there with his hiking kit and a small supply of water. I enjoyed this book because of all the action it brings. He is a very humorous writer, so you will find yourself smiling as you read and sometimes even laughing. Many teenage boys and most adults would enjoy this book because of the humor it brings, and the action it has.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    This purchase blows!

    I bought the book for $12 and it wont even show the words!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    aROCKandaHARDPLACE

    This story is powerful and inspiring. I could read and re-read it over and over. Even though you know how it ends, this book keeps you on the edge of your seat and reading it becomes an intense expirience. There are no boring parts in this story, i literally couldn't put it down and probly read a good 75-80% straight through.

    I would definitly reccomend this book to anyone who loves the outdoors but also to anyone who loves suspense

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    $$$$$$

    Seriously, twelve bucks for a digital book?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    Poop

    Poopddndhdhwjaksbfhfkjshcjckdjdjejr hi mitherdjjskkd

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Boring & pretentious

    It reads as a series of bragging stories from an irresponsible youth. My least favorite book ever read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2012

    Great Book

    Aron Ralston is on what he thinks to be a nice, relaxing hiking trip through the Blue John Canyon. He meets up with these two wonderful women, Megan McBride and Kristi Moore. After talking with Aron for a little bit, Megan and Kristi invite him to a party that night. He gladly accepts the invite, buts says that he has to finish hiking the rest of the mountain first. Megan and Kristi know that Aron will not be back before dark, so they agree to just meet with him at the party. Aron continues his journey through Blue John Canyon, when something terrible happens. During the rest of his trip, a huge boulder drops onto his right arm. After a while, Aron finds himself out of food and water and stuck in a sticky situation. Aron Ralston shares his strive for survival in his book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place is an autobiography written by Aron Ralston. It is also a documentary movie, 127 Hours. Aron Ralston is an extravagant outdoorsman. He enjoys hiking various mountains, including the Cordillera Blanca in Peru in 2001. Ralston spent most of his childhood in Englewood, Colorado. He was doing what he loved most when his horrendous accident occurred. Aron gives great detail about his situation. He even provides pictures of his arm before and after. At sometimes, I felt like the rock was on top of me because his description! Yes, this book could be for someone who loves the outdoors, but it could also be a book for anyone who wants to enjoy a book full of suspense. As a reader, I had to keep reading because even though I knew he would make it out alive, I was curious to know how Aron actually freed himself from the boulder.

    Aron Ralston’s book was a very good one. It was a story of Aron’s encounter with the massive rock. I really enjoyed how he would video tape himself over and over again. He would talk about his goodbyes to his family and anything he needed to say before he left Earth. Once Aron’s boss and mother realized that something must have gone wrong, my interest in the book went high above my first expectations. Everyone started panicking and had to help. The stories intensity was reborn. The book is written in clear, great detail. It shows in some of the parts how he “adapted” to his lifestyle with one of his essential body parts missing. It was amazing how he survived.

    My favorite part about the book was when he was explaining how he found the couple while trying to find help in the desert. It seemed almost unrealistic how he found the people who essentially saved his life. For the couple to be at the same exact location at the same exact time as him is unbelievable. I also still can’t believe how he said that when he was cutting off his arm, it didn’t really even hurt that much! I loved how this story also showed how daring Aron was. Having lost an arm didn’t slow him down one bit. Aron kept on hiking mountains, never giving up what he liked to do most. I enjoyed not just the ending, but Aron’s entire story that he shared with us in order for himself to survive. Overall, Between a Rock and a Hard Place was a very good book.


    I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

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  • Posted January 29, 2012

    Inspiring but can be boring at times.

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place is an amazing and a truly inspiring story of Aron Ralston’s journey in the Blue John Canyon where he gets stuck between a canyon wall and a boulder. After five days of being trapped in the canyon by the boulder, he decides that the only way he can be rescued is to amputate his own arm. Aron takes us through the story of saving his life, and many other events in his past that makes him the strong and experienced person that he turns out to be. Without this, he may have never been able to survive the five days being trapped by the boulder. This book includes many of the problems that Aron faced throughout his life along with one ultimate problem (being stuck between a boulder and the canyon wall). While being stuck he tries multiple ways to get out but none of them do any good. He tries breaking part of the canyon wall off, breaking down the boulder, and creating pulley-system so he could lift the boulder out of place. But, in the end when all else fails he decides to amputate his arm, and hope for the best. This shows that even in tough conditions, Aron fights through it even if he ends up doubting himself through the process. I felt that Aron’s basic premises for writing this book was to inform the readers that even in bad situations, they could always be a lot worse. Also, if you truly believe in something and put your mind to it, then you can accomplish anything. There are many themes that occur throughout the book, but the one that sticks out in my mind the most is overcoming adversity. In the book, it talks about him overcoming problems that occurred in his past along with the problem he was facing at that point in time. This theme takes place from the first to the last page of the book. There were a lot of pros and cons to the book. The book is clearly written and you know what is happening at all times. Also, Between a Rock and a Hard Place is very descriptive and easy to visualize as you go along. Finally, he includes flashbacks of earlier troubles that Aron had experienced, which was a neat twist because I had never read a book that had flashbacks the way that he had them. This book is written very well and I don’t have any trouble with his particular style of writing. Not only is it a different genre, it has a very unique style and formatting. Also, the flashbacks add a lot of a character to the book, and the way that he uses it every other chapter is really distinctive. But, I feel that this book has quite a bit of cons. For starters, the book is very boring and it is hard to concentrate at times because the book is very unappealing to me. If Aron would have gone into more detail about the events that happened before he had gotten stuck, it would have been better. Also, he could have made the book a lot better by getting to the point where he amputates his arm a lot sooner, because that is the highlight of the story and it takes him forever to get to that point. There are many things that I like and dislike about the book. For example, I like him having flashbacks that show what shaped him to be the person that is today, but on the downside it was a little too lengthy. The book is fairly decent, but it would better suit someone that likes wilderness and adventure books.

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