Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The latest read...

Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceBetween a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After watching 127 Hours and seeing the documentary NBC produced on this incident, I knew I had to read the book written by the man who survived five days trapped in a slot canyon in Utah by amputating his own arm and hiking miles to his rescue.

The writing is unbelievably vivid, and Ralston's description of his mental and physical anguish during his time in the canyon is remarkable. I honestly don't know if I would have exercised the same courage Aron did to get himself extracted, and it's inspiring to read of his efforts.

One lingering issue keeps coming to my mind, though, and that's how acceptable a life of risk is. Ralston is not at all hesitant to point out his love of adventure and its attendant risks, but as triumphant as his story is, it's still somewhat hard for me to not believe that sooner or later in Aron's life, something as tragic as that was going to happen. I guess we all live with different comfort levels, and I have an exceedingly low tolerance for risk, which makes me unable to fully appreciate Aron's zest for his adventures. No matter how I feel about that, though, this story is truly triumphant, and I am glad to have been able to read Aron's account of his experience. It's a very haunting read, but beautiful in its hopeful ending.

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