Rated Reads

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

by Aron Ralston

Rated: Moderate

Every once in a while a book comes along that is so surprising and so amazing that it literally leaves me breathless. Between a Rock and a Hard Place is just such a book. I never imagined that this book would be so beautifully written, so emotionally rich or so deeply touching.

Aron Ralston, an experienced outdoorsman, is hiking in southern Utah when a large boulder, known as a chockstone, shifts, falls and pins his right arm to the canyon wall. Trapped for nearly a week, Ralston recalls past close-call adventures and lessons learned in the wilderness. Suffering hunger, extreme thirst and endless pain, he is faced with his own mortality. After trying to move the boulder, chip the rock away and doing nearly everything else he can think of, Ralston, in order to survive, amputates his own arm and hikes eight miles until he meets up with rescue.

The emotional and spiritual insights he experiences are rich, true and touching. Several times during this book I had to rub away the chills from my arms and blink back tears. Knowing the final outcome does not change the allure of the book; I could not put it down. Ralston’s writing is as beautiful and insightful as some of the top literary authors. I could not stop thinking about it while I was reading it and I still can’t. This one certainly lingers.

Despite the gritty subject matter, occasional foul language and stomach-turning survival situations, this is a must-read book. Put it on your list!

Rated: Moderate for the occasional use of foul language including the F-word and intense survival situations.

— Reviewed by Teri Harman

Teri Harman is an author, reader and book enthusiast. Her young adult novel, Blood Moon, was published by Jolly Fish Press in summer 2013. She writes a biweekly column, Book Matters, for ksl.com and also contributes a monthly book segment to KSL’s #1 lifestyle show, Studio 5.

One Response to Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  1. […] book. I wanted to open the pages and read the same kind of wisdom and deep insight that I found in Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston. At first, I thought I would, as I was totally absorbed by the first half of the […]

  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place
  • by Aron Ralston
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Reviewer: