Tuesday, April 23, 2013

127 Hours - Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Aron Ralston)

We've all heard about the movie "127 Hours", right?  This guy, Aron, is out alone adventuring when he gets his arm stuck between a boulder and a wall.  He's stuck there, by himself, for 127 hours.
This true story, written by Aron Ralston, describes everything that happened before, during, and after this incident.  (Spoiler alert: He survives - after all, he was able to write the book!)
I started reading the book, and then, a few chapters in, decided that I wanted to watch the movie.  I thought the movie was very well done, but I also felt like I wanted to know more.  I felt like I was missing information about the whole story.  (And I was really hoping that the book would answer those questions.)
This book exceeded my expectations and answered all of the questions that I felt were unanswered after watching the movie.  As far as the book itself is concerned, it included so many details during those 127 hours - how he decided to drink his water to maximize his resources, his thought processes for how he was going to try to get out of his situation, what he recorded on his video camera and photographed for his loved ones back home (when he was thinking that he was going to die), and everything that he saw and felt while he was stuck.  As well, he includes so many details in what his friends and family members were doing back home in their search for Aron and details about his rescue and recovery (both of which were not included in the movie).
Throughout the beginning of the book, he also goes back and forth from his present situation (him being stuck) to past adventures he has had with his friends or family.  Now, let this be stated - I think Aron is extremely brave for having done what he did and survived this situation (and for not letting this accident affect his active lifestyle).  However, I just need to point out that many of the past situations described by Aron in the book could have ended similarly, with him stuck in a (different) bad situation.  (He even talks, at one point in the book, about a friend who is no longer on speaking terms with him because Aron was the encourager that got them into a dangerous and life-threatening situation involving an avalanche.)  He's a risk-taker (something which I don't know very much about!), and while this was definitely a chance situation in 127 hours, I hope that he has learned to tone down some of the risks that he takes on while out adventuring. 
It was a bit tough to get into during the first couple chapters, but it was worth it.  This is not my typical type of read, but I was impressed with his writing, his memory of details, and his story. 
For those who liked the movie, for those who enjoy outside adventure, and for those who enjoy reading true stories, I would highly recommend this one. 

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