Tuesday, 1 May 2012

BOOK: 127 Hours, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Aron Ralston (7/10)

The inspiring story from which Danny Boyle produced the Oscar nominated film 127 Hours is a fantastic read and having seen the film, provides Aron Ralston to narrate the sequence of events from his own perspective.

Ralston tells his story in a methodical, clear and intelligent manner in many ways similar to the way in which he approached his horrific situation.

For the majority of the book Ralston alternates the chapters between the infamous accident and stories from his earlier climbing experiences. While these older anecdotes provide an insight into Ralston's experiences, and allow him to explain how his adventurous life took him to that canyon on that fateful day, the detail into which he provides, specific dates, locations and names, does become slightly monotonous. Midway through the book, these chapters became nothing more than a distraction from the main event and I found myself longing for the next update from the canyon and the grisly details of the accident. 

Several chapters are also dedicated to the actions of Ralston's parents, friends and rescuers and how, in parallel to Ralston's entrapment, come to realise that something is amiss when he fails to return and begin to raise the alarm. The book converges this side story with that of Ralston's own perspective when he frees himself and finds help. Being deliberately excluded from the film, I enjoyed discovering the actions of the other parties involved. 

The final chapters of the book, describing the amputation and escape were an excellent, inspiring read and more than made up for any previously mentioned flaws. 

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