Touching the Void by Joe Simpson Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Autobiographical tales don't come much more nail-biting than this living nightmare, recalled
by mountaineer Joe who was left for dead on a snow-riddled peak in Peru back in 1985.
After getting into trouble on the 21,000 ft Siula Grande with friend Simon Yates, Simon was
forced to cut a rope that tethered them both together which resulted in Joe falling into a crevasse.
If Simon hadn't cut the rope, it seemed certain that he would be dragged down with Joe.
Amazingly though, Joe survived the fall and - over the course of a few days - miraculously managed
to crawl back to their base camp where Simon was still winding down after the nightmare he had
experienced up on the mountain, understandably racked with guilt over Joe's seemingly inevitable fate.
It never really crossed Simon's mind that Joe might somehow still be alive..
Remarks Joe, when it came to literally digging his heels in to get off that mountain alone..
In a peculiar way it was refreshing to be faced with simple choices.
It made me feel sharp and alert, and I looked ahead at the land stretching into distant haze
and saw my part in it with greater clarity and honesty than I had ever experienced before.
This truly remarkable story isn't just told by Joe, as the narration of the events that transpired
chop and change with both Joe and Simon taking it in turns with their side of things.
Joe realises that Simon HAD TO cut the rope and doesn't feel in anyway mad at Simon; he did
what he had to do at the time.
Still, at the time there was allegedly a huge furore surrounding Simon's action, suggesting
that the act of rope-cutting was in some ways selfish.
But as you read more of Touching The Void you come to realise how Simon
can't really be blamed for anything.
Their misadventure took both of them by surprise and they acted appropriately given
the life-or-death circumstances.
Such is the inspirational power of Joe's tale, Touching The Void has more
recently been made into a movie (in which Joe actually appears), relating the story to more folk than ever.
It's not just a story that will interest die-hard mountaineers.
Far from it.. for Joe always writes from the heart and makes time to reflect on life in general.
The seething survival ethic of this story could be applied to so many things in life,
the major philosophy being ground hard into the fact that whatever one wants to achieve -
don't give up, don't give up, don't give up.
Joe's strength of spirit should inspire even the most pessimistic and cynical of people.
So take a chance yourself why don't you, and give this book a try.
Reviews, Books - One Man and his Bog - 20 Years of The Adelphi Reviewed By Michelle Dee
I have just returned home from a Monday night at the Adelphi club on De Grey Street clutching
a prized copy of the unique One Man and his Bog. (The History of the Adelphi)
I had new dark Kit Kats to eat but I didn't spare them a thought, until I had read
Reviews, Theatre - Julius Caesar at Hull Truck Wednesday 10th November 04 By Nicholas Boldock
Predictably, Hull Truck dispenses with tradition for this pulsating performance
of one of Shakespeare's most ambitious plays. The differences between Godber's version
and Shakespeare's are glaring - an original cast of 51 is slashed to just 6 actors
(although most of them play multiple roles)
Reviews, Films - Collateral By Steve Rudd
Starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, this rollercoasting thrill-ride is
one of the coolest of action movies to have hit the screen in 2004, as Summer goes out to the
dogs and the first pangs of Autumn strike the air.
Tom, like his ex-wife Nicole Kidman, never seems to stop working
Reviews, Books - Sitting Up with the Dead by Pamela Petro Reviewed By Steve Rudd
In the manic style of Bill Bryson, Pamela Petro gets in her car and heads out
around America in search of exciting new people, places and - above else -
Confining her extensive travels to the Eastern side of North America and,
in particular, the South-East states of Alabama, Georgia
Reviews, Books - Mick Ronson: The Spider with the Platinum Hair by Weird and Gilly Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Born and bred in Hull, Mick Ronson indeed did come from extremely humble beginnings to
become one of Britain's most respected musicians and producers.
Born in 1946, it was in the early seventies that Mick first became well known
through his work with David Bowie, with ace guitarist Mick
Reviews, Theatre - Gaffer! at York Theatre Royal By Nick Quantrill
Gaffer! is a one-man black-comedy which sees Deka Walmsley deliver a convincing
portrayal of a variety of comedy football characters and caricatures.
The central character is George, manager of struggling Northbridge Town.
George and Northbridge Town are old school. George has strong socialist values
Reviews, Films - Alien VS Predator By Steve Rudd
Whoever came up with the bright idea of violently pitting Alien against Predator
sure deserves a pat on the back and a raucous round of applause, for this big-budget
movie scores on many levels.
Whereas the bulk of the Alien franchise has long relied on
atmospheric tension rather than all-out action
Reviews, Books - The Promise of Bruce Springsteen by Eric Alterman. Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Brucie, we need you - and more than ever!
A true rock 'n' roll star in every sense and then some, Bruce has had a truly staggering career in the music business, and even as we maniacally rush headlong into the 21st Century he is more popular than ever.
This biography of
Reviews, Films - Open Water By Steve Rudd
I really don't understand why this movie was ever made.
Based on true events, this follows a couple of young lovers (Daniel Travis and blonde bombshell Blanchard Ryan)
on a diving day-out as part of a vacation they're taking together.
Before we know it, they've been stranded in the middle
Reviews, Theatre - Fields of Gold at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough By Nick Quantrill
For some time now thisisUll.com has been bringing news
and reviews of events that are happening in Hull.
It is quite noticeable that what is going unreported is what's happening in the near-by towns
surrounding the city of Hull.
Reviews, Films - Five Children and It Reviewed by Ruth Wilson
The other day I went to the UGC cinema in Hull to see 5 Children and It.
It was a very good film, based on a book by E. Nesbit. It's about 5 children
(surprise, surprise! I can't remember their names, though!) who get sent to live
with their loopy uncle in the country during the
Kids, Reviews, Books - Freak-Outs and Very Secret Secrets by Karen McCombie Reviewed by Ruth Whitehouse
I have recently read a brilliant book called Friends, Freak-Outs and Very Secret Secrets by Karen McCombie,
a teenage book, part of the Ally's World Series. If you want me to be precise, it's number 4.
Now, onto the actual review. It is about a teenage girl called Ally who has a best