I read Touching the Void
some years back and really enjoyed it. At its centre is the fact that the will to live is stronger than everything
else, and even when a situation seems completely hopeless - like breaking one's leg and then falling from the top of 7,000 metre mountain peak in the Andes - there is always
a thin string of hope that can expand into a lifeline if there is a willingness to hold on tightly and not let go. It is this string of hope that keeps the author, Joe Simpson
, alive as he focuses on getting back to base camp. He knows that everyone probably thinks that he is dead, and he knows that people will not remain at base camp longer than necessary. But it is also a book about relationships, both those between people and those between people and the natural world. In this spider web of interdependency, there exists another kind of strength that both parallels and supports the basic will to survive.