Told first in a book, and later a movie, the story will be familiar - the hiker trapped in a nightmare scenario, who severs his own arm and lives to hike another day. But what went through his mind on the way to that extremity? And was he always heading towards some sort of macho mishap? If you're going to find self-knowledge the hard way, it doesn't come much harder than Utah's canyonlands, says Ronald Turnbull.
Not quite the opposite but I thought the book was ok (I found he came across as a pretty unlikeable person which I found odd if he wrote it - but perhaps it was ghost written as lex says which would perhaps explain that to some extent). However, I found the film good and enjoyable - much more so than the book.
I certainly wouldn't consider the book to be a classic by a long shot.