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The (Future) Vista Cañas Library

A Rock and a Hard Place

(1 customer review)

Author: George Zelt

Length: 250 pages
Type: Non-Fiction
Genre: Memoirs/Bio, Travel

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SKU: Kindle89 Categories: , , ,


An American Geologist’s Adventures in Africa

“These are just a few of the obstacles that George Zelt encounters as a graduate student in apartheid-era South Africa. In A Rock and a Hard Place, readers will follow George as he explores this contradictory, beautiful country during a time of growth and oppression. With tales of finding refuge in a desert sandstorm, being stalked by a leopard, and narrowly escaping a herd of rampaging Cape buffalo, George’s story will leave readers breathless–their hearts racing, with the imagined grit of sand in their teeth

Nature is not the only obstacle George encounters. When he makes a discovery that may disprove an established geologic theory, his graduate advisor (and developer of said theory) does everything in his power to prevent George from going public. George has to fight not only against nature but also the politics of university life, all while navigating the complexities of South African culture.

​Who would have thought studying rocks could be so thrilling?”


1 review for A Rock and a Hard Place

  1. Janet Dore

    I won the Kindle version of this book on a Goodreads Giveaway. Being a virtual and in-the-flesh wanderer, I’m always up for a travel-related memoir.

    In true scientist fashion, the author tells the interesting story of his time in Africa during the 1970s very neutrally and objectively. Emotions make only occasional and brief appearances, which kept me floating on the surface from beginning to end.

    While I enjoyed this well written book, it’s not likely to be one I’ll remember long enough to recommend…unless I happen to get into a conversation with someone who is passionately interested in geology.

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