The Color of Everything: A Journey to Quiet the Chaos Within

Cory Richards

Book cover for The Color of Everything: A Journey to Quiet the Chaos Within
Book cover for The Color of Everything: A Journey to Quiet the Chaos Within

The Color of Everything: A Journey to Quiet the Chaos Within

The Color of Everything: A Journey to Quiet the Chaos Within

Cory Richards

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A renowned climber and National Geographic photographer shares his incredible adventures--and the early trauma that drove him to seek such heights--in a vivid memoir that spans the summit of Everest to the darkest corners of the soul.

"In order to escape madness, I will live madly. I will risk my life in order to save it."

Growing up in the mountains of Utah, Cory Richards was constantly surrounded by the outdoors. His father, a high school teacher and ski patroller, spent years teaching Cory and his brother how to ski, climb, mountaineer, and survive in the wild. Despite a seemingly idyllic childhood, the Richards home was fraught with violence, grief, and mental illness. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and dropping out of high school, Cory subsumed himself in the worlds of photography and climbing, seeking out the farthest reaches of the world to escape the darkness. Suddenly though, in the midst of a wildly successful career in adventure photography, a catastrophic avalanche changed everything, forcing Cory to confront the trauma of his past, evaluate his own mental health and learn to rewrite his own story.

The Color of Everything is a thrilling tale of risk and adventure, written by a man who has done it all: he's stood at the top of the world, climbed imposing mountain faces alone in the dark and become the only American to summit an 8,000-meter peak in winter. But it is also the story of a tumultuous life--a stirring, lyrical memoir that captures the profound musings of a brilliant and unquiet mind grappling with the meaning of success, the cost of fame, addiction, and whether it is possible to outrun your demons. With exquisite prose and disarming candor, accompanied by stunning photos from his career, Richards excavates the psychological roots and effects of trauma and shares what it took for him to climb out.

About the Author

Cory Richards is an internationally renowned photographer, filmmaker/director, and writer. Richards is the first and only American to climb one of the world's 8000-meter peaks in winter, and has received the prestigious designation of National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and been named a National Geographic Photographer Fellow.

Critical Reviews

"The thrills here are not the very real challenges he faces when scaling some of the major mountains of the world, complete with devastating avalanches and hair-raising escapes. It's his lifelong challenge of maintaining mental health amidst a diagnosis of bipolar disorder that truly holds the reader's attention. From panic attacks on Mt. Everest to childhood trauma, Richards embraces and shares it all."--Parade, Best New July Book Releases

"An extraordinary memoir of mental illness that reads like a thriller. The Color of Everything is filled with brilliance and bravado, breathless in its pace and breathtaking in its consequences. Richards's story is ​nothing less than a bullet train into the heart of darkness--and back out again. Readers will be grateful for every one of Richards's hard-won insights."--Amy Ellis Nutt, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Becoming Nicole

"In The Color of Everything, Cory Richards, one of the world's most daring photojournalists, embarks on his ultimate adventure--he explores his danger-filled internal landscape, and does so with bravery, vulnerability, and extraordinary insight, all rendered in gripping, page-turning prose."--Michael Finkel, best-selling author of The Art Thief and The Stranger in the Woods

"You might recall the look in Cory Richards's eyes from the selfie he snapped after climbing out of an avalanche in the Himalayas at 26,000 feet, or maybe you remember him from a very public panic attack he suffered on Everest, his name on the front pages of newspapers around the world, or you might know him from his million Instagram followers of his iconic photographs, or you know him as a record-setting, world-class mountaineer. This book will make you laugh, will make you gasp, and is sure to make you happy in indescribable ways."--Matthew Klam, author of Who Is Rich? and Sam the Cat and Other Stories

"The truth isn't often told, it is lived. Cory's journey, as told through his unique and daring vision, is as close to that truth as one can get. He lived it. I feel every stone under foot, every snow crystal, every piercing breath of cold air, struggling to breathe, as if I were right there with him. This book is as important as anything I've read in understanding the mind, the heart, and one's deepest fears as he invites us on the journey of overcoming adversity through human spirit and triumph."--Reinaldo Marcus Green, film producer and director of One Love and King Richard

"Cory Richards tells this hard story with the same ferocious intensity, wit, and elegant keenness by which he has made stunning photographs and climbed killer mountains. The combination of risk and aplomb is amazing."--David Quammen, author of Breathless

"The noted climber and photographer writes about mountains and images--but more, about the mental illness that has dogged his every journey. . . . Love, work, health care: All mingle in this . . . affecting memoir that speaks to resolve and courage in the face of fear."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Publishing Information

Publisher: Random House
Pub date: 2024-07-09
Length: 368 pages

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