New Worlds

It was a dizzying prospect — to imagine all that freedom, to understand how little it mattered what choice he made. He could go anywhere he wanted, he could do anything he felt like doing, and not a single person in the world would care.

I just read The Music of Chance by Paul Auster. Just look at his serious face.

It’s a tremendously liberating and satisfying novel. It’s Fight Club for grown ups.

In the opening pages, the protagonist takes a wrong turn onto an American freeway and ends up heading in the direction of the wrong city. Instead of correcting his mistake, he decides to carry on.

He feels giddy with freedom and is made aware of the vastness of the universe and the almost limitless possibilities we all face.

He quits his job as a firefighter and goes on a wide and aimless American driving adventure. Where it takes him is properly startling.

Now that he’d taken the first step, it wasn’t difficult for him to push on to the end. For the next five days, he took care of business, calling up his landlord and telling him to look for a new tenant, donating furniture to the Salvation Army, cutting off his gas and electric services, disconnecting his phone. There was a recklessness and violence to these gestures that deeply satisfied him, but nothing could match the pleasure of simply throwing things away. […] He felt like a man who had finally found the courage to put a bullet through his head — but in this case the bullet was not death, it was life, it was the explosion that triggers the birth of new worlds.

Psychogeographic. Absurdist. Existential. Zen. Mischievous. Situationist.

Buy the complete back catalogue of New Escapologist with a 10% discount today.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

Leave a Reply

Latest issues and offers


Issues One to Seven

A bundle of our first seven issues. Featuring minimalism, Houdini, Leo Babauta, Bohemianism, Alain de Botton, Sartre, and Tom Hodgkinson. 567 pages. £35.


Issues Eight to Thirteen

A bundle of our last six issues. Featuring Luke Rhinehart, Flaubert, Mr Money Mustache, part-time work, Will Self, home life, Richard Herring, and E. F. Schumacher. 593 pages. £30.

Issue Thirteen

Our final issue. Featuring an interview with celebrity mortician Caitlin Doughty; Matt Caulfield on zen fool Ryokan; and Reggie C. King on David Bowie and Sun Ra. 122 pages. £7.

Escape Everything!

A hardback guide to scarpering. Essential reading for wage slaves and slugabeds alike. Published by Unbound and Penguin. 230 pages. £12.