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


Issue 14

Our latest issue. Featuring interviews with Caitlin Doughty and the Iceman, with columns by McKinley Valentine, David Cain, Tom Hodgkinson, and Jacob Lund Fisker. 88 pages. £9.


Two-issue Subscription

Get the current and next issue of New Escapologist. 176 pages. £16.

Four-issue Subscription

Get the current and next three issues of New Escapologist. 352 pages. £36.

PDF Archive

Issues 1-13 in PDF format. Over a thousand digital pages to preserve our 2007-2017 archive. 1,160 pages. £25.