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Escape Everything!

Tired of the everyday grind? We say: Goodbye to all that by Robert Wringham

This book is published, but you can still pledge for rewards!

Escape Everything! cover

The Synopsis

Houdini! The handcuff king! He freed himself from jail cells, straitjackets, packing crates and — on a particularly beguiling evening — the innards of a dead whale. His sensational act struck a chord and made him famous throughout the Western world, not just for the inherent feat of escape but because of what it represented: liberation from the trap of the burgeoning consumer economy of the 1900s.

A century later and we’re still in the trap. 80% of us hate our jobs yet we reluctantly spend 87,000 hours at work before dying. Some of us even die at work. We also spend 5,000 hours sitting in trains and buses and traffic jams, getting to and from work, and an untold number of hours preparing for, worrying about, and recovering from work. Despite all this toil, most of us are in debt because we’re so keen to reclaim our dignity by buying big homes and then filling them with stuff.

The trap is stronger than ever before but few have the Escapology to deal with it. Many latter-day Houdinis have drawn attention to the trap but few have done anything about it. Since 2007, through the pages of his small press magazine New Escapologist, Robert Wringham has been studiously examining the mechanisms of the trap, exploring the alternatives to it, and collecting stories of escape attempts. Finally in Escape Everything! he shows how we might break free.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we offer you escape. Escape from work, escape from consumerism, escape from loneliness and despair. This book shows once and for all that escape is possible for those who want out.

The Excerpt

“Welcome aboard,” said the friendly young recruitment officer. He theatrically opened a door to reveal the bank of warmly humming computers for which I was now responsible, as if to say “all of this is yours”.

But I didn’t want it to be mine. I don’t care about computers, warmly humming or otherwise. I wanted to be a bohemian writer of unmarketable funnies like Myles na gCopaleen, or an outsider comedian like Simon Munnery, or a transvestite potter like Grayson Perry.

Puerile perhaps. Dreamy certainly. But Jesus Christ, look at the alternatives. Network Administrator. Outreach Officer. Teaching Assistant. Forever? With my remarkable mind? With two science degrees and a half-decent singing voice? It was too hideous to contemplate. I didn’t want to eat machine-vended sandwiches for lunch in the staff canteen of some concrete carbuncle: I wanted a rider in my dressing room, overflowing with exotic fruits and the undies of groupies.

I’m not an employee by nature. Nobody is.

On the other hand, if I was unable to cover the rent this month I’d be out on my arse. Hence this job. I was trapped. Trapped! Potentially for the next forty years, which was, so far as I was concerned, forever. The jail sentence for bank robbery is nowhere near that long. I know because I checked.

Grayson Perry and the others couldn’t help me now. Of all my heroes, only Houdini could get out of this one.


The Reviews

This book has 1 review with an average rating of 5 stars.

Borrowed etc., go visit my website and so on. Robert Wringham, comedian, writer and editor of the magazine New Escapologist, lives a life of comparative leisure. Pootling about at the edges of the great machine that is Consumerism, he has fashioned for himself and his wife an existence that does not... (read more)

The Author

Robert Wringham is a writer and performer who lives in Glasgow and Montreal. He’s the editor of New Escapologist, a small-press magazine for working stiffs with escape on the brain. The magazine, now in its tenth issue, has seen contributions from Alain de Botton, Richard Herring, Ewan Morrison, Tom Hodgkinson, Leo Babauta, Luke Rhinehart and other prominent citizens in support of the good life.

Wringham’s first book, You Are Nothing, was published in 2012 by Go Faster Stripe and is a history of Dadaesque comedy troupe Cluub Zarathustra featuring Stewart Lee, Roger Mann and Simon Munnery. As a performer he does stand-up comedy, spoken word and performance art in places like the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, Mainline Theatre in Montreal, at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Montreal Infringement Festival, and the Glasgow CCA. As a humourist and essayist, he’s written for the Idler, Playboy, HiLoBrow, the British Comedy Guide, Splitsider and a hundred other magazines and websites. As a humourist he writes about the minutiae of modern life, and as an “Escapologist” he writes about the larger mechanisms of the same modern life. A devastating wealth of his ridiculous stuff can be found at

Praise for Robert Wringham
"Excellent" Stewart Lee
"Superb" The Telegraph

Praise for New Escapologist
“Entertaining and highly literate reading, even if you’re relatively content with wage slavery.” - Moneysense
“Excellent publications which deserve a wide readership.” - Tom Hodgkinson, editor of the Idler and author of How to be Free

Questions & Answers

I pledged at the Digital Bohemian level awhile back. Can I upgrade to the Digital Escapologist level without being charged for both levels?

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Michelle,

Of course. Please can you contact us via and we can explain the best way to do this?


Caitlin - Unbound Support

Collin Davis Collin Davis asked:

What if I'm not content with wage slavery? Are we finding a way out of that?

Robert Wringham Robert Wringham replied:

Definitely! That's one of the main thrusts of the book.

Andy Spector Andy Spector asked:

I'm a great fan of TH and the books he has done. I have come out of the rat race and make a living self employed will the book sill appeal? I do want to know about Houdini too I guess as he was a real star I heard he was Jewish is it true?
Also, if I pledge can we exchange our favourite joke?
Andy of Brighton.

Robert Wringham Robert Wringham replied:

Hi Andy. Yes, the book's designed for both aspiring and already-successful escapees.

I talk about Houdini a bit in the book (he's the subject of the introduction), but he's mainly employed as a metaphor for taking action, studying the trap, and learning to escape with aplomb. If you want to learn more about him, there's a really great biography called "The Secret Life of Houdini" by Kalush and Sloman. But, there are Houdini nuggets in "Escape Everything" too.

You should pledge! For this last stretch of fundraising, you can win a pledge upgrade too.

Ewan Lawrie Ewan Lawrie asked:

Well done!

Robert Wringham Robert Wringham replied:

Wehey! Thanks Ewan.

Exciting news that this book has been fully funded! How long until it's published?

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Alison,

Thanks for getting in touch. Once a book is funded it usually takes us around 9 months from receiving the finished manuscript to having books ready for subscribers. We don't yet have the final manuscript from Robert, but we're hoping to have books ready in winter 2015. This may be subject to change however. If there is anything else we can help you with please get in touch via

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community Coordinator

Hello! So is the book ready? :D sorry i'm new here. If i pledge 10 GBP then can I get a mobi version for my kindle?

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Mushhood,

Thanks for getting in touch. Robert is currently writing the first draft. As soon as we have the finished manuscript then we'll get to work on making this into a book. We're hoping to have finished copies of both the ebook and the special edition ready in winter of 2015. If we can help with anything else please get in touch via

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community Coordinator

Hi Caitlin.

When do I receive my copy of "Escape everything!"


Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Jaques,

The book is currently in the editorial and production stages. We're aiming to have finished copies ready for subscribers in early 2016. If we can help with anything else please get in touch via

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community Coordinator


can't remember if I pledged?! how do i find out? anyway, mazeltov for having got it out!

warm wishes

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Carol,

You can check which books you have supported in your account page ( If you need anything else please do have a look at our help page:

Caitlin - Unbound Community & Events Manager

Nick Gordon Nick Gordon asked:

Has the book been sent out yet?

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Nick,

Thanks for getting in touch. The book is almost ready to go to the printers. We should have copies ready to send out in early 2016.

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community & Events Manager

When is the book going to be printed ?

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Phillip,

The books are nearly ready to dispatch. If you haven't already done so please check your inbox for an email asking you to confirm your address as this means we can dispatch your book as soon as they're ready.

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community & Events Manager

paul davis paul davis asked:

HI, how do i download?

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Paul,

Thanks for getting in touch. If you log in to your Unbound account you can download the ebook from here:

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community & Events Manager

The Rewards

This book is now published. You can still pledge, but you won't get listed as a supporter in the back.

Digital Bohemian
e-book and access to the author's shed
Student of Escapology
Limited edition hardback, e-book and access to the author's shed
Signed hardback, e-book and access to the author's shed
Digital Escapologist
E-book and New Escapologist issues 1-10 on PDF
Elevated Escapologist
Hardback & New Escapologist 1-10 on PDF
Patron of the Arts
All of the above plus your own Q&A and reading (ostensibly of Escape Everything! but actually of anything you like!) with the author over Skype
Sold out
Escaper of Everything
All of the above plus a day programme of escape planning, hands-on minimalism or performance/storytelling with the author in the UK, Europe, US or Canada on a mutually agreeable date. (Travel and accommodation not provided)
Sold out
27 copies of the hardback, ebook and access to the author's shed.
Sold out
  • Format: hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-78352-134-0
  • Format: hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-78352-134-0