The Escape Manual for Introverts by Katie Vaz

Published: 6th August 2019Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Pages: 144
Format: Graphic Novel
Genre: Non-Fiction
★ – 1 Stars

Feeling cornered at a wedding reception by gossipy guests? Stuck at a holiday party that lasts forever? This beautifully illustrated book is the ultimate funny, sometimes absurd guide to escaping those painfully awkward situations.

Trapped in an airplane seated next to a chatterbox? Are you hosting a dinner party with people who just won’t leave? Katie Vaz has the key to your escape. The Escape Manual for Introverts guides readers through different scenarios with themed chapters (“Friends,” “Relatives,” “Strangers,” etc.). Each chapter covers a range of situations, from an invitation to karaoke night to group lunchtime. And she offers a number of escapes for each scenario: bringing odoriferous foods to lunch for a while, having a pet (real or imagined) that “requires” frequent check-ins, and even investing in a jet pack. This book features Vaz’s full-page illustrated spreads, hand-lettering, and spot illustrations. From the silly to the sincere, Vaz’s clever, hilarious escape plans and bizarre excuses speak to the introvert in all of us.

I am always wary about these kinds of books not only because it’s always focused on the introverts and never on the extroverts but because introverts are often portrayed in negative ways. Even this book, which I thought was going to be at least funny if not relatable in a way, is a poor construct of comics, advice and what is probably meant to be humour but never comes across as such.

For something that’s supposed to be a fun guide for introverts it’s really disappointing. There isn’t any real substance here, not that I expected it, but I was expecting fun cartoons and recognition about experiences like I have found in other similar books. Instead this is a book that offers up suggestions and excuses about how to get through the day around people and it makes introverts look like horrible antisocial people who need to lie in order to get by in the world.

The layout is sparse which only makes it even less interesting. The words are minimal and the pictures are useless, the entire thing was essentially a How To on not talking to anyone and avoiding being around people at all times which is not what being an introvert is about.

Vaz mentions in her authors note that it’s meant to be a cheeky book, but she also says she hopes introverts and other socially awkward people can use these tips. I can see how a few may be useful, the less extreme ones but there are a lot of farfetched ones too. The advice varies from a few reasonable things like how to get off phone calls quicker and avoiding small talk but the majority are things like eating pungent foods to avoid people wanting to be near you and various other subterfuges which again, probably are meant to be funny, or actual advice I have no idea how I’m meant to interpret these suggestions.

This is an annoying book all round as a guide or as a fun book looking at introvert behaviour. I would like to know where are the myriad of books for extroverts telling them to stop talking so much and being so loud all the time? Not to mention how to enjoy an introvert’s activity and company without judgment or belittling, instead there’s more of this nonsense.

You can purchase The Escape Manual for Introverts via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

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