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The Dice Man Paperback – 6 Dec 1999

204 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (6 Dec. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006513905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006513902
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Luke Rhinehart has written four other acclaimed novels: Matari, Long Voyage Back, Adventures of Wim and The Search for the Dice Man, sequel to the bestselling The Dice Man. He lives in the USA.

Product Description

Review

‘Touching, ingenious and beautifully comic’
Anthony Burgess

‘Hilarious and well-written… sex always seems to be an option’
Time Out

‘Brilliant… very impressive’
Colin Wilson

From the Back Cover

Let the dice decide!

This is the philosophy that changes the life of bored psychiatrist Luke Rhinehart – and in some ways changes the world as well.

Because once you hand over your life to the dice, anything can happen.

Entertaining, humorous, scary, shocking, subversive, 'The Dice Man 'is one of the cult bestsellers of our time.


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I am a large man, with big butcher's hands, great oak thighs, rock-jawed head, and massive, thick-lens glasses. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 14 Aug. 2005
Format: Unknown Binding
"The Dice Man" was first published in 1971; written by George Cockcroft under the guise of his alter ego, Luke Rhinehart, the book attracted a cult following and has remained a popular - and controversial - work, seen by many as subversive and permissive.
Cockcroft had worked in the mental health field in the USA, obtaining his doctorate in psychology from Columbia, then taught English and psychology before becoming a full-time writer with the success of "The Dice Man". Marketed with the subheading, 'This book can change your life', it poses as a work of non-fiction, apparently written as an autobiographical insight by successful New York psychoanalyst, Luke Rhinehart. Rhinehart reflects on his successes and notoriety, the book being presented as a retrospective on his life, an explanation of how he came to discover the dice phenomenon and the major changes to his life occasioned by it.
Inspired by an intriguing happenstance, Rhinehart one day makes a decision. He lists half a dozen options then rolls the die to decide which one he should follow. The result pushes his boundaries and opens up a new set of experiences. Bit by bit, he hands his life over to decisions made by roll of the die. The result is a hilarious, amoral rampage of a novel as he infects others with his ideas and injects a pattern of chaos into the chaotic order of his urbane, successful world.
Rhinehart pushes the boundaries to extremes and beyond. It contrasts with Cockroft's own dicing lifestyle - he says he started rolling dice to break down his shyness and stuffiness as an academically inclined teenager. He saw rolling a die as a means to break away from habit and reformulate himself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George Kelly on 17 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What if every decision in your life was based on the roll of a dice?

That's essentially the central premise of the book. It's written as a faux biography, about a psychiatrist called Luke Rhineheart (the writer of the book) who stumbles upon a new way of living life: by the dice.

The novel starts off well, and hooked me in from the beginning. The tone of the book was comically dark, and the author writes with a skewed, ironic, subversive sense of humour which I liked--and he never, even during the more serious moments, takes himself (or the novel itself) too seriously; the more sombre moments of the novel are offset by dark humour. However, having said that, this is also the reason the novel doesn't fully work.

I feel like it lacked direction, or purpose. The plot is as sporadic and random as the decisions of a dice--which is kind of the point, and also gets a mention, but it's annoying. There's no real structure. There's no drive, no direction. The book is a series of funny or clever scenes, which, as a whole, makes the book kind of slow moving after the initial hundred pages. I found myself not wanting to read on, yet enjoying the book every time I did read it.

Near to the last hundred pages I just wanted it to speed towards a conclusion; but even then, I was letdown by the ending. It was too easy and rushed. The book basically moved from one scene to the next, with no real connections between them: no real heart, no real drama. It was practically a sketch show of dark dramatic comedy. I guess what I'm saying is that it's worth checking out--it has some good writing, some smart ironic scenes, and it's occasionally funny.

But--it's also a slow read, boring, and ultimately unrewarding.

So read it and then give up halfway through.

Or just don't bother at all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lucinda A. Brown on 25 May 2005
Format: Paperback
One of the best books I've ever read.. Despite the ridiculous, it is entirely seductive in it's plausability. The temptation to completely relieve yourself of responsibility for your actions (despite disturbing and ridiculous consequences) is tapped into completely by this novel. The most disturbing element being how compelling the argument to relinquish all control of your life can be - regardless of the consequences. Well worth reading if you are willing to suspend your disbelief.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By parkins@cardiff.ac.uk on 3 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
Quite simply the best book I have read in a long, long time. Combines the rational thought of most human beings with the "don't give a shit," attitude we would all like to use, sometimes.
How many of us have been sat in work on a dreary, wet Thursday afternoon and looked out the window and thought, "there has to be something different to this," or thought of just getting up from where you're sat and walking off on some adventure.
Well, Luke Rhinehardt takes his boundaries and pushes them as far as he can. Admittedly he does go a little far with some, but it does show that we really are trained into a certain train of thought however free we actually believe ourselves to be. There are things we would all like to do, good and bad, and Luke Rhinehardt explores these avenues of the human condition.
Everyone should read this book, and I dare anyone to read it and not make at least one major decision using the die.
Even though Luke Rhinehardt is a fictional character it could be you or I, and you will see what I mean when you read the book.
So go on, pick up the die, roll it, if it's a 1,2 or 3 then you will buy the book now and start reading it, if it's a 4 or 5 you will leave it for one year exactly and roll again. If it's a six you get out of your chair now, go to your bosses house or office and cut off each one of his thumbs with a blunt letter opener. Remember now, don't roll that die if you're not willing to do as it says.
Remember, the die is your friend, keep it safe.
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