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on 22 January 2015
The original "Dice Man" was an interesting story, written in an autobiographical style, about a psychiatrist who decided to live a totally random life. He achieved this by allowing the roll of a die (or, occasionally dice) to make decisions for him, from what to wear to how to act. This got him in trouble from everyone from his family to his colleagues to the law. But the book is inconclusive, as we never get to find out what happens to the man at the end.

Twenty years later, however, there are people still interested in Luke Rhinehart, the "Dice Man" of the original book. There are also people who aren't interested in anything he has to do, most notably his son Larry, who we met briefly in the original "Dice Man". Despite the actions of his father, Larry has managed to find a steady job as a Senior Trader on Wall Street and with a fiancée who happens to be the boss' daughter.
It is a steady life and Larry has for long worked on the assumption that his father is dead. Knowing no different, this is an assumption that doesn't bother him. Until one day the FBI turn up at Larry's office enquiring about the whereabouts of Luke. Stunned by the sudden realisation that his father may be alive after all, Luke sets out to find him, starting at one of the Dice Centres that his father set up. Still interested in finding Luke themselves, Larry's search, "The Search for the Dice Man" is shadowed by the FBI.

Following on from the randomness of the original "Dice Man" novel, it does come as something of a relief to discover this is written as a fairly standard novel, albeit with the occasional interlude for extracts from Luke's journal. This time around, the book is written from the point of view of the more cynical and down to earth Larry Rhinehart, rather than the flighty Luke, which keeps the style more grounded and realistic.

That said, the events described are no more real than in the original book. Larry is forced into some strange situations, largely against his will, as being the only way to track down his father. It is at this point that the novel starts heading into territory formerly inhabited by "The Dice Man", and becomes a little more random although, thankfully, this time around only in the actions it describes, rather than in the style it describes them. Fortunately, as well, Larry doesn't seem to be quite as obsessed with sex as his father and so there is less of that included, although that doesn't mean to say he's abstaining completely.

Although the style is more consistent that in the "Dice Man", the story does take a change from being a fairly simple and standard "chase" style story to being a little more varied and strange, although the basic theme does remain consistent. This means that it becomes more or less enjoyable the further you go along, depending on how you feel about the original "Dice Man" novel. It also means that if you have not read the original, you're unlikely to understand what is going on, as this isn't a sequel that stands alone.

Apart from the change of pace and direction the novel takes part way through, the most annoying thing about this book is that I can't decide whether or not I like it. The original "Dice Man" was at least consistently inconsistent, so you could expect to be kept pretty much off balance a lot of the time. With "The Search for the Dice Man", you can never be entirely sure what to expect, although this is a feeling that lessens with subsequent readings.

In many ways, this is a better written book than its predecessor. In many others, it somehow manages to be more annoying and infuriating. If you liked "The Dice Man", you may find this starts off a little light on the randomness that made the whole philosophy embraced by that book so appealing, but may be more entranced by later chapters. If you didn't like the original, quite possibly because of the weirdness of the whole idea or the constant recourse to sexual activity, you may enjoy this a little more, but you'll still find aspects that upset you first time around appearing here.

Either way, unless you really particularly hated "The Dice Man", or have never read it, this is worth looking at. Because it does fall between two stalls and is unlikely to become a favourite book, no matter how you felt about the original.

Much like the original, you'll either love it or hate it. Which you choose could well be based on how much you liked the original. But when you trust your reading material to the dice, that's the chance you take.

This review may also appear under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 January 2013
I was really looking forward to this book as The Dice Man is one of my favourite novels of all time. This sequel, which could also be read as a standalone, focuses on the search of a Wall Street investment banker for his father, Luke Reinhart, who developed and lived the concept of dice living - letting dice decide courses of action both large and small. As a result of a dice decision Luke, the father, had left his family when his children were young, but now, in this book, his son is determined to find him.

The book is often laugh out loud funny, sometimes a penetrating commentary on life at the upper ends of United States society, and always great reading. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was sorry when it was finished. Definitely one of the best books i have read in the last year, but although this could be read without reading the Dice Man, I think you will enjoy this more if you have read that first
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on 16 September 2009
Having been a great fan of 'The Dice Man' I was expecting great things from this book, but unfortunately it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's still a good book, but I didn't find myself laughing out loud or challenged by the book's content, as I did with it's predecessor. Still glad I read it, but if you haven't read The Dice Man before, definately start out with that.
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on 21 September 2012
I read the original dice man and found it really funny and a real page turner. This follow up was boring, trite, with the usual prescriptive so called sexy bits. The kindle version I read had loads of printing errors/spelling mistakes. It was a real waste of time.
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on 12 June 2000
Larry Rhinehart gets in on the act as he searches for father Luke. The book is intriguing as Larry joins his father's cult in order to overcome it, and funny as he struggles with the strange world of diceliving and the even stranger people that undertake it! This is a good follow-up to the first book and is wonderfully written by both Luke and Larry. A must for lovers of the first book but impossible to read as a single novel. The usual helping of sex is supplied, but overall a book not quite as good as the first one suggested it could be. Worth a read, though.
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on 17 October 2012
The Search for the Dice Man (1993) is the sequel to the groundbreaking novel The Dice Man (1971) by Luke Rhinehart. When I first read The Dice Man I knew I had just finished a book that would be very hard to top, and I made it no secret in my review that it was (and still is) the best book I have ever read. So it was with great excitement that I started reading the sequel... Dear readers, it saddens me to say that great excitement has a way of leading to great disappointment. That is not to say The Search for the Dice Man is a disappointment - I really enjoyed it - it is just overshadowed by it's giant of a predecessor. Nothing can touch the original novel, and this sequel is certainly no exception.

The story takes place 20 years after the original Dice Man left off, with Luke being on the run after his crazy dice rampage, however this time the reader is not placed in Luke's shoes, but rather into the shoes of his whiney son Larry Rhinehart, who has grown up to be the total opposite of his father - a hotshot futures trader in Wall Street who reached the top by leaving nothing to chance. Larry seemingly has it all: a high paying job, a yacht, a beautiful woman, a high paying job, a yacht etc.. All is well for Larry until he hears news of his missing father's reappearance in a newspaper article, and predictably enough his world of order and routine is injected with a syringe full of chaos. If Microsoft Word ever made plot templates, I'm sure this would be one of them. Plot cliques continue as Larry, who is clearly sick of therapy, goes on a quest to find his estranged father and tell him off for abandoning him all those years ago, all the while FBI agents follow his footsteps in the hope of catching the infamous Luke Rhinehart for themselves.

The plot sounds lame so far, but as Luke Rhinehart is a master storyteller it ends up becoming very entertaining. Larry eventually finds a lead on his father's last known location: a lawless town called Lukedom, which his father helped create. All of the inhabitants of this town follow the dice and see Luke as some sort of a Godlike figure. Lukedom is a crazy evolution of the dice centers that were introduced in the first novel and it is where most of the sequel takes place, luckily for the readers. Old characters Arlene and Jake Ecstein make a reappearance as Larry tries desperately to find structure in a world that is sinking in quick sand. In order to find his father, he realises he has to give up his sense of self and explore the dice, as Luke will not be found by anything but chance.

As is to be expected with this author the book has a whole slew of interesting characters, but sadly they just aren't as interesting as the ones found in the original, and that is where The Search for the Dice Man falls short. Jake Ecstein ('Luke, baby!') plays a much smaller role, as does Arlene, and Larry's to-be-wife Honoria (sounds like an STD) isn't nearly as good a character as Luke's wife Lil. Larry himself is very conflicted and leads a far less interesting life than Luke, and his best friend Jeff is missing a few ingredients to his personality. That said there are some classic characters, such as the rich Japanese businessmen Mr Akito and Mr Namamuri, the comical FBI agents Lt Putt and agent Macavoy, pretty much all of the residents of Lukedom, and of course the beautiful yet chaotic jigsaw-puzzle Kim, who joins Larry on his quest. Larry himself develops as a character throughout the book and this is the redeeming factor of the novel that couldn't quite match up to it's bigger brother.

While the Search for the Dice Man lacks the electric spark that made the original so powerful, it makes up for it by continuing the story in such a way as to allow its readers a second glimpse into a fictional world where anarchy prevails over order, where the throw of a dice determines every move, and where laughs are in abundance. The book lacks the sex, violence, and sheer unpredictability of the first, but it does contain a worthwhile story that will engage you from start to finish. The psychological spin is missing, and therefore this book won't make you think as much, but as the 'dice philosophy' is supposed to make one take life less seriously, it is with good reason that the sequel dropped the analysis of human nature in favour for a more traditional adventure story. The books many chapters are sporadically bridged by an excerpt from Luke's journal, and it is within these brief entries that the wisdom of the first book shines benevolently. All in all a quick paced and entertaining read, that may better serve as a prequel to The Dice Man than a sequel, as reading it after the first will only lead to a slight longing for the magic contained in the cult classic 1970s book.
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on 7 December 2004
Eventhough this book is the second in a series (of which the Dice Man was the first), you can easily read it if you haven't read the Dice Man before.

The story starts with Larry, the son of Luke Rhinehart (indeed, the author who also starred in Dice Man) who is successful in life and who appears to be happy...on the surface. Set on the track by an ongoing FBI investigation, he wants to find his father, who is presumed death. First to help the FBI and get even with his death who left him and his mother behind, then the actually find him. He decides that in order to find him he should live the life his father has...the life of living through the casting of dice. But this means ending his life as it was, and starting a new one...

The idea is that the character gives each roll of the dice a specific meaning, i.e. if he rolls 6 he should go out and drink three pints. Then by casting dice he determines what he should do, and if he rolls 6 he goes out and drinks three pints regardless of consquences.

This book is both moving and very funny, thought-provoking and balant and can be read as a novel of a young man searching his way through life.

If you liked the Dice Man, this is a must, if you haven't you can also try this one first and be amazed.
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This is a very good novel that is slightly more coherent than the first and one that can easily be read on it's own. The story is really good and focuses on Larry as an adult as he tries to seek out his father, as well as his legacy. Once I got into it this kept me turning those pages and it had some of the great premises from the first book, as well as exploring some other ideas. This is well worth giving a go if you enjoyed the original book, and is also an easier read if you tried and didn't like the first one.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 1 December 2013
The book itself is fairly enjoyable and a good read.

However, this product shouldn't be available in its current state. There are missing and incorrect words throughout. Many are obvious character recognition errors. Other times a sentence will just end without the final word(s). It is fairly obvious they used text recognition to scan the book and then did not proof read it. Very shoddy product.
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on 5 August 2015
I am not a huge fan of the books, but The dice man was the first book which I enjoyed reading and could not wait how it ends. Therefore, I decided to get the sequel, I hope I enjoy it as much as the first one.
Book arrived exactly as described and surprisingly on time as well. Thank you for the opportunity to get 'recycled' books which cost less, it's still readable and in good condition.
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