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The Dice Man Paperback – 6 Dec 1999

3.6 out of 5 stars 225 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: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
This is an interesting premise, probably worthy of a good short story, made into a long book.

I liked a lot of the ideas, and the unflinching approach to most topics in terms of human behaviour, but found that the same basic idea was repeated over and over again. Like many hollywood movies, I think this would have been a lot better if edited down somwhat into a leaner story.

I understand the main character's dilemma and the notion of using the dice to overcome this, it's just hard to see how role playing different characters at a party to basically piss everyone else off, based on rolling some dice, contributes to anyone's general state of being, bored or otherwise.

To summarise I think this book is worth reading, but you might be rolling some dice half way through to see if you can be bothered to finish it or not.
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Format: Paperback
Imagine that every decision you made in life was governed by chance, specifically the role of a die. Luke Rhinehart's are...
After letting a die dictate a single decision after a poker-night, Luke Rhinehart becomes increasingly drawn to a random life and begins to let the dice control every conceivable action.
Written in a wildly inventive style, constantly shifting between first and third person to reflect the increasing randomness of Rhinehart's life, Dice Man is permeated by a Vonnegut-like streak of deadpan humour (Habbit Breaking month is simply the funniest chapter of any book ever commited to paper), the author's psychological background lets him express his own perceptions with unparalleled clarity and character development is flawless.
Don't believe those who tell you this book is a so-called "life-changer". It isn't. Take it at face value and you will not be disappointed.
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