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The dice man by Luke Rhinehart
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The dice man (1971)

by Luke Rhinehart

Series: Dice Man (1)

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2,067405,316 (3.53)34
The cult classic that can still change your life... 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.… (more)
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Title:The dice man
Authors:Luke Rhinehart
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The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart (1971)

  1. 00
    The Handicapper by Robert Kalich (bergs47)
  2. 00
    Yes Man by Danny Wallace (LadyHazy)
    LadyHazy: Another story about a central character who puts restrictions on his decision making, thus changing the outcome of their life.
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English (36)  Swedish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Like nothing else you or I have ever read. This story of a psychologist who decides to guide his life using the results of a die toss is alternately hysterical, horrifying, and pornographic--but never less than engrossing. And through it all, despite the randomness of it all, it somehow remains quite serious in its depiction of the failure of "normal" practices to consistently cure anyone of their phobias and other mental issues. The transformation of the narrator (a pseudonym also used by author George Cockroft for his later novels) is like watching a car wreck--but is it really a transformation if it is all dictated by the die (or in the case of really complex decisions, the dice.) He even attracts followers from the most unlikely places. The book is full of memorable scenes, such as Rhinehart's hearing before the Psychiatrist's Association of New York is a high point, as are some of the letters he receives from fans, and the way his colleague, Dr. Jake Ecstein, behaves, despite being the victim of Rhinehart's initial dice-dictated outrage. But there's no way to really describe the joys of reading this book without giving too much away. Just try it. If you're not hooked in the first few page, maybe you're just not a diceperson. ( )
  datrappert | Mar 9, 2020 |
A hard book to categorize, this story is written like an autobiography. A psychiatrist bored with his "perfect" life conceives the idea to make decisions based on the roll of dice. He increases the risk and frequency of using the dice, involves his patients, develops a 'treatment plan' based on dice. It's a very
interesting premise and there are some thought-provoking societal comments and beliefs shared.

It's probably a 3.5 rating because I actually quite liked the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the book. I lost interest by the end.....was missing something to keep me so skimmed to the end. Could be a good book club discussion book. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
The idea itself sounds interesting, but after a couple of hundred pages, you feel you're losing some interest in the book, and you've come up with the idea itself.

The concept of ​​the book is ritualistic and makes you think it is an absolute genius, but it feels as if the writer is not a tree lover. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain why the original idea of ​​the book documented in 440 pages, 300 of which feel superfluous and make you lose Interest.

Note that there are quite a few pages that document sexual events that are not suitable for children, and I am quite sure that many adults will not like to read them either.

In any case, I must say that this book has made me think a lot about our society and life and change my way of thinking a bit, so it may be something that is worth reading. ( )
  RUTHKOLOCKR | Jan 11, 2019 |
"The Dice Man" is one of those novels that could only have been written in the 1970s; catching the zeitgeist of a more permissible society. A stockbroker who decides to make all of his decisions on the roll of a dice. This, as you could imagine, leads him to all sorts of strife. I'm sure a lot of people have read this and mused on many important, thought provoking topics. Not me; I just read it, laughed a few times and went on with my life. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Sep 19, 2018 |
Wow. How do I begin describing this book?

Perhaps I should note why I even asked for this as a Christmas gift. I had heard about it via a song by one of my favorite bands, Talk Talk. A book that would inspire a song…and a song by Mark Hollis, no less. "The dice decide my fate," it says. Interesting. And that's the basic idea here: a practicing psychiatrist who has pretty much the ideal life by most of our standards is bored, apparently, and one day by inspiration decides…well, he decides he will make no more decisions. At least without consulting the dice. First, it's whether he will go downstairs and "rape" his best friend and partner's wife…

(Jim notes: Rhinehart calls it "rape", but the act appears to be consensual. More or less. Don't blame me, I'm only reporting this stuff.)

…and as time goes by, it develops into more of a therapy for himself, and then for patients. And then, a way of life. And then, a religion, based only totally random existence. It's kinda seductive in a bizarre way: you make no more decisions, the die makes them all. Want to know what you're going to do tomorrow? Sit down, write out a list of possibilities—throw in something outrageous for variety's sake, say, "I will go out and murder someone"—and then throw the dice. Whatever comes up, do it! And you MUST do it…otherwise the whole idea of the totally random life fails.

Obviously, this is not a book for everybody. It is potentially offensive on so many levels I can barely list them…it's profane, it's borderline pornographic, and it's almost completely wonderful. It goes on perhaps a bit too long for what it's about, and some of the sex scenes are WAY over the top. Your mileage, as they say, may vary. The point of view changes frequently during the story as well, and at times it seems pretty schizophrenic. But dammit, it fits within the context of the notion of randomness. But otherwise I can't fault it much. The scene describing where Luke manages to break out 38 mental patients—some of them quite violent—on the pretext of taking them to see "Hair" is a riot, but pales when compared to a (needlessly) graphic depiction of a "therapy" session arranged with a female patient. Research, you know. Some research! And Rhinehart's identity changes at least three times during this little vignette…

I can imagine there are probably some folks who took this thing as a cue for changing their own lives; in fact, the book itself reads, "Few books can change your life. This one can." Well, maybe, but not in any way I'd care to explore seriously. Or, as Mark Hollis said, "A good book, not a lifestyle I'd recommend." Still, it was deeply fascinating, almost disturbingly so.

"Create the options. Shake the dice. All else is nonsense."

Enjoy. Or not. ( )
2 vote Jamski | Jul 18, 2018 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
to A.
J.
M.
without any of whom,
no Book.
First words
I am a large man, with big butcher's hands, great oak thighs, rock-jawed head, and massive, thick-lens glasses.
Preface

In the beginning was Chance, and Chance was with God and Chance was God.
Quotations
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
1. I hated myself and the world because I had failed to face an accept the limitations of my self and of life. In literature this refusal is called romanticsim; in psychology neurosis. The assumption is that a limited and bored self is the unavoidable, all embracing norm.

2. Love, one of society's many socially accepted forms of madness.

3. Success and failure mean simply the satisfaction and frustration of desire.
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Luke Reinhart is a psychiatrist, a husband and a father, his life locked down by routine and order - until he picks up the dice. The dice govern his every decision and each throw takes him further into a world of risk, discovery and freedom. As the cult of the dice grows around him the old order fades: chance becomes his religion, the dice his god.
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