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The Dice Man (Dice Man #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  13,056 Ratings  ·  751 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 541 pages
Published 1999 by HarperCollins (first published 1971)
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Apr 28, 2011 rated it liked it
I let the dice dictate what review I write.
My review should be...

1. a normal one
2. just 1 word
3. a fairy-tale
4. in rhyme
5. a hatemail
6. non-existent

I roll a... 4

As the author of this book already said,
Never create an option on which you don't want to bet.
So now I am stuck with having to write a review in rhyme :-(
But imagine having the dice control your life every single time
For that is what Dr. Rhinehart in this book sets out to do
The dice control what he eats, when he sleeps, when he goes to
Hannah Eiseman-Renyard
Author Too in Love with his Own Concept to See the Gaping Blindspots

This is a novel which was recommended to me by friends as "if you liked Fight Club you'll love this." Though I can see the comparison, I liked Fight Club and I really didn't like this one. Fight Club was lean and taut, this was bloated and outdated - like some lecherous late middle-aged guy you run in to at a party, who proceeds to trap you in a conversation you’d rather not be in.

Once I started reading I discovered that my f
The basic plot of The Dice Man is simple. The hero, pretty drunk, is cleaning up one evening after a party. He sees a die lying under a playing card, and a thought comes into his head: if it's a one, I'll rape Arlene. He picks up the card, and it is, indeed, a one!

So he goes downstairs to his neighbor, and says he's going to rape her. As it happens, no rape is needed, since she'd anyway been thinking that he was rather hot, and what a shame he'd never tried anything. They begin an affair, which
Frank Weber
Aug 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is awful.
I don't know how it was a best seller in the 70's.
The worst thing about it is that you can tell the author is enamored by his main character, who is a narcissistic imbecile.

It's a childish, racist, homophobic rant by someone who's sexually frustrated.

The end.

Simon Fay
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
In The Dice Man, the first time the protagonist picks up the dice to choose what the rest of his life will look like, the moment is given an appropriate amount of weight. His standard existence up to this point has been described as comfortable, if a little banal, while the option of shattering it is an exciting possibility achieved through a completely amoral act: The rape of his neighbour's wife.

It's a bold opening that would be hard to forget in any instance, but what's amazing is that Luke R
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
The reason why people are disappointed after reading this book must (or might) be because it's starting a bit slow; you probably won't get completely hooked until somewhere in, or after, the middle. That's where everything explodes and gets completely out of control. It's an insane book for somewhat insane people, that's why I nowadays recommend it only to a few people although it's one of the best books I've ever read. The people I recommend it to are those with unconventional philosophies abou ...more
Oct 25, 2010 rated it did not like it
Well this book provided me with a first - it is the first book (as an adult) I have started reading and not finished. Usually, no matter how dull a book gets, I plough on to the end in hope of a revival 3/4 of the way through, but of The Dice Man, 140 pages were all I could bear before it was thrown in a charity shop bag.

On reading the back of the book I had high hopes - the concept sounded fantastic, really interesting and fun - I thought I'd found a real page-turner.

But no - how wrong I was.
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, novel
The case of six sided man!
If that dice has a 'one' face up, I'm going downstairs to rape Arlene. if it's not a 'one' I'll go to bed. Let the dice decide, who am I to question the dice?
It's the story of a man that became a dice man. he starts consulting with the dice for everything, every single decision. he sacrificed all of his life to dice will. So he became a random man. A man without pattern, without habit, without self, without ego. totally unpredictable.
It's an unbelievable, amazing , unmo
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
The Dice Man resembles comic narratives set in academia, such as David Lodge's Small World: An Academic Romance or Robert Grudin’s Book. However, this is not only a satire of the psychiatric industry in America; at times, it reads like the type of radical re-thinking of reality that often accompanies the emergence of a new religion. Its protagonist is Luke Rhinehart, a professional psychiatrist who decides early in the novel to let dice determine his actions. Before long, his dice-throwing has s ...more
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Due to other reviews, let me first state that this is a heavily ironic, playful and darkly-humorous novel.


A work of fiction.


It is enjoyable as just this, but becomes even more interesting if you're familiar with the ideas of Nietzsche: as critique or affirmation?


It's actually hard to tell...


Rhinehart is playful with a whole range of ideas here, from morality to the modern notion of self.


He also matches the mood of the story to the style of the narration is very interesting ways.


Try to not
Mar 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
The hero of this novel (sharing the author’s name) is a psychologist who, jaded and sunk into ennui, decides on a whim based on the turn of a die to “rape” (read: seduce) his colleague’s wife. After the success of his seduction, he turns to aleatory direction more and more (creating his own options and letting the die decide which to do), until he’s built a whole religion or cult after the Dice, complete with nationwide centers where inductees are required to cast away all inhibitions and identi ...more
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sport, published-1971
I am pretty sure 37v2 has used this method of decision-making for years, whereas others posit 40v2 and chaos theory.

(view spoiler)
Jan 10, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thank goodness that's over.

I re-read this book as preparation for a talk that I'm giving about chance. I remember hating the book the first time I read it (probably about a decade ago). I hate it more now.

Essentially, the plot is that a psychotherapist (named Luke Rhinehart, as is the author of the book) is bored of his mundane life, and decides to improve it by assigning options to a 6-sided dice, rolling it, and then living his life according to the options. Unfortunately, the options that Rhi
Jun 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
If I could give this negative stars, I would weigh it down so heavily it would sink to the bottom of the ocean, through the sea bed itself, and burn, burn, burn in the magma of the earth's core.

This book is so badly written that it only attains one thing - it holds the prize for the greatest discrepancy between quality of the idea vs. execution in literary (if it can be so called) history.

Abominable. So bad in fact that the prominence it is always given in bookstores - because they know people w
Michael McGovern
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I met an interesting girl at a party once. Certainly not the world’s most unique of circumstances, but what drew my interest to her was what drew me to this book.

There this person stood, drink in hand and no stranger to hobbies branded as unusual. She it turned out was a contortionist and juggling extraordinaire. But most fascinating of all, she referred to herself as The Dice Lady. My eyes darted to her ears where the sides of a mutilated die punched holes and mutilated
The Dice Man is a book I'd heard about and was happy to read when it was suggested for book club. It started off well; a depressed psychiatrist roles a dice to determine his fate, starting a random chain of events that challenge his identity and steer him further and further from his comfortable middle class life. In it's anarchic and comic way, the novel asks why we stick to the narrow scripted roles we're familiar with, when we have the ability to chose from a much wider range of life's possib ...more
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone stuck in their ways
Recommended to Zubin by: AT THE FUCKING GATES!!!!
this book fundamentally changed my perspectives on decision making, our roles in society, and the whole idea of the individual self. Rhinehart suggests that the idea of the self is a crutch that pigeonholes us and prevents us from experiencing things that we would not experience if we were "being ourselves".

the premise of the book is that luke rhinehart, a psychologist, decides one day to make all his decisions based on the roll of the die. he writes down six options for what he might do, then
Colin Taylor
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What a tit.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
You're on a blind date with a dude who isn't much (but he thinks very highly of himself). You were set up by a friend you usually trust, who convinced you this dude was super cool.
Dude explains to you his greatest idea, which he finds very clever.
You nod and you mumble: 'mhm, okay', because you're a polite person.
He's puzzled at your lack of enthusiasm. Must be because you're too stupid to get his clever idea. He has to explain again. And again. And again. 'See, you assign outcomes to the fac
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: David
Hmmm, I'm really not sure about this one.

What started off as rather interesting and highly amusing got rather flabby around the midsection, and the novelty of Luke's random adventures as Dice Man soon started to wear off. The numerous (and sometimes seemingly endless) discussions surrounding the psychiatry of the dice and it's use as a therapeutic tool also grew rather tiresome and by the end, although intermittently entertained, I was rather relieved to have finished it.

It didn't help that the
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing

What an ingenious idea. In fact I'm surprised no one thought of this earlier.

Psychiatrist Luke Rhinehart bored with life so he devises a scheme where all his life decisions are taken up by choosing twelve options and rolling a pair of dice. Some of the options range from simple choices to killing his son. As the word spreads Rhinehart gains a cult following and then things go from weird to bizarre, the overblown ending is akin to an action film.

The Dice Man is a good book of ideas. It is a bit
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Traditional autobiographies wish to help you understand how the adult was "formed." I suppose most human beings, like clay chamber pots, are "formed" - and are used accordingly. But I? I am born anew at each green fall of the die, and by die-ing, I eliminate my since. The past - paste, pus, piss - is all only illusory events created by a stone mask to justify an illusory stagnant present. Living flows, and the only possible justification of an autobiography is that it happened by chance to be wr ...more
May 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is a re-read. Originally read this in 1971 and remembered it to be a funny and scathing satire on all the faddish psycho-therapies and theories that inundated the 60s and 70s. Should be interesting to see how it holds up.


Well. it did not hold up very well. While The Dice Man enjoys a cult following it is still a book locked in the 60s and not treated all that well in the 21st century. The 60s and 70s was a time of upheaval for psychotherapy. There were some exciting ideas in the air bu
Rachel Louise Atkin
Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
God, this book was insane which is why it took me bloody ages to finish. Sometimes I absolutely loved it, sometimes I genuinely hated it. I considered not finishing it various times to then staying up late so I could keep reading. The book follows psychologist Luke Rhinehart who one day decides to dedicate his life to a die. He will give himself six options, and whatever the die chooses he has to follow. Through the course of the book he coverts others to his philosophy and creates followers cal ...more
Jul 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. Solo puntuar la novela.
2. Reseña breve de menos de 50 palabras.
3. Reseña de entre 100 y 200 palabras.
4. Reseña rimada.
5. Reseña buena porque sí.
6. Reseña mala porque sí.

Lanzo el dado... y marca un tres.

Me ha gustado bastante, pero 'El hombre de los dados' es una novela con mucha paja. Y no, queridos amigos, no me refiero a que abunden en ella los pasajes erótico-festivos, sino a que le pueden sobrar 200 páginas tranquilamente.

La idea de partida es buena, un personaje que rige toda su vida
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one of those cult classics that you really do need to read.

It’s a brilliant idea, very unique, and exceptionally easy to get into. I found myself laughing much more than I should have been, unable to put the book down for any period of time. I will say there are some uncomfortable moments (and a lot of sexual moments which will leave some people feeling uneasy) but as a whole it was a great book.

Telling the story of Luke Rhinehart as he gives up his choice to the roll of the dice anythin
Adam Stone
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked the concept better than the actual book
Rajeev Singh
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

A roll of the die:

1 - I'll quit my job and take the next train to whatever place is decided by the dice.
2 - I'll slap my boss, spit on his desk and see what happens.
3 - I'll seduce the boss's wife, let her know that I'm madly in love with her and she must divorce her husband and marry me.
4 - I'll stay in the same job for another year.
5 - I'll reveal every trade secret of the organization to its rival and see where it lands me.
6 - I'll request my wife to seduce the boss and win brownie points for
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who can enjoy offbeat satire without attacking an intentional lack of realism.
I'm planning to add a more thorough review later, but for now, I want to defend a few things about this book that seem to have made people utterly furious. It can be summarised thus: this is not meant to be a work of realism and careful psychological characterisation, with clear and sensible motivations. It is meant to illustrate an interesting, imperfect theory while poking fun at every facet of psychiatric tradition, and many of human nature.

I have no idea how so many people could misread this
May 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stay-away
This is it. This is the worst book I have ever read.

I pretty much hated everything about it, so these are only a few things I took issue with:

- The main character is a borderline psychopath, but without the entertainment value of someone like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho.

- The book constantly tries to shock with its numerous depictions of sexual violence and other forms of physical and psychological abuse, but these scenes have no other purpose: They're completely gratuitous.

- The le
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The Dice Man 1 5 May 14, 2017 05:45AM  
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Luke Rhinehart is the pen name of the author George Cockcroft.

George Cockcroft was born in the United States, son of an engineer and a civil servant. He received a BA from Cornell University and an MA from Columbia University. Subsequently he received a PhD in psychology, also from Columbia. He married his wife, Ann, on June 30, 1956. He has three children.

After obtaining his PhD, he went into tea
More about Luke Rhinehart...

Other Books in the Series

Dice Man (4 books)
  • Adventures of Wim
  • Whim
  • The Search for the Dice Man
“ Give up all hope, all illusion, all desire..I've tried. I've tried and still I desire, I still desire not to desire and hope to be without hope and have the illusion I can be without illusions..Give up, I say. Give up everything, including the desire to be saved.” 20 likes
“Why did children seem to be so often spontaneous, joy-filled and concentrated while adults seemed controlled, anxiety-filled and diffused? It was the Goddam sense of having a self.” 11 likes
More quotes…