The Dice Man

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The Dice Man Journal –Marty Smiley

The Dice Man written by Luke Rhinehart is an incredibly thought challenging and intentionally provocative piece that knows no bounds and sought to cover every aspect of the human psyche. The exploratory nature of this book transverse across subjects that most novels and authors would dare not touch. Rape, murder, sexual experimentation, racism, drug use, adultery and senseless blasphemy. The Dice Man covers them all, and when presented with the title quote “This book will change your life” I would plainly agree and contend that it will not only change your life in some way but severely change your perspective on things.

The novel tells the tale of a psychiatrist named Luke Rhinehart who, feeling bored and unfilled in life makes the conscious decision to let a roll of the dice dictate things in his life. Each decision Rhinehart is faced with comes 6 new options, one option for each face of die. Simple judgement calls like 'Should I brush my teeth now or 10 minutes?', and 'Do I play with my kids? Or try to seduce my wife' were all left to chance or as Rhinehart puts it “up to the whim of the dice”.

Written in first, second and third person, differing from chapter to chapter, the novel-It becomes a parent- is also being decided by the whim of the dice. What bits of the story to include, what perspective to take during a chapter and even what style of writing to include to portray certain scenes (articles, criminal statements, fan mail etc.)

The novel progresses at rapid rate and the irregular pace can be likened to that of a drug addiction novel. As if the author himself in select chapters in the book has decided to 'shoot up on smack' before typing away on his keyboard. The other way the novel resembles a drug related story is evident in the portrayal of the main characters slow and downward spiral into dice addiction and social chaos. The world around the main character develops, through stages, into a distorted...
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