Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Book #10

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart
 
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.
This book is apparently a cult classic, which is why I picked it up. The story follows our narrator, Luke Rhinehart, a psychotherapist who is depressed and bored with his life. In a fit of something or other, he decides to make his life's decisions by gambling, and letting the dice decide the answers for him. He then turns this way of life into a cult, causing many others to throw their control of life over to chance. This is a very interesting idea, but George Cockcroft (the author without the pseudonym) managed to bore me to tears.

Luke Rhinehart is an abhorrent character. His innermost thoughts are ridiculous, his actions completely immoral, and his justification of all he does is pathetic. He assigns six options to the die, and then rolls to see which course of action he should take. The options he assigns are mostly destructive, such as murder or rape, and the novel hugely trivialises these as though the options were making a cup of tea or washing your hands.

There was something that annoyed me, not only about the main character, but about the plot itself. There was a lot of misogyny, a lot of pompous descriptions, and a lot of disappointment. It may be the worst book I have read for failing to put the superiority of an idea across simply due to poor writing skills.

I can't write any more of my thoughts on the novel as I feel I have spent far too much time on it already. I imagine I may have enjoyed this more had I been a lecherous man in the midst of a mid-life crisis in the 70s. This is somewhat doubtful, however.

1 comment:

Jake said...

Haven't read the book but I've seen interviews with the guy that came up with the concept and yeah, he seemed pretty deplorable...