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As with my last book review (on Camus' The Plague) I feel I must be missing something here. I have heard so many rave reviews about the Dice Man that it was woth excitement that I shelled out my £7.99 in Borders, Oxford. This would be a real treat, I thought; an inspired modern work.
The central idea of the book, is after all, a powerful one. The psychiatrist Luke Rhinehart stops letting his life be governed by order and rules and instead lets it be governed by the 'whim of the Die'. Can't decide what to eat/who to sleep with/what to wear? Ask the Die. This is a promising start, yet my main complaint is that the whole book goes downhill from there.
You get the feeling that something really cataclismic is building, but it never quite happens. Rhinehart leaves his job, his wife, his kids. And then he bumbles around, with seeming endless funds, wasting his life away in 'Dice Centres'.
To the authors credit, the writing style is engaging and direct. This is in no small way however, the result of there being a sexual encounter in almost every chapter. Or perhaps not every chapter... one of the things you will learn to hate whilst going through this book is that the author has fallen into the immature trap of including many (perhaps ten) one sentence chapters. It really doesn't work. It looks stupid.
In case this wasn't enough, he has also felt the need to include some extracts from the 'Book of the Die' the bible from which the deranged Luke is supposed to be living his life. After the first extract which is basically less fun than reading the bible in ancient Hebrew, I skipped the rest. After all, they are just repiticious, pretentious interludes in the narrative. Why break the reader's concentration up like this?
Overall then, this book is a one-trick dog. It has a good idea and then hammers the same points and concepts at you so many times that there is a good chance you won't want to finish the damn thing, or even care when you eventually do.