The Dice Man

From Academic Kids

The Dice Man was published in 1971 by George Cockcroft under the pen name Luke Rhinehart. It had the confident subheader, "This book can change your life". It quickly became a cult classic, as people read it and passed it around. Some in authority saw it as subversive, reflecting the mood of the early 1970s in permissiveness, and anti-psychiatry sentiment, and it was banned in several countries. The book's title inspired the act and stage name of stand-up comedian Andrew Dice Clay.

It went through a number of republishings - in the United States it got the even more confident subheader "Few novels can change your life. This one will", but was cut somewhat from the original. Perhaps because of this, and despite the author and the character both being from the USA, it was slightly less successful than in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.

The book tells the story of a psychologist named Luke Rhinehart who, feeling bored and unfulfilled in life, starts making decisions about what to do based on a roll of a dice. Along the way, there is sex, rape, murder, "dice parties", breakouts by psychiatric patients, and various corporate and governmental machines being put into a spin. There is also a description of the cult that starts to develop around the man, and the psychological research he initiates, such as the "Fuck without Fear for Fun and Profit" program.

The themes of the book are continued in The Search for the Dice Man, Adventures of Wim, and The Book of the Die.

The book has been republished a number of times:

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