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Old 9th Jan 2008, 16:21   #21
Colyngbourne
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

More selfishness, and murder and distress than there is already in the world.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 16:25   #22
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

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More selfishness, and murder and distress than there is already in the world.
Without doubt, but as an idea for a book it's not bad. What if? As an idea for life it sucks.

How much of the book is biography and how much fiction?
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 19:31   #23
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

If I remember right I didn't condemn the book like the rest of the book group, but in retrospect, I don't remember it in a favourable light. The idea of this book is good, I still think so, but at the end all that gets rather tiring.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 22:17   #24
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

I quite liked it. Quite disturbing, especially since he chose his own options, and when some options could endanger his own children - well, that's freaky and very uncomfortable, but I thought it was a good book.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 14:01   #25
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

I read this book several years ago as part of my MBA work on Decision Making and found it interesting yet disturbing.

The biggest issue (and the main thing I remember about the book) is that when he raped his neighbour, she responded along the lines of "I've been hoping you would do that".

I HATE it when authors do that. That sort of shite shouldn't even be in top shelf mags. It perpetuates the 'when a woman says no she really means yes' school of (rapist) thought.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 15:07   #26
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

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I read this book several years ago as part of my MBA work on Decision Making and found it interesting yet disturbing.

The biggest issue (and the main thing I remember about the book) is that when he raped his neighbour, she responded along the lines of "I've been hoping you would do that".

I HATE it when authors do that. That sort of shite shouldn't even be in top shelf mags. It perpetuates the 'when a woman says no she really means yes' school of (rapist) thought.
I'm sure you're going to hate me for saying this but the so-called rape scene isn't really a rape at all. There's no hint of violence or coercion. When he says I want to rape you, she says 'Alright'. "And the pleasure was mostly Arlene's" Just because he calls it rape doesn't make it so. I suspect that the athor does that because it sounds more dangerous than extra-marital consensual sex.
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 15:36   #27
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

No, I don't hate you. I obviously haven't remembered the scene very well.

I'll stick to my guns though and say that "I want to rape you" is unlikely to be answered with the word "yes". Also, if the dice told him to rape her (and this was his own choice in terms of 'programming' the dice), it was still his intention to do so, whether she had consented or not.

I'll concede you the point on the issue of her liking it though as I guess it technically wasn't rape.

Still felt uncomfortably 'top-shelf mag'-ish for me though.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 11:46   #28
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

This whole scene is unsatisfactory. The author needs Luke to do something shocking at the dice's command to grab the reader's attention and show that he's prepared to step outside the normal rules of society. The trouble is, at the same time, he doesn't want to lose the sympathy the reader has for the character, this early on. The compromise is something he calls rape but isn't. Not convinced this works.

We don't know what would have happened if she had said no. Would he have gone through with it? I agree that having the initial intention to rape her is pretty bad, but we are ultimately judged for our actions rather than unfulfilled intentions.

I haven't finished the book yet so I won't say much more. It does seem that the way he programs the dice by choosing the options destroys the truly random nature of the experiment. Also he doesn't include options that would screw up the narrative. For instance, you'd think that one of the most obvious options would be to leave his job or at least not go and see certain patients. The trouble is that it would just leave him walking the streets with nothing to do. Similarly, he makes sure that he doesn't leave his family, and that they don't leave him.

Ultimately, as most of us know, if you really included truly random options and followed them then you'd lose your job, your home, your family, your friends and end up on the streets with a drink or drug addiction. It could have worked in a Mayor of Casterbridge downward spiral but this was not the kind of book that he wanted to write. Also if everyone just did everything on a whim then it would spell the end for society. Nobody actually doing any work. Nothing working. Nobody looking after anyone else. Just a load of individuals scratching around in the dirt, hunting and foraging for food, and fighting each other. I'm known not to be the hugest fan of the current system but it is probably better than a return to our primate roots.
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 0:01   #29
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

I shouldn't post here as I'm not in the book group... however as a former culty studying person, I'd just like to chip in that Luke Rhinehart was a devotee of EST, Erhard Seminars Training, a highly controversial human potential seminar movement which was an effective life-changing experience for some, a load of sadistic and manipulative bollocks for others. Erhard was a former Scientologist. At root EST was about visualising... if you want it enough, it will come. It's not too much of a stretch to see how this fits the themes of The Dice Man.
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 12:14   #30
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Default Re: Book 15: THE DICE MAN by LUKE RHINEHART

I am not, was not and am unlikely to be part of the book group but it seems a reasonable place to put it as we're discussing an ex-book group book. Anyway, I'm still reading this though it is getting more and more irritating and I'm not sure how far to go on. The bit I've just read includes him admitting to sleeping with his wife's best friend and then attempting to rape his wife. I know I haven't finished the book, but you'd expect with most women that would mean the end of the relationship. Lil just gives him a bit of cold shoulder and keeps everything else as normal, still accompanying him to partys etc. In one particular party Luke tries to attack another woman and gets a well-deserved kick in his nether regions. What an arrogant arsehole? Hope he gets his comeuppence, as they say, but given the blurb on the back there's no hint of that or that the system is a fundamentally flawed and could be seen as a justification of Nietzsche, itself used as a justification of fascism. The strong can do what they want and fuck the rest.

But that misses the point anyway, from a book reading point of view. I can handle an unpleasant even brutal subject matter if it's at least believable. With Rhinehart, I'm finding that harder and harder to do.
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