New York Psychoanalyst Luke Rhinehart is seeking to escape the numbing tedium of his ordinary life. So he begins to subject himself to the laws of probability. Because of the throw of a dice he rapes his partner's wife (more to her satisfaction than his). His life becomes increasingly irrational as everything he does including the roles he plays are dictated by dice. At first justifying his actions in terms of cod psychology (a search for the self) he later becomes high priest of the religion of the Die.
I suppose it is meant to be satire, lampooning psychoanalysis, religion, conservative America and the hippy movement at the same time. It is utterly of its period with plenty of drugs and graphic sex all washed down with a naive and heavy-handed philosophy: Timothy Leary meets the Valley of the Dolls without the pace, the humour and the characterisation of the latter.
Even the premise doesn't work. It is all very well choosing what you do by throwing dice but you have chosen the options. It really isn't a rediscovery of free will.
A brilliant concept ruined by elephantine prose and intrusive cod philosophy.
July 2011; 541 pages
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57