The Dice Man is a novel published in 1971 by George Cockcroft under the pen name Luke Rhinehart and tells the story of a psychiatrist who begins making life decisions based on the casting of dice. Cult black comedy favorite.
Luke Rhinehart, respected psychiatrist and family man, is in a slump. Bored to insanity by his humdrum life, he conducts a psychological experiment to destroy the self, by letting the role of a die determine his next actions. From here, after surrendering his will, he takes all the risks he's denied himself. The path of the dice however, leads him to become a cult leader, adulterer, underground activist, millionaire, asylum inmate, murderer and fugitive.
This work provides us examples of:
- Artistic License Medicine: When a patient tells Luke he likes to sodomize and kill young girls, Luke is depressed that he can't tell anyone due to patient confidentiality. In reality, a practitioner should break confidentiality as soon as s/he thinks the patient will be a danger to themselves or others.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer- Luke's behavior is initially downplayed as this.
- Comedic Sociopath- Luke again.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope - Luke's first dice-determined decision is whether or not to rape his best friend's wife.
- Shown Their Work- the parodies of Freudian, Jungian and behavioral psychology.
- Übermensch- Luke and his Way of the Dice.
- Unintentional Period Piece - Many. Two being referencing Bob Dylan as though he is current, and a child steals $3 and is able to buy 23 comic books with the money.
- Unreliable Narrator
- Villain Protagonist- When the die demands it.