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16 August 2009 @ 10:22 pm
The Dice Man, Luke Rhinehart

Yet another book that makes me so, so grateful that I was born too late to experience the seventies in any way except retrospectively.

Also, the title is completely incorrect. It should be: I Turned Myself into a Murdering Rapist and I'm Delighted About It; A How-To Guide.

This is just so ... fucking SMUG. 'Oooh, yes, I pushed the boundaries of personality and I'm a big virile man and I force myself on anyone I want, regardless of their opinion on the matter. They're only women, after all!" Rhinehart thought he was so far ahead of anyone with his radical thinking, but he couldn't wrap his brain around the concept of treating women as equals.

My rape was obviously dictated by fate. Not guilty.

"[...] If you get the urge to rape her, go ahead. Tell her it's part of your therapy."
"Oh, no, no, I'd never want to do anything to hurt her. She seems such a lovely person."
"She is, which makes her all the more rapable. [...]"

WORLDS AND WORLDS OF NO. I could exhume Jack Kerouac's corpse and fill it with no and it still wouldn't be enough.

Forced carnal knowledge, whatever else it may be, is good physical exercise and represents meaningful variation on normal marital relations. As pleasure, however, it has its limitations.


Being an American born and bred, it was in my bones to kill.

Americans reading this, please weigh in: is it in your bones to kill? If yes, please tell me where you live so I can never go there.

The appeal of being a woman - at least for me - lies in the freshness of the experience and in the passivity, the masochistic passivity I might even say. There is something basic in wanting to be dominated by a superior creature


It's kind of a pity, because if Rhinehart wasn't crippled by a) living in the seventies and b) being born a man, he might have been a decent writer. These quotes made me laugh:

Mothers of the world, what would you give to spend only five hours a day with your children?

"Have you never felt a great rush of warmth and love toward some person or toward all of humanity?"
"To what do you attribute it?"

And this one is quite insightful:

To change man, the audience by which he judges himself must be changed. A man is defined by his audience: by the people, institutions, authors, magazines, movie heroes, philosophers by whom he pictures himself being cheered and booed."

Yeah. Shame. Also, was that truly excruciating porn really Shocking back then? Because now it's just gross.

Previously, on Book Glomp 2009:
He Knew He Was Right, Anthony Trollope |The Bostonians, Henry James | For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway | For Esme - with Love and Squalor, JD Salinger | The Outsider, Albert Camus | The Princess Diaries: Ten out of Ten, Meg Cabot | The Vicar of Bullhampton, Anthony Trollope | Molesworth, Geoffrey Willans | Villette, Charlotte Bronte | The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James | The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler | Cecilia, Fanny Burney | The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger | The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark | Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut | Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann | Siddhartha, Herman Hesse | The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga | The Duke and I, Julia Quinn | Brave New World, Aldous Huxley | North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell | Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee | Catch-22, Joseph Heller | Bright Shiny Morning, James Frey | Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck | The Demon's Lexicon, Sarah Rees Brennan | The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton | jPod, Douglas Coupland | 'Are these my basoomas I see before me?', Louise Rennison | Faro's Daughter, Georgette Heyer | Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman | The Accidental Sorcerer, K.E. Mills | Ethan of Athos, Lois McMaster Bujold | V., Thomas Pynchon | The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway | The Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb | Orlando, Virginia Woolf | The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath | Snuff, Chuck Palahniuk | Crush, Richard Siken | Trust Me, I'm a Junior Doctor, Max Pemberton
oceaxeoceaxe on August 17th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
I haven't even read your review because I had to say OMG OMG OMG I had to stop reading this book it was so fucking disturbing. I actually had nightmares. What kind of person thinks this shit up? Okay, I've calmed down, I will read your review now.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: hot air of balloonsscoradh on August 17th, 2009 12:08 pm (UTC)
Someone who needs better therapy than dice therapy, for sure.
oceaxeoceaxe on August 17th, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)
Now I have read your review. I agree, it's not that the guy is a bad writer, it's that he's clearly a bad person. Did you get all the way through the book? Does the main character _learn_ anything? Does he ever get less full of himself?
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: Japanese bluescoradh on August 17th, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC)
Let me see; after raping multiple people, the dice tells him to kill one of his patients (the one whom he didn't report to the police despite his confession of serial abuse of children - but I guess this was before they passed that law). It was nicely convenient that the murder victim was actually a Bad Guy. He gets caught and flees the police and ends up hanging off the side of a cliff. Hopefully he fell and cracked his skull, but sadly there's a sequel, so it's unlikely.

Pretty much: no.
daybreaqdaybreaq on August 17th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
Satire. Jonathan Swift wasn't really advocating eating babies either. "Rhinehart" is a fictional character.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: iconomicons a spoonful of hemlockscoradh on August 17th, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
Heh, he probably should have flagged that. I am the person that didn't realise most of the characters in Anansi Boys were supposed to be black. Regardless, I think eating babies is obviously eye-roll worthy, whereas rape is too common and too often considered a not-crime for me to be okay with him treating it so lightly.
rosalie: i could save you baby but it isn't worthwavesofwood on August 17th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC)
FUCK, NO. I'm British, but I think I have it in my bones to smack a bitch?
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Scene girls: blue crownsscoradh on August 17th, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on August 17th, 2009 09:26 am (UTC)
I had the same response as you, reading this book. To cope with it I treated the whole thing as satirical fiction, an elaborate set-up which is not to be taken seriously since its philosophy and outcomes are so ugly.
However, the notion (and the cult) of the book are intended to be taken seriously by the pseudonymous author. Were it not for my reading a library copy, it would have been one of a few books I would put in the bin.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: bandsscoradh on August 17th, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)
I am not too subtle in general, so I never realised it was ~intended to be a satire till it was pointed out above. If this is satire, I don't like it. DDDD:
pathvainpathvain_aelien on August 19th, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)
Um, are you serious? Someone actually wrote this crap? Very creepy.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 19th, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
Yes. Apparently it's a satire? Which ... doesn't really excuse it, in my eyes.