The Dice Man is a novel published in 1971 by George Cockcroft under the pen nameLuke Rhinehart and tells the story of a psychiatrist who begins making life decisions based on the casting of dice. Cockcroft wrote the book based on his own experiences of using dice to make decisions while studying psychology. The novel is noted for its subversivity, anti-psychiatry sentiments and for reflecting moods of the early 1970s. Due to its subversive nature and chapters concerned with controversial issues such as rape, murder and sexual experimentation, it was banned in several countries. Upon its initial publication, the cover bore the confident subheader, "Few novels can change your life. This one will" and quickly became a modern cult classic. The book went through a number of republishings - in the United States it acquired the even more confident subheader "This book will change your life", in spite of its being a highly edited version of the original.[verification needed] It was initially less successful than in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.
The book tells the story of a psychiatrist named Luke Rhinehart who, feeling bored and unfulfilled in life, starts making decisions about what to do based on a roll of a die. 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.
Two plays have been produced based on the ideas in The Dice Man: The Dice House, written by Paul Lucas and produced by Neal Foster's Birmingham Theatre Company, and The Six Sided Man by Gavin Robertson.
The script for Dice, a Canada/UK co-produced TV mini-series directed by Rachel Talalay in 2001, was inspired by The Dice Man.
The melodic death metal band At the Gates has quotations from the book in the songs "Blinded by Fear", "Slaughter of the Soul" and "World of Lies" from the Slaughter of the Soul album; the lyricist/vocalist Tomas Lindberg has cited it as a major lyrical inspiration.
In an episode of the TV series The Big Bang Theory, the character Sheldon uses a die to make non-important decisions in his life.
The travel show The Diceman used the same basic premise of rolling a die, in order to decide on where to go or what to do next.