Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Dice: Deception, Fate, and Rotten Luck Hardcover – November 1, 2002
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
Top Customer Reviews
discourses about various aspects of dice, gambling, and fraud. Each
chapter is very short (just a few pages) and the entire book can be
read in less than thirty minutes. Both the photographs and the text
are fascinating, and left this reader wanting more. I hope that Mr.
Jay will be writing more books to share his voluminous and interesting
knowledge of magic, gaming, and cons with the world. (Jay's other
books: Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women and Jay's
Journal of Anomalies are also highly recommended.)
Ricky Jay is a magician, and a historian of magic, in addition to being a stage and movie actor. He has produced a couple of large books having to do with the history of magic and showmanship, but this is a small book, square like a face of a die, as are the color close-ups of the afflicted dice. "In the attempt to acquire empirical knowledge, I have accumulated thousands of dice over a period of decades," Jay explains. They are of all sorts of colors and patterns, but most of them are made of celluloid, the same celluloid whose decay has robbed us of countless early movies. Rosamond Purcell specializes in photographing the entropy that overcomes inanimate objects, like a book eaten by termites or rusting objects from the junkyard. Most of the large photographs here show the dice larger than life. The styles of their degeneration are diverse. The transparent ones show cracks through their mass, as if they have been dropped from a height. Some of the faces have crystallized, so that they look as if they have been sugared.Read more ›
Rosamund Wolff Purcell's beautiful color photographs of Jay's dice collection punctuate the text with amazing views and perspectives of the small and very much decaying bits of man's folly. They appear as ancient ruins, crumbling away with time, much in the manner of many a gentleman's fortune once he has found himself enticed by these small, six -sided devils. Marvelous art.
Both Jay and Purcell have rolled a natural with this one!
From the Persian woman who won the right to kill her enemy in a roll of the dice, to the 11th century King of Norway who won an island by a die that split in two mid-roll, through many an execution and suicide along the way, it's clear that dice have often been a matter of life and death. Now their own death is documented in Rosamond Purcell's strikingly beautiful photographs of misshapen, cracked, crystallized, and crumbling dice. As Jay explains in his final chapter "When a Die Dies", from the late 19th to mid-20th century, dice were typically made of cellulose nitrate, which decays rapidly after being stable for decades. These dice are more fascinating in their demise than in their prime. "Dice" is an intriguing little volume for fans of Ricky Jay, lovers of the game, and admirers of exquisite close-up photography.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although brief, this is a very thorough treatment of the history of dice. The photos of decaying dice are very colorful and fascinatingPublished 14 months ago by Jordan Reiter
Not what I expected, but if you are into decaying dice, you'll like the photos.Published 15 months ago by Terri
A beautiful photography book artfully displaying master magician Ricky Jay's unique dice collection. Jay provides sparse but intriguing tidbits about dice history and culture.Published on June 8, 2013 by mormovies
Another Ricky Jay book. Content is interesting & written in a very entertaining manner by a very fasinating magic man.Published on March 8, 2013 by Lynne Beckett
Ricky Jay once again finds an odd way to make an unexpected topic fascinating. His sense of humor adds to his expertise in the matter, with exquisite photos taken of otherwise... Read morePublished on May 26, 2011 by Aaron "Smokey" Arnold
this product was fairly priced, delivered when promised, and recieved as described.
just about perfectly
I couldn't disagree more with the first customer review. Rosamond Purcell's photographs of dice in various states of decay are lush and lyrical--all on their own, they are well... Read morePublished on November 29, 2007 by Pippin