Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck by Ricky JayIts a little bit difficult to categorize this book. Within its sixty-or-so pages youll find a collection of photographs captured by Rosamond Purcell of specimens from Ricky Jays collection of decomposing celluloid dice; yet this is not exactly a photography book. Youll also find several miniature essays relating anecdotes from the history of dice with a particular emphasis on crooked dice. But its not exactly an ordinary collection of essays either. Rather, I think of this as a collection of snapshots, some photographic and others written, of one of the most ancient tools of the gamblers.
Those of you who are familiar with the work of the late, great Ricky Jay (magician, actor, author, scholar, and so much more) will be pleased to spend some time reading and re-reading this book. If youve ever seen him perform, you can almost hear his voice leap from the page as he relates anecdotes in the same style as he does when reciting obscure facts from memory during one of his performances. And those of you who like thoughtful photography will find the accompanying images of dying dice fascinating and, in a strange sort of way, aesthetically pleasing.
If youre looking for an in- depth history of dice, you will be disappointed. While Ricky Jay manages to pack far more historical anecdotes into a relative few pages than probably anyone else could manage, this remains an incredibly small book devoid of a bibliography which might aid in future research. Academics will likely be entertained by the stories but may find themselves frustrated when they dont connect in any sort of overarching narrative or lead to a clear path of further reading.
I recommend this book in the same spirit as I would recommend watching a recording of one of Ricky Jays live performances: for the sheer entertainment of watching his mind at work.
Dark Deception - New Circus Teaser, Clown Animations! + Chapter 4 Release Date?, MORE!
dice: deception, fate and rotten luck
Plato said God invented dice. This we learn from one of Ricky Jay's fascinating essays in a delightful small volume that takes us from the earliest forms astragali the heel bones of hoofed quadrupeds, four of whose six sides were used for gaming to the myriad types of "loading" and other means of cheating with dice in the modern era. Along the way we discover that Augustus, Caligula, and Nero were all inveterate players, that Queen Elizabeth issued a search and seizure order against the manufacture of false dice in , and that dice made from celluloid, invented in , remained stable for decades, and thenin a flashbegan to decompose. These are the dice of Rosamond Purcell's luminous and seductive photographs, images which transform entropy to an art form. Jay and Purcell give us a dual meditation on dice that will educate us and amuse us at the same time.
Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck [Ricky Jay, Rosamond Purcell] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A classic small celebration and.
list of 2013 vampire films
Dice: Deception, Fate, and Rotten Luck
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
Ricky Jay knows his dice. A sleight-of-hand-performer who is appearing on Broadway in On the Stem , a one-man show directed by David Mamet in whose movies Jay has appeared frequently , Jay here presents a light, digressive history of dice, from "astragali" or "heel bones," as mentioned in an Indian epic poem to how they are loaded for cheating. Dipping into everything from Viking allegory to the writings of the Rev. Charles Caleb Colton an eventual ruined gambler and suicide , Jay's anecdotes are colorful but meandering: a description of a Florentine gambler named Antonio Rinaldeschi eases into a recollection of the outcry at the Brooklyn Museum over Chris Ofili's dung-festooned Holy Virgin Mary. Chapters such as "Dice and Death" and "The Palengenesis of Craps" are complemented by Rosamond Wolff Purcell's 13 color photographs of beautifully decayed dice when dice age, they can be chipped and crusted, appearing to be made of salt or ice. These portraits of chance's end reveal visually what Jay tells us verbally: dice are as inherently complex and frail as people.