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Book of Numbers

3.3 (2002)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Book of Numbers.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Professor of Political Science Joshua Cohen(Author)

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - A monumental, uproarious, and exuberant novel about the search--for love, truth, and the meaning of Life With The Internet.
"More impressive than all but a few novels published so far this decade . . . a wheeling meditation on the wired life, on privacy, on what being human in the age of binary code might mean . . . [Joshua] Cohen, all of thirty-four, emerges as a major American writer."--The New York Times


NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY VULTURE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The enigmatic billionaire founder of Tetration, the world's most powerful tech company, hires a failed novelist, Josh Cohen, to ghostwrite his memoirs. The mogul, known as Principal, brings Josh behind the digital veil, tracing the rise of Tetration, which started in the earliest days of the Internet by revolutionizing the search engine before venturing into smartphones, computers, and the surveillance of American citizens. Principal takes Josh on a mind-bending world tour from Palo Alto to Dubai and beyond, initiating him into the secret pretext of the autobiography project and the life-or-death stakes that surround its publication.
Insider tech expose, leaked memoir-in-progress, international thriller, family drama, sex comedy, and biblical allegory, Book of Numbers renders the full range of modern experience both online and off. Embodying the Internet in its language, it finds the humanity underlying the virtual.
Featuring one of the most unforgettable characters in contemporary fiction, Book of Numbers is an epic of the digital age, a triumph of a new generation of writers, and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.
Please note that Book of Numbers uses a special pagination system inspired by binary notation: the part number precedes the page number, and is separated from it by a decimal point.
Praise for Book of Numbers
"The Great American Internet Novel is here. . . . Book of Numbers is a fascinating look at the dark heart of the Web. . . . A page-turner about life under the veil of digital surveillance . . . one of the best novels ever written about the Internet."--Rolling Stone
"A startlingly talented novelist . . . [His] deeply rewarding novel is about an online religion gone wrong--and its importance lies in the fact that nearly all of us in the modernized world are members of that faith, whether we know it or not."--The Wall Street Journal
"Remarkable . . . dazzling . . . Cohen's literary gifts . . . suggest that something is possible, that something still might be done to safeguard whatever it is that makes us human."--Francine Prose, The New York Review of Books
"A hugely ambitious novel set in the high-tech world of now . . . a verbal high-wire act, daring in its tones and textures: clever, poetic, fast-moving, deeply playful, filled with jokes, savvy about machines, wise about people, dazzling and engrossing."--Colm Toibin, The Guardian
"Joshua Cohen is the Great American Novelist. . . . Like Pynchon and Wallace, Cohen can write with tireless virtuosity about absolutely everything."--Adam Kirsch, Tablet

"A digital-age Ulysses."--The New York Times Book Review
"The next candidate for the Great American Novel . . . David Foster Wallace-level audacious."--Details

Joshua Cohen is the Great American Novelist. . . . Like Pynchon and Wallace, Cohen can write with tireless virtuosity about absolutely everything. . . . Cohen has turned the tables on the Internet: Instead of being reduced by its omniscience, he forces it to serve his imaginative purposes. . . . If John Henry is going to compete with the steam engine, he needs an almost superhuman energy and intelligence of his own and if any writer has it, it is Joshua Cohen. Adam Kirsch, "Tablet"The next candidate for the Great American Novel . . . David Foster Wallace level audacious. "Details" "" [A] monstrous talent and restive, roiling intellect . . . Other recent literary novels have treated the dot-com-mania reboot, its flagship companies, and their disruptive technologies Pynchon s "Bleeding Edge, " Dave Eggers s "The Circle" but Cohen s is the best. "Bookforum" "" Cohen returns with a new novel questioning what life is in the digital age. The prolific writer . . . has given us a smart thriller to kick off the season. . . . Inspiring in a way that requires readers to pay attention not just to the words but the book as a form. "Vanity Fair" "" Reading Cohen s magnum opus is a lot like falling down an Internet wormhole. In "Numbers, "you ll find an international mystery, a fake memoir, a modern retelling of the biblical Book of Numbers, a sex romp, and a bunch of leaked documents. Think David Foster Wallace meets David Mitchell meets the search history that you just cleared. Beast. "Esquire"An ambitious and inspired attempt at the Great American Internet Novel . . . Cohen s encyclopedic epic is about many things language, art, divinity, narrative, desire, global politics, surveillance, consumerism, genealogy but it is above all a standout novel about the Internet, humanity s first mutual culture, in which our identities are increasingly defined by a series of ones and zeroes. "Publishers Weekly "(starred review)An investigation of the technologies that mediate our collective fears and desires. Delving deep into the semantic web of our networked lives, Cohen pushes the reader into the wasteland of our abbreviated vocabulary, one SQL (structured query language) at a time. . . . ["Book of Numbers"] will appeal to readers with an appreciation for experimental fiction and the ever-expanding limits of language. "Library Journal "(starred review)Cohen riffs impressively on countless Web-related matters, from chaos to code to venture capital to Y2K. . . . [He] also recognizes the laughs and peril at this technologically challenging stage of the human comedy and its new questions about what people are searching for, how the results may affect them, and what it all may cost. "Kirkus Reviews "(starred review)This is an astounding undertaking. In "Book of Numbers" the wizardly Joshua Cohen relocates the line between tragedy and comedy. His lurid and high-achieving characters create and suffer the Internet which is now tightening around us all. I don t know of any other work like this one. Norman Rush "" Joshua Cohen s "Book of Numbers" is a lot of things a disquisition on and aping of the Internet, a dissection of friendship and romance in the Digital Age, and a doppelganger tale but for me it s most poignant as an elegy for the written word, and as a rebuke to its decline. Joshua Ferris, author of "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour"Joshua Cohen is one of the most intelligent, witty, and moving writers we have, and "Book of Numbers "is his most magnificent and ambitious book. This novel illuminates the mysterious and near-invisible landscape of right now. Rivka Galchen, author of "American Innovations" "" The single best novel yet written about what it means to remain human in the Internet Era. Adam Ross

2.5 (9003)
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Review Text

  • By pynchon10 on 13 January 2016

    I need to write a few lines to balance some of the comments so far.IGNORE THE NEGATIVE AND FORM YOUR OWN OPINION....if you like a challenging read,something different,literature that will take you out a formulaic comfort zone,lines that you will want to reread and ponder as you go about our everyday chores and you treat literature like a giant puzzle to unravel and come away from having felt you have grown and you like to read and to marvel at what can be possible with the written word...then give this a try.

  • By Sam Becket on 9 July 2015

    I have to say that I don't usually read novels, only if they have extraordinary reviews or are classics. I was sold this book as an Orwell 1984 update and was intrigued by the storyline. I also knew that the online reviews were quite polarised. One forum participant who was raving about the book was even suggesting that those who gave it poor reviews must be working for government agencies in order to suppress the book. That hooked me -- I just HAD to order it. In retrospect he was probably working for a publishing agency because when the book arrived, a couple of days ago, I found it almost unreadable. The author has adopted a cryptic, stream-of-consciousness style that really makes the book hard to read and very confusing. You feel that the author is showing off his style more than telling you a story, and I have to say I had to give up after a couple of chapters. It was just too much hard work. Perhaps if you are very literary you might get it, but I cannot imagine most people enjoying this book.

  • By Ben Cameron on 30 December 2015

    Almost unreadable.Seems the author has tried to wow with his 'style' instead of putting a good story together.Do not buy this book, you will be disappointed.

  • By Guest on 6 September 2016

    Not greatly impressed with this beyond the almost psychedelic cover I'm afraid. I'm about 100 pages through and beginning to give up completely. It is wordy like Salman Rushdie, and not as full of new ideas as several of the reviewers on the jacket claim. It is trying to be, but lacks the sophisticated understanding of the internet age I anticipated. It you want your mind blowing by something literate try Tristram Shandy.In a word disappointing.


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