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Book of Numbers

A Novel

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • "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

"Book of Numbers . . . is shatteringly powerful. I cannot think of anything by anyone in [Cohen's] generation that is so frighteningly relevant and composed with such continuous eloquence. There are moments in it that seem to transcend our impasse."-Harold Bloom

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 exposé, 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.

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."-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
Rezension
"Book of Numbers . . . is shatteringly powerful. I cannot think of anything by anyone in [Cohen's] generation that is so frighteningly relevant and composed with such continuous eloquence. There are moments in it that seem to transcend our impasse."-Harold Bloom

"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

"The Great American Internet Novel is here. . . . Joshua Cohen's 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 . . . At its heart, Book of Numbers is an attempt to reclaim a sense of humanity in the digital age."-Rolling Stone

"Joshua Cohen is 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. It is 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 Tóibín, The Guardian

"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

"A digital-age Ulysses."-The New York Times Book Review

"The next candidate for the Great American Novel . . . David Foster Wallace-level audacious."-Details

"A brilliant book."-The Boston Globe

"Frequently hilarious high satire of our digital world . . . a book after William Gaddis's heart that will be around well after most summer reads have been recycled (or deleted)."-New York

"[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

"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

"Book of Numbers has been called both 'the Great Internet Novel' and 'the Great American Novel.' The book, published by Cohen at the age of thirty-four, succeeds at doing to the Internet what David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest-also published when its author was thirty-four-attempted to do to television. It humanizes it."-Flavorwire

"An urgent and necessary sign of life in U.S. literature."-The Rumpus

"Book of Numbers is alive with humor and insight. Cohen has been compared to Philip Roth multiple times, but the similarities are perhaps most obvious in this book."-The A.V. Club

"An ambitious and inspired attempt at the Great American Internet Novel . . . Cohen's encyclopedic epic is about many things-language, art, divi
Portrait
Joshua Cohen was born in 1980 in Atlantic City. He has written novels ( Witz ), short fiction ( Four New Messages ), and nonfiction for The New York Times , London Review of Books , Bookforum , The Forward , and others. He is a critic for Harper's Magazine and lives in New York City.
Joshua Cohen was born in 1980 in Atlantic City. He has written novels (Book of Numbers), short fiction (Four New Messages), and nonfiction for The New York Times, Harper's Magazine, London Review of Books, The Forward, n+1, and others. In 2017 he was named one of Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. He lives in New York City.
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  • 8/27? 28? two days before end of Ramadan

    If you're reading this on a screen, fuck off. I'll only talk if I'm gripped with both hands.

    Paper of pulp, covers of board and cloth, the thread from threadstuff or-what are bindings made of? hair and plant fibers, glue from boiled horsehooves?

    The paperback was compromise enough. And that's what I've become: paper spine, paper limbs, brain of cheapo crumpled paper, the final type that publishers used before surrendering to the touch displays, that bad thin four-times-deinked recycled crap, 100% acidfree postconsumer waste.

    I have very few books with me here-Hitler's Secretary: A Firsthand Account, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, whatever was on the sales table at Foyles on Charing Cross Road, and in the langues anglais section of the FNAC on the Rue de Rennes-books I'm using as models, paragons of what to avoid.

    I'm writing a memoir, of course-half bio, half autobio, it feels-I'm writing the memoir of a man not me.

    It begins in a resort, a suite.

    I'm holed up here, blackout shades downed, drowned in loud media, all to keep from having to deal with yet another country outside the window.

    If I'd kept the eyemask and earplugs from the jet, I wouldn't even have to describe this, there's nothing worse than description: hotel room prose. No, characterization is worse. No, dialogue is. Suffice it to say that these pillows are each the size of the bed I used to share in NY. Anyway this isn't quite a hotel. It's a cemetery for people both deceased and on vacation, who still check in daily with work.

    As for yours truly, I've been sitting with my laptop atop a pillow on my lap to keep those wireless hotspot waveparticles from reaching my genitals and frying my sperm, searching up-with my employer's technology-myself, and Rach.

    My wife, my ex, my "x2b."

    \

    Living by the check, by the log-living remotely, capitalhopping, skipping borders, jumping timezones, yet always with that equatorial chain of blinking beeping messages to maintain, what Principal calls "the conversation"-it gets lonely.

    For the both of us.

    Making tours of the local offices, or just of overpriced museums to live in. Claridge's, Hôtel de Crillon. Meeting with British staff to discuss removing the UK Only option from the homepage. Meeting French staff to discuss the .Fr launch of Autotet. Granting angel audiences to the CEOs of Yalp and Ilinx. Being pitched, but not catching, a new parkour exergame and a betting app for fantasy rugby.

    This was micromanaging, microminimanaging. Nondelegation, demotion (voluntary), absorption of duties (insourcing), dirtytasking. All of them at once. In the lexicon of the prevailing techsperanto.

    This was Principal spun like a boson just trying to keep it, keep everything, together.

    At least until Europe was behind us and we could stay ensuite, he could stay seated, in interviews with me. Between the naps, interviewing for me.

    You call the person you're writing "the principal" and mine is basically the internet, the web-that's how he's positioned, that's how he's converged: the man who helped to invent the thing, rather the man who helped it to invent us, in the process shredding the hell out of the paper I've dedicated my life to. Though don't for a moment assume he regards it as, what? ironic or wry? that now, at our mutual attainment of 40 (his birthday just behind him, mine just ahead), he's feeling the urge to put his life down in writing, into writing on paper.

    He has no time for irony or wryness. He has time for only himself.
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 592
Erscheinungsdatum 08.03.2016
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-8129-8665-5
Verlag Random House US
Maße (L/B/H) 20.3/12.8/4 cm
Gewicht 434 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 22.90
Fr. 22.90
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inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
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