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
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.