Book of Numbers (novel)

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Book of Numbers
AuthorJoshua Cohen
CountryUnited States
PublisherRandom House
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)

Book of Numbers, published in 2015, is a metafiction novel written by author Joshua Cohen. The novel is about a writer named Joshua Cohen who is contracted to ghostwrite the autobiography of a tech billionaire called Joshua Cohen.[1][2][3] It was published by Random House, and released in 2015.


Some critics compared Cohen's writing favorably to that of Philip Roth and David Foster Wallace.[2][3] Dwight Garner, writing for the New York Times, stated that the similarities with Roth come from "...[blending] slashing comedy with a brooding awareness of family, of the Old World, of prior claims on his soul." Adam Mars-Jones, writing in the London Review of Books, said about the novel, "There are wonderful things here cloaked with an invisibility spell, tucked away in the middle of the book, where only the stubbornest seeker after enchantment will find them."[4]


Cohen wrote the novel before the Edward Snowden leaks, but the narrative predicts several of the government initiatives revealed by Snowden.[5] Cohen read numerous books and treatises about the Internet's history and studied the biographies of technologists before and during the writing of the book.


  1. ^ Poole, Steven (3 July 2015). "Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen review – the guru and the ghostwriter". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Sarvas, Mark (2 July 2015). "'Book of Numbers,' by Joshua Cohen". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Fowle, Kyle (15 June 2015). "Book Of Numbers both indicts and replicates digital culture". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  4. ^ Mars-Jones, Adam (24 September 2015) "Sheer Cloakery." London Review of Books. Page 29.
  5. ^ Alter, Alexandra (12 June 2015). "Nothing to Hide and Nowhere to Hide It in Joshua Cohen's Internet Novel". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 July 2015.