Review: Cohen’s Book of Numbers

Book of Numbers: A Novel
Joshua Cohen

A new addition to the burgeoning genre of MFA writers try their hand at thrillers. A diverting read about a failing young writer (name Joshua Cohen) who is hired to write the biography of a mysterious and eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire (also named Joshua Cohen) whose company may or may not be involved in deeply nefarious dealings. The story is standard smart thriller, the writing, strong, but overly showy. Much of billionaire Cohen’s dialogue is written in a kind of Asperger tone which is by turns compelling, and annoying. Other portions of the book appear willfully obscure. Sometimes I wanted to shake Cohen (the actual author) and say “You’re pretty good at this! No need to ruin it by showing off!”

I finished the book pleased with the diversion, but not totally impressed. Still, enough promise here that I’ll look for Cohen’s other works.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

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