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Summary

When the enigmatic billionaire founder and CEO of Tetration, the world's most powerful tech company, is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, he hires a failed novelist, Josh Cohen, to ghostwrite his memoirs. This tech mogul, known only as "Principal", takes Josh deep into his own mind, and outlines the history of Tetration, which started by revolutionizing the search engine and later ventured into smartphones, computer manufacturing, and the surveillance of American citizens.

Accompanying Josh on a mind-bending world tour of local Tetration offices, from Palo Alto to Dubai, Principal soon initiates Josh into the secret pretext of the autobiography project, and the life-or-death stakes that surround its publication.

©2015 Joshua Cohen. Recorded by arrangement with Random House, a division of Random House LLC. (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan C. S.
  • 13-07-15

Ignore the reviews. A funny and engrossing book.

Any additional comments?

I found this book interesting all the way through, building as it went along. An excellent reader for the text, which might have been off-puttimg on paper. Can't understand the extremely negative reviews. Give it a try. If you don't like it, return it.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • 12-01-16

A brilliant and confounding novel

What made the experience of listening to Book of Numbers the most enjoyable?

The prose is music (for the most part) until it clogs up with jargon or mind-numbing lists. Still, the part of the novel starting around section 30, the imagined recounting of the history of the internet by a dying Steve Jobs-like figure, is a treat, as is the relationship between this character and the narrator, who is trying to find a way to write Jobs' autobiography. Don't be discouraged by the opening of this section, which is so awful as to temp a quitter to quit. It's meant to be the narrator's first misdirected stab at writing the story. And for those of us who have been in the publishing business, there can never be too much inside baseball, including the Frankfort Book Fair. Those with knowledge of German, or who have taken German, might find those lengthy sections in mistranslated German more entertaining than trying. For me, the least interesting part of the book.

Would you be willing to try another book from Joshua Cohen? Why or why not?

I'd take a crack at another one, but would wait a while. Unlike mysteries or thrillers, where reading one makes you want to read the next, this is like Thanksgiving dinner, or as the Brits call it, "over-egging the pudding." It's too rich. You need a break after finishing it.

What about Kirby Heybourne’s performance did you like?

Hmmm. These questions are awful. Yes, it was ok, and certainly a challenge to find someone to tackle all the languages. Kirby mispronounced some common English words, OR, they were written as neo-logisms. With a book like this, it's hard to tell. Nosocomical? as he read it, or "nosocomial," the actual words. Without looking at the text itself, I can't say. Sometimes Kirby's reading became too insistent, as if he had to brace himself to keep going, like whipping a flagging horse.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I don't think this book was meant to move the reader. It's ambitious, but not in that way.

Any additional comments?

Quite an experience. And remember, if you don't like the book after giving it a solid chance, Audible is very good about taking the book back and giving credit. I did it once. On a short Dennis Lehane novel that I just couldn't get into.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 08-07-15

The narrator is making this book accessible...

If you could sum up Book of Numbers in three words, what would they be?

I am engaged

What does Kirby Heybourne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Accessibility. I'm not sure I could read this book. I bought the book and tried.

Any additional comments?

It 'listens' like music. Great job Kirby!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim
  • 18-06-15

Utter waste of credit

Any additional comments?

This was a book written in the style of a pompous, self-absorbed, redundant and scatter-brain author...ghost writing as himself for his namesake...supposedly exposing the underbelly of the tech industry... Apparently the real-life author playing the ghost writer has written prior readable material--there was little evidence of that here. The monotone, lifeless narration made the book practically unlistenable (I will puke if I hear cafe vs. caffe one more time), but was sadly in keeping with the quality of the actual book. Mr. Cohen may have had a story worth enduring for, but I for one could not get past the garbage posing as writing to get to it.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom Hager
  • 07-08-15

As like....

As like being cornered by an over caffeinated undergrad compsci major/religious studies minor who just HAS to braindump everything he wikied that day and how it's all, like, part of a pattern.....

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • W Perry Hall
  • 22-06-15

Pardon my French....

Owww.

If you find the French friendly, Ivy Leaguers demigods and Wall Street full of heroes, you might be a fan of this book.

I find haughtiness in writing overly tedious and vexatious, and the writing in this book to be the lexical equivalent of Ambien + Benadryl.

Here's a Number: 10.

As in 10 words I wish someone had told me before I wasted a credit on this book. And, please pardon my French:

Do not believe the hype! Le livre est beaucoup excréments.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful