The Book of Numbers [Devi Shakuntala] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. We can’t live without numbers. We need them in our daily chores. Book of Numbers [Shakuntala Devi] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Book of Numbers. From Shakuntala Devi, the author popularly known as the Human Computer, comes the Book of Numbers which is made for all those who are poor at.

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Showing of 70 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. The novel’s first part is the best and funniest contemporary reading I’ve had in a long time. Characters, prose och story shakkntala seamlessly into what promises to be a great read.

Unfortunately the writer then indulges in a mid-section, which is the majority of the book, that is a mockumentary based on some kind of a blend of Jobs, Zuckerberg and Bezos. The midsection is dead on the page, telling without showing, no characters we’re engaged in, resembling some kind of Wikipedia article, sprinkled with clever and sardonic observations. I’m guessing that the writer fell in love with this idea which is the backstory of our time and the novel, and did not take the advice that his editor probably gave him.

I have not given up hope, though. If this is truly a modern, digital novel, the writer will find this entry and others, replace the failed middle section with something that matches the brilliant first part of the novel, and publish it again. Within the confines of the blurry, unreal, but nonetheless significant Maginot line that bounds the categories of contemporary American Literature, I predict that The Book of Numbers will occupy a hallowed place: It has an ambitious, topical theme: It has an ambitious, topical narrator: In other words, The Book of Numbers, is ambitiously post-modern.



But, unfortunately, to such an extent that the post-modern trope of submerging referents in favor of a tapestry of signifiers, becomes a kind of farce. Joshua Cohen the author writes as Joshua Shakjntala the narratorwho is ultimately, writing for Joshua Cohen the internet mogul. Perhaps Cohen means to “problematize” the whole notion of the author by way of its most post-modern manifestation in “the death of the author”.

What unfortunately manifests though, feels more like lazy, gimmicky, writing. That presents an interesting problem for would-be critics of an archly post-modern text.

When I wrote this review, I was unaware of this interview by the author http: In this interview, Cohen describes the book as “a version, or a travesty of Joycean hope: I think Shakyntala was being preemptive.

The numbets of literature is becoming, or has already become, the study of data. Every Dickens novel has been mined, every Nabokov character described fevi having phallically long toes has been tagged.

Cohen refers to Franco Moretti’s work with graphing literature as the future of criticism. He says he’s writing to that method of criticism. He’s not writing for our entertainment, he’s not writing for our edification.

The Book of by Shakuntala Devi – PDF Drive

He’s writing booj that guys with computers can count up the words, make directed graphs from the words, run graph algorithm on the words, and praise the hell out of the genius that dared to play their game. Brilliant, exhausting, sprawling, at times incomprehensible, clever how the Internet numners affected–infected? A real rough ride, fascinating but overstuffed and self-indulgent.

Best novel to date about the Internet. One person found this helpful. The author has an amazing vocabulary and breadth of knowledge.

Shakuntala Devi

Also an annoying tendency to make up words that made the kindle dictionary unhelpful. It sometimes seems that he was getting paid by the word. He’s very good at restating things multiple ways. The basic narrative center of the book is interesting and thought provoking. There were long stretches that I found almost unintelligible. I only finished it because it was a book club selection. The word play can be creative and clever, but I often found it forced, like the author was merely showing off.

Transitions from one narrator to another were never identified. I knew the voice had changed, but had difficulty determining who the new narrator was.

Figuring: The Joy Of Numbers – Shakuntala Devi – Google Books

Cohen has tons of smart and interesting ideas in his head. His struggle is articulating them onto paper or typing them onto his tetbook. While often put in the same sentence as David Foster Wallace, his failure in the execution of explaining big ideas in an inventive writing style makes such comparisons wholly unwarranted.


I read this book because of the numerous comparisons that reviews gave to a David Foster Wallace novel. I love DFW and everything he wrote.

There are good sections but mostly it is just tediously clever and unfulfilling. I actually wish I hadn’t wasted time reading lf Read Oof Eggers – The Circle instead.

Any insight into the current state of technology in our everyday boo, was covered better there. Once I got used to the somewhat chaotic, but brilliant and clever prose style, I really loved this book. Then it just seemed to go on and on and sshakuntala and on.

I think Cohen’s editor should have exercised a bit more control and forced him to make this book two-thirds of its current length. There are too many stretches that become tedious despite the crackling style and the interesting premise and plot. I just wanted him to move the plot along already. And the narrator’s relationship with the dev Yemeni bride is just totally implausible. See all 70 reviews.

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