“All these stories are replete with clever turns of phrase and memorable lines. . . . Like [David Foster] Wallace, Cohen is clearly concerned with the depersonalizing effects of technology, broken people doing depraved things, and how the two intersect in tragic (and, sometimes, hilarious) ways. The franticness with which he writes about these themes is, at times, Wallace-esque—sentences screaming across the page turbulently, always seemingly one wrong turn from flying apart altogether.”—Boston Globe"Another exhilarating spectacle from a virtuosic wordsmith." —Star Tribune (Minneapolis)"The four novellas included are certainly new--I've never read anything remotely like them--and they're certainly messages, urgent ones addressed to the porn-numb but as yet un-lobotomized members of the iGeneration. Cohen calls out in pimped-out prose that shimmies like a lowride Cutlass. I would advise you all to listen." —Adam Wilson, Salon, "Salon's Ultimate Book Guide"
"In Mr. Cohen's hands, a meme is a matter of life and death, because he goes from the reality we all know—the link, the click—to the one we tend to forget: the human. . . . Mr. Cohen is ambitious. He is mapping terra incognita." —New York Observer"Immoderately brilliant. . . . Throughout, Cohen uses his gifts extravagantly, but there are no lazy formulations, no banal phrases that he doesn't either parody or somehow subvert, and by so doing create a new angle of perception that demands close rereading. . . . Four New Messages might seem an ambitious title in an era when true literary innovation is rare, but Joshua Cohen exceeds expectations in ways that are gratifying in the present and promising for the future." —Bookforum"There is ample evidence that Joshua Cohen is one of the greatest literary minds of his generation. . . . If anything is finally going to get people to admit that he's the new Thomas Pynchon (sans the whole recluse thing) the Graywolf Press published book will be it." —Flavorpill
"Cohen's comically dense ruminations don't so much as come to a boil as spill over with tales of pornography, hyperviolent video games, consumerism, and depression." —Interview"Joshua Cohen has more than four new messages to deliver in this volatile book, all quite urgent. These stories seize us with their brash humor and intellectual reach. But are they startling warning flares or diabolical soul traps? Read them and weep, roar, shudder." —Sam Lipsyte
Cohen is a babbler. Like James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, et al., his sentences are long, winding exercises in syntactic hysterics. Read morePublished 3 months ago by jafrank
Joshua Cohen writes many great sentences in his book Four New Messages. Some of the phrases he turned made me smile, and others pleaded to be read two or three times, which I was... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Stephen T. Hopkins