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The Fear Index by Robert Harris
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The Fear Index (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Robert Harris

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9024114,126 (3.27)31
Member:occupymuskegon
Title:The Fear Index
Authors:Robert Harris
Info:Knopf (2012), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Fear Index by Robert Harris (2011)

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English (40)  German (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
This is an enjoyable read if, especially if you're interested in the technology or financial markets. It isn't without flaws, in particular, the link between the core AI/Hedge fund story and the personal assaults on Hoffmann - they really don't make sense and, in the end, they are left hanging. ( )
  Philogos | Aug 12, 2018 |
A story of the digital Frankenstein. ( )
  ajungherr | Mar 15, 2018 |
Computer automated stocks shares processing ( )
  keithgordonvernon | Aug 19, 2017 |
Description
A visionary scientist, Alex Hoffmann, creates a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But after an intruder breaks into his home, he has to try to discover who is trying to destroy him.

This was an interesting story of psychological suspense. When strange things start happening to Alex, his wife and business partner think he’s having a breakdown as he had 8 years earlier due to stress on the job. The author did a good job of explaining financial and computer operations as needed without going on too long. Sometimes I did wonder whether it was Alex having a problem or it was the computer but sometimes I thought the story needed to be a bit more clear. It was still a decent story. ( )
  gaylebutz | Jul 24, 2017 |
This is a thriller about a hedge-fund whose trades are guided by computer algorithms. Ultra-rich Dr. Alex Hoffman has developed computer programs to keep track of all events, learn from them and predict how the market will react. When the novel begins, a mysterious intruder has invaded Hoffman's Lake Geneva mansion. He is attacked and wounded the night before he is to make a presentation to his clients about revolutionary new trading techniques he hopes will induce them to invest more in the fund.

The plot doesn't always make sense, and its conclusion is not logical. But the book is a somewhat fun look at the lifestyles of the rich and famous, and a fantasy of computers run amok--in the worst way since HAL.

2 stars

One interesting thing in the book are the descriptions of the main character's wife's art work. She made portraits consisting of multi-layered MRI scans. The book linked to an actual artist who does this, and her website had examples of her work. ( )
  arubabookwoman | Jul 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Humans have emerged as the top predators of the biosphere, but Harris warns that a new life form, brilliant and brutal, could be emerging from our algorithms, silicon chips and fiber-optic lines. Corporations aren’t people, he tells us, but they will be alive. Will we survive the rise of the machines? Lovers of the “Terminator” and “Matrix” films know the answer. In evolution, as with a prospectus, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
 
Is “The Fear Index” fearmongering? Possibly. Like most dystopian novels, it taps into anxieties - about the mysterious workings of computers in this case. Like the best novels of this genre, it offers something to chew on - and it’s entertaining.'
 
When the reason behind the eerie incidents becomes apparent, the effect is chilling—and, for some characters, fatal. Only when the plot's smoke clears will certain fussy readers feel their suspension of disbelief plummeting and say: Now, wait a minute. That's another kind of flash crash.
 
“. . . the premise of The Fear Index by Robert Harris is seriously creepy. . . . The Fear Index is a solid, competent techno-thriller, carefully researched and intelligently executed. If you enjoy this genre—and who doesn’t now and then?—put this one on your to-be-read list.”

 
Foreboding runs through the system of The Fear Index like an IV drip. But if the novel sells itself short anywhere, it's in the author's clearly conscious decision to sacrifice character development for the sake of story pace. Still, it doesn't take a super-computer to know The Fear Index is a worthwhile investment of your time.
added by geocroc | editUSA Today, James Endrst (Jan 30, 2012)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zwart, JannekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dr Alexander Hoffmann sat by the fire in his study in Geneva, a half-smoked cigar lying cold in the ashtray beside him, an anglepoise lamp pulled low over his shoulder, turing the pages of a first edition of The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal by Charles Darwin.
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Book description
Dr. Alex Hoffmann’s name is carefully guarded from the general public, but within the secretive inner circles of the ultrarich, he is a legend. He has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But one morning before dawn, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of his lakeside mansion, and so begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts, with increasing desperation, to discover who is trying to destroy him.
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"A visionary scientist creates a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But after an intruder breaks into his home, he has to try to discover who is trying to destroy him"--… (more)

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