The Fear Index

The Fear Index

Book - 2011
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His name is carefully guarded from the general public but within the secretive inner circles of the ultra-rich. Dr Alex Hoffmann is a legend - a visionary scientist whose computer software turns everything it touches into gold. Together with his partner, an investment banker, Hoffmann has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that tracks human emotions, enabling it to predict movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But then in the early hours of the morning, while he lies asleep with his wife, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of their lakeside house. So begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts, with increasing desperation, to discover who is trying to destroy him. His quest forces him to confront the deepest questions of what it is to be human. By the time night falls over Geneva, the financial markets will be in turmoil and Hoffmann's world - and ours - transformed forever.
Publisher: London : Hutchinson, 2011
Description: viii, 323 p. ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780091936969
0091936969
9780091936976
Branch Call Number: Harr
Additional Contributors: Harris, Robert, 1957- Fear index

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c
CICarlier
Sep 19, 2018

A good idea based on the real fact that algorithm are already impacting financial markets in drastic ways. Good representation of the finance world too. Story is not bad, but could use a bit more development.

j
jazpur
May 23, 2018

Robert Harris clearly saw the implications of the power of computer programming when this book was published in 2011. Taut and scary. Would translate well for film or television.

Good plot idea but the two main characters, Hoffman and his wife are not well developed so we are 3/4 of the way through the book and really don't care much what is happening to people. The contact with the CERN scientist who warned Hoffman in the first place is left dangling, so what? Read it but don't expect to be engaged. One of Harris' weakest novels.

v
VRMurphy
May 05, 2014

Might have been a good story in there, but I couldn't get past the first few pages due to the writing style. Makes Dan Brown look like F. Scott Fitzgerald.

b
billmacrotarian
Nov 23, 2013

Robert Harris takes unique perspectives on historical events as his alternate history Fatherland demonstrated many years ago. The Fear Index is more recent and deals with hedge funds and the financial meltdown of recent years. This novel should be popular with the Occupy movement and its supporters. It works as a mystery and as a cautionary tale.

s
StarGladiator
Oct 10, 2012

This book was a major disappointment --- guess the author was friends with all the blurb writers? Poor character development, couldn't care less if they were all killed off, you've read this same novel, thousands of times, seen the same movie hundreds of times --- old, tired and completely unoriginal and really poor writing. Strongly recommend Michelle Gagnon's "Don't Turn Around" -- although listed in Young Adult category, a real hackers novel, along with Brain Jack by the New Zealand author. (No stars rating for Harris)

VanessaCCL Oct 08, 2012

"Having designed a self-evolving algorithm that monitors fear to make investment decisions, artificial intelligence researcher and hedge fund manager Alexander Hoffman and his colleagues are making a mint - until a series of events makes Hoffman suspect that someone's out to get him and makes others think that he may be losing his mind. Increasingly paranoid, the reclusive genius takes off to defend himself and get to the bottom of the insidious plan to discredit him. Intricately plotted and intensely compelling, this novel from bestselling author Robert Harris offers science and philosophy in equal measures." Next Reads Thrillers and Suspense October 2012 Newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=556062

VanessaCCL Oct 08, 2012

"Having designed a self-evolving algorithm that monitors fear to make investment decisions, artificial intelligence researcher and hedge fund manager Alexander Hoffman and his colleagues are making a mint - until a series of events makes Hoffman suspect that someone's out to get him and makes others think that he may be losing his mind. Increasingly paranoid, the reclusive genius takes off to defend himself and get to the bottom of the insidious plan to discredit him. Intricately plotted and intensely compelling, this novel from bestselling author Robert Harris offers science and philosophy in equal measures." Next Reads Thrillers and Suspense October 2012 Newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=556062

VanessaCCL Oct 08, 2012

"Having designed a self-evolving algorithm that monitors fear to make investment decisions, artificial intelligence researcher and hedge fund manager Alexander Hoffman and his colleagues are making a mint - until a series of events makes Hoffman suspect that someone's out to get him and makes others think that he may be losing his mind. Increasingly paranoid, the reclusive genius takes off to defend himself and get to the bottom of the insidious plan to discredit him. Intricately plotted and intensely compelling, this novel from bestselling author Robert Harris offers science and philosophy in equal measures." Next Reads Thrillers and Suspense October 2012 Newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=556062

n
nannerl
Apr 29, 2012

Very Kafkaesque, dark paranoia, enjoyable read except a very weak ending.

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