Montag, 1. April 2013

"The Fear Index" by Robert Harris

Summary: In the secretive inner circle of the ultra-rich, Alex Hoffmann is a legend.
He has developed a method of playing the financial markets that generates billions of pounds. It is a system that thrives on panic - and feeds on fear.
And then, in the early hours of one morning, his life is threatened when a terrifying intruder breaches the elaborate security of his lakeside home.
So begins a waking nightmare of violence and paranoia as Alex attempts - with increasing desperation - to discover who is trying to destroy him.
Before it's too late...

My review: "The Fear Index" is a book we had to read in school - it's not a book I would have chosen by myself, to be honest. The main theme is money and the weird life of Alex Hoffmann; he is a super-rich, a director of a hedge fund company but especially he is the developer of VIXAL, an algorithm that is able to learn and develop further itself. When the terror begins, Hoffmann gets paranoid and one can never be sure about his psyche: He might be mentally disordered or it could be the logical consequence on the attacks on his life just as well. It's up to the reader to decide whether he trusts Hoffmann's mind or not.
The idea behind the story, making money by analysing some parameters of fear and how they influence the market, is quite interesting. But in my view, Robert Harris hasn't succeeded in telling this very thrillingly. Or maybe I just didn't understand it well enough, since my English is not so advanced and my knowledge of the stock market is rather little. Nevertheless, it was an easy story to read, written in a very pleasant style.

Conclusion: After all, "The Fear Index" is a book I would recommend to everyone who is interested in today's world of money, artificial intelligence and manipulation of the mind.

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