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Extended Audio Sample The Fear Index Audiobook, by Robert Harris Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.399 out of 53.399 out of 53.399 out of 53.399 out of 53.399 out of 5 3.40 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Harris Narrator: Christian Rodska Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2012 ISBN: 9780449008744
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At the nexus of high finance and sophisticated computer programming, a terrifying future may be unfolding even now.
 
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.
 
Fiendishly smart and suspenseful,The Fear Indexgives us a searing glimpse into an all-too-recognizable world of greed and panic. It is a novel that forces us to confront the question of what it means to be human&—and it is Robert Harris&’s most spellbinding and audacious novel to date.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Ingenious . . . There aren’t many writers who can produce genuine page-turners these days but Harris is one and The Fear Index had me gripped from the start . . . The characters are superb . . . Harris is stunningly good at explaining complex financial instruments in layman’s terms. Sunday Express
     
  • Harris’s great skill is to inhabit fully and convincingly the worlds he writes about, showing off his vast research yet never allowing the white-knuckle narrative to lose momentum. New Statesman
  • As gripping a tale as anything Harris has written . . . It crackles with energy and invention, and the author’s obviously extensive research into the arcane world of state-of-the-art computing technology, algorithms, trading and hedge funds is dished up lightly and intelligibly. Irish Independent
  • Another winner . . . What makes Harris’s thrillers so much more rewarding than those of his rivals is that they all, whatever their ostensible subject, come out of his deep and expert interest in power. The Evening Standard
     
  • Harris is a master of pace and entertainment. The Observer (UK)
  • Harris is a master of pacing—the story moves swiftly while never feeling rushed, and the tension increases subtly chapter by chapter. Bloomberg News
  • Timely, expertly executed . . . Foreboding runs through the system of the book like an IV drip . . . It doesn’t take a super-computer to know The Fear Index is a worthwhile investment of your time. USA Today
     
  • Addictive . . . Pick this up on an airplane, and you won't want to land . . . The greatest pleasure is that it gets the finance right. Reuters
     
  • Fleet-footed . . . Harris expertly conjures a paranoid world where everyone seems to be watching everyone else. New York Times
  • An escapist thriller to rank with the best of them, and as a guide to what hedge funds actually do, it is surprisingly clear and instructive. The Economist
     
  • “Chilling…Harris has shown himself a master of the thriller form…The principal narrative unfolds at a breakneck pace…Readers may find themselves lying awake at night unsettled by the story.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • Chilling . . . Harris has shown himself a master of the thriller form . . . The principal narrative unfolds at a breakneck pace . . . Readers may find themselves lying awake at night unsettled by the story. Wall Street Journal
     
  • In this taut thriller, Harris delivers a superbly entertaining read for our time. Newsweek
  • Harris has fashioned in The Fear Index a thriller that’s part Kafka, part Orwell, part Darwin—with just about all parts exciting and pertinent . . . The tale [comes] to a stunning and disturbing finish. San Francisco Chronicle
  • Unputdownable . . . Harris has achieved the impossible, or at least the improbable: an explanation of the extravagantly esoteric nature of hedge funds, which normal people can understand . . . I gorged myself, devouring his dystopian vision of free markets enslaved by a sinister artificial intelligence in one breakneck sitting. The Daily Telegraph
     
  • Reminiscent of everyone from Michael Crichton to Ian Fleming, Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. Financial Times
     
  • A virtuoso specimen . . . Inventively exploiting current anxieties about algorithmic trading to update the Frankenstein story, The Fear Index is both cutting edge and keenly conscious of its literary predecessors . . . A tour de force. The Sunday Times
     
  • A blazingly ambitious novel . . . A fictional nightmare that feels like a wake-up call. The Sunday Telegraph
     
  • “In this taut thriller, Harris delivers a superbly entertaining read for our time.”

    Newsweek

  • “Fleet-footed…Harris expertly conjures a paranoid world where everyone seems to be watching everyone else.”

    New York Times

  • “Harris has fashioned in The Fear Index a thriller that’s part Kafka, part Orwell, part Darwin—with just about all parts exciting and pertinent…The tale [comes] to a stunning and disturbing finish.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Unputdownable…Harris has achieved the impossible, or at least the improbable: an explanation of the extravagantly esoteric nature of hedge funds, which normal people can understand…I gorged myself, devouring his dystopian vision of free markets enslaved by a sinister artificial intelligence in one breakneck sitting.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “Reminiscent of everyone from Michael Crichton to Ian Fleming, Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock.”

    Financial Times

  • “A virtuoso specimen…Inventively exploiting current anxieties about algorithmic trading to update the Frankenstein story, The Fear Index is both cutting edge and keenly conscious of its literary predecessors…A tour de force.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Timely, expertly executed…Foreboding runs through the system of the book like an IV drip…It doesn’t take a super-computer to know The Fear Index is a worthwhile investment of your time.”

    USA Today

  • “Addictive…Pick this up on an airplane, and you won’t want to land…The greatest pleasure is that it gets the finance right.”

    Reuters

  • “Harris is a master of pacing—the story moves swiftly while never feeling rushed, and the tension increases subtly chapter by chapter.”

    Bloomberg News

  • “A blazingly ambitious novel…A fictional nightmare that feels like a wake-up call.”

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

  • “An escapist thriller to rank with the best of them, and as a guide to what hedge funds actually do, it is surprisingly clear and instructive.”

    Economist

  • “Ingenious…There aren’t many writers who can produce genuine page-turners these days but Harris is one and The Fear Index had me gripped from the start…The characters are superb…Harris is stunningly good at explaining complex financial instruments in layman’s terms.”

    Sunday Express (London)

  • “Harris’s great skill is to inhabit fully and convincingly the worlds he writes about, showing off his vast research yet never allowing the white-knuckle narrative to lose momentum.”

    New Statesman

  • “As gripping a tale as anything Harris has written…It crackles with energy and invention, and the author’s obviously extensive research into the arcane world of state-of-the-art computing technology, algorithms, trading, and hedge funds is dished up lightly and intelligibly.”

    Irish Independent

  • “Another winner…What makes Harris’s thrillers so much more rewarding than those of his rivals is that they all, whatever their ostensible subject, come out of his deep and expert interest in power.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “Harris is a master of pace and entertainment.”

    Observer (London)

  • A 2012 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Finalist
  • A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Mystery/Suspense
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fiona Rowan | 2/12/2014

    " This book is incredibly clever! This is for anyone that enjoys the financial market with a good thriller thrown in! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard Starks | 2/3/2014

    " Robert Harris is an excellent writer in the Michael Crichton vein who can tell a good story and keep up the pace. In this book, he focuses on a former physicist who's now a billionaire hedge-fund manager. That makes it current and topical. But it also means the central characters are unsympathetic (as well as a little unlikely in their various relationships). The appeal of the book lies in the way it describes, in considerable detail, how computerized logarithms are increasingly running (or ruining) our financial lives. As a former financial journalist, I learned a lot - most of it scary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Harkness | 1/26/2014

    " Wow I was gripped by this book - much more exciting that I had expected, I read it right through on two long train journeys with an annoying meeting in between. I had been told about the references to Frankenstein, and enjoyed picking those up...very exciting "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth Mainord | 1/24/2014

    " The characters weren't engaging. It was okay but since I never cared about the people in the novel, I wasn't too interested in the plot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debbie Gourley-kenton | 1/24/2014

    " Very disappointing. Loved fatherland and Pompeii but very let down by this book. No substance and anticlimactic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leif | 1/21/2014

    " This could easily have been a Michael Crichton story -- lots of fast-paced adventure, vaguely evil technological marvels, and scientific background where possible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim Jopling | 1/20/2014

    " Wildly entertaining and relevant. I love this writer. When is the 3rd book in the Cicero trilogy coming out? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roberta | 12/17/2013

    " I am glad I didn't read the reviews m enforce I read this book. I think I must have read a different book. I found the idea of a computer working out the algorithms and then just running the whole show fascinating. I enjoyed it right through the very last page "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 12/1/2013

    " great story ... kept me wanting more ... felt this was much better than fatherland (although fatherland was still a good read) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tad Deshler | 11/20/2013

    " I wouldn't have thought you could make a sinister hedge fund, but this book show it is possible. The story started a bit slowly and the author could have made VIXAL even more evil, but it was a quick and enjoyable read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joseph Street | 11/11/2013

    " I may have read this on a plane, but if so, I don't know where I was flying, or why. That's all that's stuck with me about this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marcus Elwes | 11/6/2013

    " Somewhat of a page turner but ruined by a fairly ludicrous and predictable plot. Not one of Robert Harris' best books I am afraid. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Konsumschnecke | 7/22/2013

    " This book is just hilarious thrilling and I couldn't stop reading it during the last two days ( I started yesterday ) ... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alan Philp | 4/13/2013

    " I loved previous books by this author why have I given it one star? Because zero stars is not available. Dreadful, tedious, monotonous drivel and this is me giving a kind review. Save your money and that's a good number of hours I will never get back "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Whitaker | 12/25/2012

    " Enjoyable read on an interesting subject but not his best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 12/1/2012

    " Pleasantly surprised to be swept along in this financial thriller. Though it takes place in another country and the world of high finance was more than I wanted to know about, the idea of a computer making stock purchasing decisions based on a fear index intrigued me. Good thriller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick Walker | 9/14/2012

    " quite good but i guessed the ending "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andill | 5/8/2012

    " Not a bad book, but not one of Robert's best. It's a good escapist novel, but you get the impression that it has been written for the movie rights. I much prefer his historical based novels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M Benedikz | 4/17/2012

    " Fascinating and frightening dystopia. "

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About the Author
Author Robert Harris

Robert Harris is the author of ten best-selling novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost Writer, Conspirata, The Fear Index, An Officer and a Spy, and Dictator. Several of his books have been adapted to film, including The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages.

About the Narrator

Christian Rodska has worked in theaters all over the United Kingdom and in the West End, and he has recorded hundreds of radio plays and poetry programs. Over the last thirty years he has worked regularly in television, from early programs such as Follyfoot and Doomwatch, to Taggart, Sharpe, and Wycliffe. He has recorded over one hundred audiobooks and has won several awards.