Victor Gibson's Reviews > The Fear Index

The Fear Index by Robert   Harris
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's review
Aug 19, 2012

did not like it
Read in August, 2012

I have just been on a course on how to write your novel. Obviously Robert Harris has not been on this course. He has chosen to use a very well worn theme, that of artificial intelligence, and has used it in a pretty mediocre way in a novel about high finance. I only gave it one star because I had persevered and read it to the end. In the paperback edition there is an interview between the author and Richard and Judy (In UK a couple who used to review books on their TV programme), and then an additional question and answer section for reading groups. How pretentious can you get??

Over the years I have read most of Robert Harris's books and they have been pretty variable. The one thing they have in common is pretty poor characterisation, but usually they have pretty good plots. I'm afraid the Fear Index fails in both respects. The main character is a computer nerd who is not the least bit likeable, but for some reason seems to be capable of physical violence. There are also numerous other characters with difficult names, none of whom contribute in any way to the narrative.

Yes Jim, it's life, but not as we know it! But what do I know. He's published after all.

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