Read Shimmer by Eric Barnes Online

shimmer

In just three years, CEO Robbie Case has grown Core Communications from 30 people to over 5,000. Now a $20 billion company made legendary by its sudden success, Core is based on a technology no other company can come close to copying, a revolutionary breakthrough known as drawing blood from a mainframe. And Robbie, its 35-year-old CEO, is acclaimed worldwide for his visionIn just three years, CEO Robbie Case has grown Core Communications from 30 people to over 5,000. Now a $20 billion company made legendary by its sudden success, Core is based on a technology no other company can come close to copying, a revolutionary breakthrough known as drawing blood from a mainframe. And Robbie, its 35-year-old CEO, is acclaimed worldwide for his vision, leadership and wealth. Except that all of it is based on a lie. The technology doesn t work, the finances are built on a Ponzi scheme of stock sales and shell corporations, and Robbie is struggling to keep the company alive, to protect the friends who work for him and all that they ve built. Each day, Robbie tries to push the catastrophe back a little further, while his employees believe that they are all moving closer to grace, the day their stock options vest, when they will be made rich for their faith and loyalty and hard work. The details of the lie are all keyed into a shadowy interface that Robbie calls Shimmer, an omniscient mainframe that hides itself, calculates its own collapse, threatens to outsmart its creator and to reveal the corporation s illegal, fragile underpinnings. Shimmer is the story of a high-tech crusade nearing its end. The shell game Robbie has created is finally running out of room. And Robbie is the only one who knows or who has a chance to make things right. Or is he? A breathless debut novel that charges the atmosphere with suspense and surprise and delivers complex characters you can root for in spite of their flaws....

Title : Shimmer
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781932961676
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Shimmer Reviews

  • Cheryl
    2018-10-19 18:45

    Robbie Case is a multi-billionaire CEO, owner of the company Core Communications. He pretty much grew this company up from the ground. He went from thirty employees working for Core Communications to the company now employing around five thousand employees. Core Communications specializes in information technology in the high-tech computer world. Their biggest seller is the Core Blue Boxes. These boxes help reduce the wait time to transfer date from one mainframe computer to another. The boxes are a must have for any business. The thing is that Core Communications is all a gimmick. The core blue boxes don’t really work. Everything Robbie has built is a lie. Now he will try and save a company that doesn’t really exist.I thought Shimmer sounded really good. While I appreciate Mr. Barnes putting all his efforts into this debut novel; unfortunately I felt the story and the characters feel flat for me. Robbie seemed one dimensional without a lot of range. To be honest I even put this book down several times. Every time I picked it up again, I could only read a few pages at a time. Though, I could tell as I was reading this book that it had potential but it moved too slowly to me.

  • Kevin
    2018-10-03 14:32

    In essence what Barnes has attempted is to get inside the mind of high tech con man. What type of person does this sort of thing? What would it be like to be at the center of such a scheme? Robbie Case is his attempt at flushing this out; an answer in the form of a character.I found Shimmer to be unlike almost any other book I have read. It was interesting and entertaining but there was something about it that didn’t quite click.The book is a techno thriller in a sense (plot focused on suspense with technology at the heart, etc.) but it is also a deeply psychological book and it lacks the action one usually associates with a thriller. The entire book takes place in one building for the most part and concerns the daily operations of a technology company.There are basically two intertwined plot threads. One is the central hook of Core Communications being based on technological fraud and Case’s frantic efforts to keep it from collapsing. This is what gives the book its drive and provides the suspense. It also gives what seems like an accurate portrayal of the never ending pressure that prevails at such a company; the never ending stream of communication, meetings, to do lists, crises to avert, etc.The secondary thread deals with the psychology behind Case or his internal life: his unhealthy relationship with his cousin Trevor; his addiction to high end prostitutes; his relationships with the senior managers at Core; and his own exploration of why he agreed with this giant deception and whether he wants it to end.The first part is well done. Barnes drops you in on this ticking time bomb and allows the reader to experience the pressure as the con-man tries to play out the con for as long as he can. As the pressure escalates you get almost a claustrophobic feeling as events begin to close in on Case and you wonder how long he can keep his secret.Barnes adds in to the mix a nice collection of secondary characters at Core. And as noted, it provides an interesting portrait of the high-tech high pressure business world; people who feed off the adrenaline and lure of money that comes from these jobs even as they realize it is eating up their families and preventing them from living a life approaching normalcy.The second aspect I found more problematic. Perhaps it is just my prudish nature, but I found the sections dealing with Case’s engagement with high end call girls off-putting. Maybe it was Barnes intention but they were creepy and often downright disturbing. Other than further indicating that Case’s life had gone off the rails, I am not sure what they added to the plot.There is definitely a contrast going on between the hard work, dedication,a nd talent on display at Core and the underlying deception involved and Cases fragile mental state. Case ends up spending four months without leaving the building (he lives on a separate floor at Core headquarters) and sleeps only a few hours at a time; mostly on his office couch. His entire live becomes subsumed into the need to keep the company, and the giant lie at its heart, going.But the darker side of Case is often hard to reconcile with the friendship, loyalty, and success that seems to be at the heart of Core’s senior managers. Barnes also provides little explanation on how someone as troubled and off-kilter as Case manages to function at such a high level for so long with very little sleep. This stretches belief at times.The book’s ambiance if you will was creepy and tense. Sometimes this worked others it just felt jarring.And these two threads come together in the conclusion. From a purely structural stand point the conclusion “works” in that it brings the plot to a resolution. But in light of the larger psychological thrust of the book, I found the ending a bit of a cop-out.I won’t spoil it for you but, while it wasn’t exactly a happily-ever-after type ending, it was a little too neat for me. Barnes seems to be offering a larger cultural commentary on the nature of business and work but it wasn’t a particularly satisfying character – emotionally or psychologically – resolution for me.But credit Barnes for taking a creative idea and exploring it in an interesting way. Shimmer is an entertaining suspenseful read and a unique fictional look at the world of high tech bubbles and corporate fraud.

  • Gaby
    2018-10-06 11:26

    Synopsis:The book opens at the top of a Midtown skyscraper in NYC at 6 am on Monday in the middle of the weekly senior staff meeting of one of Wall Street's technology darlings, Core Communications. Through the banter, Barnes shows the relationships between and among most of the book's main characters and CEO Robbie Case. Clearly, Robbie is regarded as a genius among geniuses, with vision and incredible technical skills such that even those who have worked with him every day for the past 3 years and have participated in the company's growth hold Robbie apart. Understandably so since Robbie's guidance, savvy and tech skills transformed Core Communications into a company with the size and culture reminiscent of Google - a $20 billion dollar company offering technology unmatched by any other. Core Communications offers a way to maximize server capacity and data processing through its secret "Blue Boxes". The market appears to put no limit to Core Communication's potential growth and revenues. No one understands exactly how the Blue Boxes work and it turns out that neither does Robbie Case. Instead, Robbie has based Core's technology on a lie and through this combination Ponzi scheme and shell game, Robbie has been able to keep up the charade. Robbie barely sleeps as he works feverishly to come up with a way to create the necessary technology that can save his company. To suppress his tension and fear, Robbie increasingly relies on anonymous sex and alcohol. While the employees keep going, waiting for the time that they can cash in on their stock options, Robbie is anxiously waiting for the company's collapse.Review:Other reviewers have mentioned that Shimmer seems particularly relevant for these times with the headlines of corporate fraud by Bernie Madoff. Though headlines of corporate fraud are not new, Shimmer does strike me as an unusual and interesting read because of the degree of business details incorporated in the story. I enjoyed reading how Core Communications handled stock options in a company so young and successful that its early employees and nearly all employees are multimillionaires. I don't know anyone that worked at Google or Microsoft in the early days but I imagine that the anticipation, anxiety, and fixation with the time that first employees are allowed to exercise and sell their stock options, this period of "grace" would be all consuming and much like Eric Barnes's description. I'm not particularly technologically savvy, so I had to pause and write out the explanation behind Core's unique service. I'm not sure whether it's service is viable or not - but that lack of knowledge didn't impact my appreciation and enjoyment of the book. If you're waiting for a mindcandy technothriller in the Michael Crichton style, this book doesn't have the violence and gore of those books. Instead, enjoy the tension that comes with the unravelling of the financial fraud. Don't be fooled by the lack of violence - Shimmer is an absorbing action thriller. Publisher: Unbridled Books (June 30, 2009), p288.Courtesy of Unbridled Books.

  • Morris
    2018-09-22 15:31

    Core Communications is on top of the world. Their blue boxes are installed on mainframe computers all around the world. Corporations are scrambling to acquire this breakthrough technology. Years of long hours and hard work are beginning to pay off for the senior staff at Core. With their IPO behind them, they are striving to achieve grace so they can cash in on Core's success. There's only one problem. The blue boxes don't really work; the entire company is based on a lie.CEO Robbie Case struggles to find a way to keep Core from going down. He knows the end is inevitable, but still he hopes for a breakthrough, a miracle. The only other person at Core that knows the dark secret is Trevor Case, sales person extraordinaire. It was Trevor that began the lie, but Robbie who continued it to an astounding level.This book is scary, in that the premise is not too fantastical. It would surprise none of us to see a similar story on Fox News. This is a shining example of how a lapse in judgement can snowball into a giant avalanche of pain and sleeplessness. Eric Barnes provides a unique insight into the culture of a mega corporation. The challenges, accomplishments, inadequacies, and insecurities are all laid bare.I truly enjoyed this book. The author gives you just enough to figure things out on your own, there's no spoon feeding here. The characters are rich, they have strengths and faults. A few even have vices such as hookers or adulterous affairs. The ending will provide you with closure and a reassurance that no matter how things change, they remain the same.

  • drey
    2018-10-19 18:51

    Shimmer tells the story of Robbie Case, and his company, Core Communications. Built on a flawed technology, he nonetheless has managed to build Core into a multi-billion-dollar company in just three years. But the amount of hands-on manipulation that's required to keep Core going is starting to wear Robbie out. And if that isn't enough to stress about, Robbie also worries about what'll happen to his friends--the ones who were there in the beginning, the ones who're doing their darnedest to keep building Core, so that when grace gets here, they're all filthy rich. Except that they won't. Because Core's success is a fraud. One that Robbie perpetuates because he doesn't know what else to do. And because he's actually a good guy, he's built a whole framework behind the scenes to keep things afloat. As long as money's rolling in, and his own Internal Audit team doesn't figure it out, Core can keep going.Shimmer is a kinda-sorta technology read. Being a geek--yes, I was a mainframe programmer in a kinda-sorta previous life--I chuckled at the references, and commisserated with Core's programmers. (geeks unite!) However, you do not require anointing into geekdom to enjoy the story, and I did. There was enough of a plot going (Is he going to make it? Is he not?), and the characters were interesting, if sometimes a little stereotypical, and I liked the ending.

  • Lawn2000
    2018-10-11 18:54

    I received this book as an early reviewer’s selection, but unfortunately did not finish as soon as I had liked. So here, finally, is my review.[return]I enjoyed the book but I am not sure whether I would read another of his stories. It was very well written grammatically and, due to that, an easy read. However, the character development was somewhat shallow and the reasons for the collapse were not fully explained in the end (this is not a spoiler because the collapse is known at the beginning of the story). The main character had some substance, but the others were only developed on the fringes. Not being in the computer field but understanding enough to know I would have wanted more info, I was disappointed at the end with no explanation for the fix. There was great potential in the story, which is why I did not at any point think I would not finish, and I was entertained, but I usually like more than that from something I read. It became very predictable towards the end. If you want to know the story line, you will have to read it and you will probably enjoy it.

  • Crystal
    2018-10-14 18:42

    Through many sleepless months Robbie and his loyal employees have built an empire based on technology that does not work as advertised. Millions disappear each week faster than the sales in order to keep the lie alive. Each character has a distinct personality with a set of quirks and felt very real. The strongest aspect of the book is the intensity of the characters, but in the end I cared more about the employees than the CEO. I guess that is yet another way in which the book was true to life.I was intrigued by the different perspectives throughout the book and the presentation of the storyline. The first half was not exciting enough to keep me up, but it was good enough that I wanted to get to the ending so I ended up reading late one night to finish it. I was pleasantly surprised by the conclusion, but left wondering if the character had learned his lesson. Strangely, I kept expecting the ending but when it actually happened it felt like deus ex machina.Overall, the book is a solid quick read techno-thriller.

  • Byrningbunny
    2018-09-21 19:42

    I'm so lucky to be a member of the Library Thing Early Reviewer's Club. Occasionally I will receive free books in the mail, which is the best gift ever, and then I have the opportunity to review them. They actually want to know what I think!So, I think this is a book worth reading. It's a book about morals, set in an ultra-modern world. If that makes it sound preachy or moralistic, let me clear that up. It's NOT. It's about a young man, responsible for his employees, and he finds himself in a difficult situation. We are privy to all of the quickly played out actions, reactions and counter-plays, and we learn about his motivation as the book progresses. I'm an action/adventure, sci-fi fan and this book kept my attention all the way through. Even in my totally sleep deprived state. So I would definitely recommend this book to those with an interest in similar genre's.

  • Barb
    2018-10-11 12:44

    I really enjoyed this book. It is a suspense-filled read that keeps you wondering what is going to happen to these people until the end. I have known people that have been involved in Ponzi schemes (both as the swindled and possibly the swindler), so I found the whole book seemed a bit melancholy. I was constantly wondering how this big secret that the CEO has is going to destroy the lives of the characters in the book. I also felt sympathy for the 'swindler' who doesn't seem to be the arrogant greedy bastard you expect him to be. LOL[return]I would agree with some of the other reviews that you can either take this book as a great fast read, or dive into the characters deeper.[return]I will definitely be picking this one up again for a reread at some point!

  • Lynn
    2018-10-19 16:43

    debut novel about a 35-yr old who grew a small family business into a $20 billion worldwide technology company. The technology doesn't work, financials are built on a Ponzi scheme, and the house of cards looks like it is ready to fall. publish date: June 30, 2009.This is a quick read, finished in about 3 days. I would have liked a little more character development in the beginning, instead of drawn out through the entire book. The dialogue is direct, sharp, and fast, just about what you would expect from executives running a corporation that grew from 30 people to 5000 in three years.

  • RJ
    2018-10-13 14:48

    Well, it's hard to believe a novel about corporate fraud in the tech industry could be a page turner, but honestly I had to keep reading to find out what happened next. Not run-of-the-mill typical thriller writing. Crisp and smart. The characters and settings seem surreal and fantastical at times, but then you realize this kind of thing goes on the world over. Timely, given the recent shenanigans on Wall Street.

  • Ross Cavins
    2018-10-18 15:28

    This book was hard to get into, partly because of the style it was written in, and partly because nothing happened in the beginning. I'm not sure what kept me reading ... I guess it was the belief that if it got published, there was a reason. And the cover was nice. :-)I'm glad I did. Despite an excruciatingly slow start, it was worth reading. Not a 5-star book, but a very satisfying read with enough plot twists to keep a reader interested ... after the first 50 pages.

  • Ryan Mac
    2018-09-23 12:51

    I received this book in a giveaway from LibraryThing. It was very good. The plot revolves around Core Communications and Robbie Case, the CEO, and his attempt to keep the high-tech Ponzi scheme going. Great supporting characters, an interesting plot, snappy dialogue and a fast moving story. Great book!

  • Huluriasquias
    2018-10-15 13:43

    Wow. I really liked this book. Excellent character development, good story, it reproduces quite faithfully the culture of (some) start-up companies, and it works at several levels. Perfect ending to top it all.

  • Sybil
    2018-09-28 11:46

    Well-written techno thriller with strong voice and wit.

  • Lisa
    2018-09-23 14:47

    Didnt like it. Author didnt make sense at times. Some parts hard to follow and just simply a struggle to get through.

  • Tanya
    2018-09-27 16:45

    Great technology thriller; fast-paced with interesting characters.