I finished this book (over 10 hours long) in one day; you will too if you are a fan of the modern espionage or action genre. The book is well-written and well-researched. The characters, setting and pace are perfectly balanced. More so, the action sequences are fast-paced and believable. Mark Greaney has a new fan in me. I haven't found an author I like this much since I discovered Vince Flynn's books. I'll be downloading Mr. Greaney's new book "On Target" the first day it is available.
This story is for fans of characters like Jack Reacher, John Rain, Mitch Rapp, Ben Treven and others who prevail due to skills derrived from a history of disciplined practice and training, as well as inclination and talent. Modern supermen, although not invulnerable. Early on, I was afraid the story was going to get overheated, and exceed even my considerable willingness to suspend disbelief, but I was drawn in and was satisfied by the finish. I'll listen to the sequel. I like the reader Jay Snyder as well and will look for his name in the future.
Reader, Listener, Optimist
This genre demands a lot from the reader/listener - not just a suspension of disbelief, but also a willingness to accept a bankrupt morality that doesn't exist in real life.
From the beginning, we know that no matter how hairy it gets for our hero, he's going to find some extraordinary way to get through the mess he's in, only to find himself in the next even more incredible predicament that he will once again will find a way to annihilate his opponent, and so on.
In The Gray Man, our badass ultradude is just another cardboard cutout superman who's deeper motives are never challenged and whose character is never examined in detail. He simply goes his everyday assassin way, killing everyone who's trying (unjustly) to kill him first.
On the plus side, you can casually listen to this book and not miss a thing. We know that he's going to make it to the next book, so we don't have to pay close attention to the shallow plot.
If there is an espionage counterpart to Peter Benchley's "Jaws", this would seem to be it. The author serves up an unpretentious, fast-paced thriller featuring Court Gentry, a white knight assassin with more lives than Rasputin. Don't look for a lot of nuance here. But if you are going for a page turner, capably executed from beginning to end, this is it...
I am an entertainer...so I spend a lot of time on the road. I take my audio seriously. I appreciate great writing and outstanding narration.
This book is one loooooooooong chase.
He's running...and is being set up again and again by some mysterious force. Repetitive and tiresome -- relentless in the running and/or chasing. Poorly developed characters doing exactly what you expect...a villain that will make you go "ho hum" and a hero the author has not taken the time to develop or make you care about even a little (which is kind of important in novels like this.)
A predictable cliche filled thriller ISN'T a thriller.
This isn't a thriller.
The "Gray Man" of the title is an uber-assassin, moving like a ghost, striking unstoppably. That is what everyone in this book says, anyway. It turns out, this is no Day of the Jackal" and our hero is no "Bob Lee Swagger". In reality, as presented, he bumbles his way through Europe escaping the massive efforts of an evil (French, of course) corporation through a combination of extreme marksmanship and fighting skill while wounded, and dumb luck; he is often saved by the missteps of his enemies or, I kid you not, things like umbrellas. At one point he defeats an enemy who, as presented, he should lose to.
Speaking of wounds, this begins to seem like a Road Runner cartoon and the massive injuries our hero keeps bouncing back from become laughable. The dialog is sometimes very good indeed, and then, next paragraph, wincingly bad: chest-thumping macho stuff instead of the cold communication of professionals.
To give credit to the author,he presents us with an individual representing the corporation whom you really, really hate; good job there. Our assassin is a "good guy", trying to knock off only those who are evil. That may be unrealistic or impractical, but it is refreshing. He also makes an effort to respect the reader's intelligence by providing practical motivations for the corporations egregious allowance of general mayhem and emotional motivations for the hunter and the hunted. I cannot buy the corporations ultimate, unsatisfying reasons.
The ending is illogical and unsatisfying, but obviously designed to set up a sequel.
What a spectacular book! Finished it at 2 am and bought the next one at 2:01. It's exciting, action-packed, wonderfully descriptive of the place and people, and not at all preachy. I'd write more but I'm going to buy book 3 now.
If you like thrillers as much as I do, you are going to love Mark Greaney's Gray Man. Yikes ??? Talk about relentless action! Not only does Greaney create an exciting plot, but he can also write. Court Gentry ??? the eponymous Gray Man ??? joins the ranks of fictional assassins ??? like Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon ??? for whom we root enthusiastically. Of course, Gentry only kills bad guys; so we can root for him without compunction. (I don't know how much these fictional good-guy assassins might correspond to anything in real-life; but, we all really appreciate them "taking out the trash," don't we?) Court Gentry is so tough and skilled that he seems virtually indestructible ??? although he does get pretty banged-up by the end of this novel ??? and we keep rooting for him the whole time, even through astonishing violence and blood-shed. Right now, I'm wondering what on earth Mr. Greaney could possibly come up with to top "The Gray Man;" but I'm eagerly forging ahead with his next novel ??? "On Target" ??? to find out. I suspect that I may have already succumbed to Greaney addiction, so I hope that he writes fast. To sweeten the pot, an excellent actor ??? Jay Snyder ??? narrates this audiobook. Good narration adds immeasurably to the fun of a good audiobook; and Jay Snyder has the chops to keep us listeners enthralled. In short: Unless you are very squeamish, buy this audiobook.
Fast paced thriller. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I will definitely be interested in reading additional books.
I'm actually a day old tart, filled with maple custard. Perhaps, this reads as a rational introduction to others, and you are deliberately misreading it, because, come on, maple custard.
This was the first novel I'd read from this author. I'd just listened to all 60 whiny wheedling ear-bleeding hours of Atlas Shrugged, so hearing Snyder's manly voice, narrating for an impossible super-hero who uses current colloquialisms like '*sshat' and 'sh*tstorm' was extremely refreshing. If you're expecting a story where the protagonist needs a Dora the Explorer band-aid, and a group hug after every bruise he receives, you may want to pass this book by. The Gray Man is definitely the epitome of the a-hole hero that walks away from explosions without looking back.
I play high impact sports and work at a gym, and can say honestly that I'll take a handful of big bruises and cuts over muscle soreness any day, so it always bothers me when the men in a book can't seem to suck it up. A very fun read, very fast pace, I highly recommend.