Get ready for white-knuckled listening. Greaney's debut novel - and future feature film - introduces the enigmatic and elusive Court Gentry, a former CIA operative and a legendary hired gun. With a terrifying ability to vaporize targets and a strict moral code, he stalks the gray margins of the world, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, then fading away. When his government and former employers turn on him, there is no safehouse to run to, no way to lie low. In a constant state of escape and pursuit, Gentry tears through the Middle East and Europe in a riveting life-or-death race against time.
Fast-paced, well-researched, and fun, The Gray Man is already being adapted for a movie by the company behind Tom Cruise's Knight & Day.
Check out the latest Gray Man novel, On Target, now.
©2009 Mark Greaney (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Through the carnage, Gentry remains an intriguing protagonist with his own moral code. Comparisons will be made to Jason Bourne, but the Gray Man is his own character. The ending screams for a sequel, but it will be difficult to maintain the intensity level of this impressive debut." (Booklist)
"Hard, fast, and unflinching – exactly what a thriller should be." (Lee Child)
"Bourne for the new millennium." (James Rollins)
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.
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.
Although I agree with some of the other reviewers about a few "jump the shark" moments, I really enjoyed the first book in this series.
Granted the main character is a bit one-dimensional, but the story moved along at a good pace and with some excellent villains (especially that American guy, how refreshing it wasn't just some nasty foreigner) and some characters we actually care about (like the eight year old Claire), there was a lot to like in this thriller.
I didn't mind all the wounds and mayhem heaped upon our hero because how many times have you read in books or seen in movies of this genre where the person crashes through a plate glass window and emerges unscathed and you accept that?
I just wish there had been a little less of all the weapons detail with lots of Guns 101 where I got to know more about guns than I care.
I also wish there had been a smidge (yes, just a smidge) of romance with someone along the way. Maybe the next book.
And I first heard Jay Snyder with the Ex series and except for the eight year old's voice, he does a terrific job.
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites with some Romance thrown in for fun.
I completely enjoyed this book and promptly went on to read the others in the series. Yes it is very improbable that 1 person could survive even the first attack let alone all the others and then go on to best the villains and rescue the victims but the character that Mark Greaney weaves and the narration by Jay Snyder makes it a "can't put down book" or in this case "can't remove my headphones book".
I really enjoyed the parts when he knows he needs to get out of "Dodge" so he can save his own life but after some entertaining inner consternation turns around and helps out those in need.
Since my parents are 90 & 89 and not used to audio books (I have tried) I bought them the paperback and they both tore through it. Dad's statement was "improbably but very entertaining & enjoyable" - he finished in the book in under 2 days. It would have been 1 but we dragged him away from it to do a few real life things. Mom loved it.
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...
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.
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.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 14-year-old daughter.
Stumbling across The Gray Man by Mark Greaney could not have come at a better time. I was beginning to become disenchanted with my favorite "take-no-prisoners" character, Jack Reacher in the series written by Lee Child. Along comes Court Gentry, aka the Gray Man, aka Jim. He gets stalked. He gets shot. He gets stabbed. He bleeds. He fights against insurmountable odds. He wins. Mostly he goes after bad guys, just like Paladin did 150 years earlier in Have Gun Will Travel. And best of all Greaney keeps the action going pretty much non-stop while Child has Reacher spending nearly a quarter of one of his recent books riding in the back seat of a car. I thought I was going to have to reread some of the earlier Reacher novels to rekindle the excitement that the series used to generate. Instead I'm going to jump into The Gray Man series. I like my chances.
The narrator really does make a hash of some place names and his accents are hilarious, one Scottish character had several dialects, none of which i would describe as Scottish! The plot is ridiculous but, I actually enjoyed it, I listen to audio books after a hard day at the office whilst walking my dogs, 75% of books i listen to are background noise and i end up calling work colleagues rather than relaxing. The Gray man actually fell into the ultra rare 10% that made me look forward to my walk and actually the last 1/3 of the book made me add extra miles to my walk! Why? I really dont know, as i have said it is ludicrous, but it is a very easy listen and bizarrely you do want to know how it is all pulled together. If you are stressed or have a big project and want to switch off.....dive in, I dont think you will regret it.
"worst book i've ever had"
he only seems to be able to co-write books .Having just read support and defend (Tom Clancy) I was shocked and disappointed with this rubbish .Even Jack Reacher would not have survived this .It was so unbelievable.
How someone who co-wrote Tom Clancy books could write such utter drivel .
"Not for me."
For years I've enjoyed the Tom Clancy novels - having learned to bypass the politics and enjoy the main characters' romps. Given the collaboration between this author and Clancy I anticipated enjoying this book. Not the case. It's written as a series of film scenes, designed for some über-action man to show how tough he is. I love fiction, be it thrillers, adventures, science fiction, fantasy, so I have no expectation of "real life"; I live real-life , thank you! The exploits depicted here, however, beggar even suspended dis-belief. I don't like dissing writers, who are at least putting pen to paper, their money where their mouths are, etc, unlike me, an untalented non-writer, but reviews are requested and these are my honest opinions. Obviously a talented writer, this author should write either a screenplay or a novel and not try to combine both under one heading; concentrate on story rather than merely linking overly contrived events, thus ensuring the reader's involvement rather than seeming determined only to catch the eye of the movie-makers. (W's Missus.)
"A little ridiculous, but enjoyable too!"
My only complaint is the super-human main character, whose reputation is beyond legendary and whose feats could humble Arnie... A bit of vulnerability wouldn't go astray, in my opinion.
Overall, a fast-paced thriller that makes for an easy listen... Just hope the next is a little more subtle!
"Worse thriller I have ever read!"
The unbelievable plot
The next Jack Reacher book by Lee Child
Awful accents and wrongly pronounced place names
The first chapter, which showed promise
This book should have been placed in the comedy genre as I had a good laugh over the awful accents and mispronounced names
A great listen. Action packed crime romp. Court Gentry is a believable character. a menace with soul.
"Review of the Gray Man"
I enjoyed this audio book, quite a thrill a minute ride. It was clear however, even from the spelling of the title that it was written by, narrated by and intended for an American audience. UK listeners may wince at some of the errors in the detail and some of the narrators accents were distinctly dodgy. My only other slight criticism was that it was clear some break were made in the recording. I understand this is essential as the narrator cannot be expected to get each chapter in one 'take' but these were quite obvious and jarring.
All those niggles aside I may give the next book in line a listen at sometime.
My first purely Grant book.
Good story fast moving action.
performance disappointed. Set in Europe but read by an American who cannot pronounce Englush or European words correctly such as Kalashnikov properly nor Bayeux....pronouncing it Bi-yoo. Lots of other such use of language which to me was annoying and spoilt it. I still recommended you listen. I will try the next in the series
Loved this so much I have downloaded next 2 in the series.
Nod to rainbow 6, see if you spot it.
"A Great Book But Not So Great Narration."
This was another book and author that I have avoided for a while, thinking that I wasn't going to like them. I was wrong!
This isn't a book that will help you to ponder the mysteries of life, nor will it be ranked among the literary greats. What this book is, is entertaining, in bucket loads. The story line, in most parts, is well written, and the characters are well thought out. Yes it is extremely far fetched in places, but I don't mind that. Sometimes I want to read about the hero who can take a tremendous amount of punishment, and still keep going. Who can do things others can't, and who can think on his feet in times of stress. When I do read/listen to a book like this, I want to be entertained, and that's exactly what I was.
If you like the Jason Bourne type super agent, then you'll love this. If, however, you want a bit more depth to your books, you probably won't like it. And if, every once in a while, you want to read something action packed, and entertaining, don't do like I did and avoid this book, go get it.
Now the bad points:
The narration in this book is far from good. It wasn't bad enough to put me off, and when the narrator, Jay Snyder, was doing the main character, Court Gentry, it was actually pretty good, which is what saved the book for me. The problems start when the narrator tries to do foreign accents. They are dreadful. He made almost everyone else sound like Sean Connery, which you might just about get away with if every one was Scottish, but it's not what you want when the character is meant to be German, or Eastern European. If he didn't make them sound like Connery, he made them sound like a mix between Australian, Irish and Scottish, which I suppose in itself is a sort of skill, but definitely not called for in this book. Also, his pronunciation of some words plainly showed a lack of research. Even if you didn't know how to pronounce a word,a simple 60 second Google search would help.
Also, sometimes the writing was a little choppy, but it is kept to a minimum.
Overall, although the narration isn't great, the book is, which is why I was able to stay with it. Usually bad narration would ruin a book for me, but with this one, it just made it a little less great. I know that the same narrator had been kept on for the next book in the Court Gentry series. I hope he does a better job.
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