The Equalizer

Narrated by: Jeff Gurner
Series: The Equalizer, Book 1
Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,462 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Michael Sloan reinvents the story of the mysterious former covert intelligence officer who helps desperate people who are in need of his unique and deadly skills. Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak. In this novel, based on the 1980s television show, and timed to come out shortly before the feature film version starring Denzel Washington, McCall gets pulled into a battle against Russian drug lords and finds himself pitted against his most dangerous foe ever!

©2014 Michael Sloan (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Call The Equalizer

This is a top notch thriller novel featuring Robert McCall, an ex-C.I.A. operative, who evens the odds for innocent victims of heinous crimes. If you are old enough to remember the television series, The Equalizer, you will already be a leg up on this book, written by the co-creator of the show. Your mental image will be of the great actor, Edward Woodward, whose powerful portrayal defined the role of the Equalizer. McCall is skilled, confident, unflappable, seemingly aloof, yet with a soft spot for the underdog. If you are new to the character you have a a great opportunity to learn the origins of one of the coolest ex-secret agents to walk the streets of New York. After too many missions, too many lost friends, and lovers, McCall has quit the C.I.A. He is trying to blend in, lose himself, and maybe even settle down in New York. The more he learns about the community he has chosen to live in, the more crime and corruption he comes across. Although he tries, he just can’t turn his head and ignore the plight of the innocents around him. McCall has to step in even if it means he will be caught on the radar of the C.I.A. It seems the agency doesn’t take kindly to it’s agents walking out on them. McCall soon finds himself embroiled with a Chechen mob running nightclubs and forcing young women to prostitute themselves to gain information from influential clients. Little does McCall know that the people heading the Chechen mob are also involved in assassinations throughout the world and are under surveillance by the C.I. A. The Chechens may have been involved in the murder of McCall’s girl friend, who was also a C.I.A. agent. This is a great book resurrecting a character who has been in retirement too long.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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THE EQUALIZER is truly worthy of an AWARD!!

Would you listen to The Equalizer again? Why?

Oh yes! This was such a good book. Long (which I like), very detail orientated (but not overly with trivial filler), great characters and an Excellent lead in to a new series.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Robert McAll. He has such a colorful history that would make a normal man bitter and hostile but he has turned his emotions to humanitarian characteristics with a twist.

What about Jeff Gurner’s performance did you like?

His performance was five star worthy.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed Michael Sloan's style if writing. I though it was very much in the style of Robert Ludlum. I thought the book kept the pace up with out any lulls. The story unfolds in present and flashbacks that are clearly defined and easily followed. I think the publishers intro to "The Equalizer" is a little misleading because that title doesn't come into play until the last chapter or three! The entire story leading up to the title is how Robert McAll gets to that point. Don't get me wrong, it's a Great Journey and certainly worth the read/listen and credit!

33 people found this helpful

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Fast & Fun

Like a good AA movie, The Equ. was fun to "watch." Excellent good guys, very creepy bad guys. Retired super spy/assassin refuses to blindly pass by when bullies are humiliating the defenseless. With a little help from his friends he tries to make a difference. Not an Academy Award winner, but most aren't and many that are have nothing really to commend. My cost-per-star-hour ratnig: 10, the best value per thrill. (Length of book / action • star rtg / expense... ;^)
EJMJ ~ I do not reveal any part of stories I recommend to my fam & friends.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Saw movie 3 times, heard book 3 times: loved both

Denzel Washington's outstanding portrayal in the movie was so enjoyable I decided to buy the audiobook and compare. Both were totally worth my enjoyment over and over again. Action, plot, theme, protagonists, antagonists.....every thing was so satisfying, especially for someone who enjoys espionage or action stories.

10 people found this helpful

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Look! It's another Nike product!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This is a reasonably well-written novel for its genre. Action was brisk. Narration was well done. Plot was sufficiently intriguing. Characters were interesting.

HOWEVER, at times, it felt like a 21 hour long product-plug for Nike.

Acknowledging that it is the novelization of a movie (which draws its roots from the TV series), by the tenth time the exact specifications of a particular Nike shoe worn by a character were described (color, model number), it was painfully obvious who the sponsors were. At one point, I was considering setting up a score card and playing "Nike model Bingo". By the end of the novel, this became an annoying distraction - and made me less likely than ever to purchase any Nike products.

41 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Mayhem in need of an editor

The Equalizer is more of what I think of as in the “video game“ genre than as a thriller – kind of “Indiana Jones” or “The Perils of Pauline” on steroids. It jumps from one impossibly insurmountable, implausible, clichéd, and repetitive situation to the next overcoming one dimensional villains characterized solely by their brutality. The plots (there are many) are unoriginal and several threads reminded me of themes from Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” The women characters are there to bolster the hyper-machismo and chivalry of the protagonist, Robert McCall, contributing not much more to the story than their helpless, clinging dependence. This book is in serious need of an editor – way too long, too many plot lines, unnecessary and uninteresting minutiae –especially the pervasive product placement. Conceding that the dialog for some of the characters reflects their bestial natures and requires language consistent with their status, that does not excuse the use of the same obscenity in the narrative, where it lends understanding only to the skill of the author. The narrator has a limited range of voices and accents, and mispronounces a few fairly common words – an annoying distraction.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Read The Book.... See The Movie

EXCELLENT Book. Rather long (20 hours) for the genre. Could have easily been 2-3 separate books. Fans of Charles Bronson's Death Wish movies will especially enjoy Robert McCall, former top secret ops guy as an urban vigilante of sorts dealing with NYC street thugs AND "the Russian mob".

All the Russian names do get confusing. If the names have Ks, Vs and Ds they are really bad guys. A movie starring Denzel Washington comes out Sept 2014.

As with all stories of this genre.... obvious comparison to "Reacher" apply here too. Easy to imagine a series with McCall.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Too Long

I loved the series as a kid and enjoyed the Denzel movie, but this audiobook is a slog.

The only takeaway I gathered from this novel is the author has a gun and boobs fetish.

Way too convoluted. If I was the editor I would a told the author (the TV creator) to break this novel down into 3 separate books.

Like the series and movie, The Equalizer is solving 3 or 4 different people's problems at the same time, but I don't think it works in novel format.

2 people found this helpful

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This Thing Is NOT a Novel

So it's like...

“McCall’s Slingshot Auto Z46 undearm micro-holster slammed the Rock FS 10mm pistol’s grip into his leather-tough palm twirling its arc toward Grizgirg as the massive Serb enforcer leveled his ugly Zastava’s Balkan CZ99 .9 mm 15 round digital sites onto the once- US government's super secret company enforcer’s blood-spurting mouth all while Grizgirg’s other hand jerked Indira’s luxuriant hair forcing the bound beauty’s face farther through the razor-sharp Gintra-glass shards slicing deeper into each intimate part of her naked body. Two simultaneous pistol booms mixed their acrid smoke with the woman’s agonized ear-searing squeals. Just then the Iranian QP7Z2 IED ignited the BP-gasoline drenched ballroom both blinding and deafening them all.

“A moment later – things got worse.”

Yeah, that’s the way I recall how almost every paragraph was written (??) in … well THIS IS NOT A NOVEL. Apparently Michael Sloan carries a notebook where he scrawls spontaneous unrelated scenes of violent adventure.

When enough of them pile up, he mounds them into some kind of order (??) then goes seriously drinking with buddies to invent ways to tangle them together: ways that sort of resemble plot. Editors then giggle at the way Sloan satirizes how Mission Impossible movies are filmed without scripts. And how Sloan tosses in Clancy techno-brands with every weapon while exaggerating the cliché fight scenes that start Jack Reacher, Win Lockwood, John Milton, Court Gentry, and at least a half dozen other big sellers.

But this isn't supposed to be funny. Nope, you've got your Ludlum-America-hatred here along with wriggling distressed damsels, and the prey of some super secret alphabet named killer agency determined not to let their ex machine-like killer resign after he abruptly grows a conscience… and… and… Well it’s a reeeeeely awful stew of non-sequitur clichés and disposable scenes with way-over-saturated characters.

Jeff Gurner’s an ordinary reader here: probably not his fault since the author's velocity's cranked to warp 10 from the start leaving Gurner no way to build... BTW: The book’s description on Audible mis-represents whatever motivation this mess’s lead character seems to have. Did the reviewer read the book? Odd.

NOTE: I erroneously posted this review to a John Sanford novel which I liked. Thanks to Audible techs, that posting was deleted. Sorry for any confusion my mistake caused. How'd it happen? Well, when stupidity is sufficient explanation, why look farther?

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Can't Wait For Sequel

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it's exciting, well written and keeps the hero human like. When the hero experienced claustrophobia, I could feel it too! That was surreal for me!

What other book might you compare The Equalizer to and why?

None

What about Jeff Gurner’s performance did you like?

I didn't notice it, which means it was good, it never distracted me from the story.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No laughter or tears, I just thoroughly enjoyed it.

Any additional comments?

Hurry up with the next book!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Bernard Mateer
  • 07-25-17

Awesome

Great from start to fabulous finish leaves you wanting more.. Remember this being on TV when I was in my teens.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-16-18

Brilliant

What’s a great book just got the Second book
Story plot was amazing and can’t wait to start the next one

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  • Marlon B
  • 09-10-18

Tense and gripping

Really enjoyed the story, kept me gripped and really liked the action. Narrator was good too - well paced and created the characters well.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-27-20

Entertaining but simplistic

Good stories and well narrated although a little predictable throughout with no real “who dunnit “ feel

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  • D
  • 04-22-19

McCall, Reacher, Robin Hood rolled into one

Robert McCall almost a super hero, has no fear and fights the baddies with gusto. With a series of stories linked through McCall, he saves a damsel in distress, a young mother linked to the Russian Mafia and more. With lots of action and a few plot twists make this a gripping tale and encourages you to read the next book.

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  • Pete
  • 03-20-19

Not often I give 5’s

Several books in one story. Really excellent. Highly recommend and amazing value for money. Enjoyable and solid characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mishkasmate
  • 06-16-18

loved it

story quick moving. after jack reacher this guy is great . can't wait to read the next book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-03-18

loved this

the narrator was really great and the story was exciting all the way through. thoroughly enjoyable

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-02-18

I want more!

I was traveling through Mexico with Robert McCall and had a ball. This is a great story that covers a lot of ground then leaves you wanting more!!! Fingers crossed Mr Sloane is writing 10 more just like it!

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  • Mark
  • 06-01-17

Loved it!!!

I just loved this book, it just kept on going, if it were 10 times longer I'd love it 10 times more! I hope there are more of this awesome character.

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  • Brendon
  • 06-23-15

not enough

loved the characters hated the bad guys, relished every opportunity I had to escape into Roberts life and journey

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Pare777
  • 02-20-18

Good story

...but why do writers feel the need for all the swearing very unnecessary. Loved the story.