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  • The Gray Man

  • Written by: Mark Greaney
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (279 ratings)
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The Gray Man cover art

The Gray Man

Written by: Mark Greaney
Narrated by: Jay Snyder
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Publisher's Summary

Now a Netflix film starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas

The first Gray Man novel from number one New York Times best-selling author Mark Greaney.  

To those who lurk in the shadows, he’s known as the Gray Man. He is a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible and then fading away. And he always hits his target. Always.  

But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. Forces like money. And power. And there are men who hold these as the only currency worth fighting for. In their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.   

But Court Gentry is going to prove that, for him, there’s no gray area between killing for a living and killing to stay alive....  

Get ready for white-knuckled listening. Greaney's debut novel 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. 

©2009 Mark Greaney (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"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)

What listeners say about The Gray Man

Average Customer Ratings
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sad laughable

I don't usually give reviews because a drive a truck long distance and don't like giving reviews but felt I needed for this storyline.
non credible, story line bad delivery. would not say it sucked but close. Sorry I was not impressed

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12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • AL
  • 2019-04-06

Returned, could not take it anymore

Clichéd writing, odd and awkward Britishisms, unbelievable storyline and capped off with mechanical narration like text to speech.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mediocre at best

Really did not enjoy this book. Cliche writing and no real twists. Disappointed. Wasn't crazy about narrator's performance either.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A Bit Too Cartoonish..

I have very eclectic reading tastes - Fantasy, SciFi, Horror, Mystery, History, Biographies, Religion, True Crime.. another favorite is the Action-Thriller genre. Sure, it's like candy for the brain, but straight-up adrenaline-fuelled entertainment is a nice treat now and again. Mark Greaney's foray into that genre includes collaboration with the masterful Tom Clancy - and this.. his own international spy/assassin/vigilante: CIA Special Action Department operative Courtland Gentry - The Gray Man.
Stereotypically, military tech and tactics arm this relentless, single-minded, ethics-driven hero.. and Greaney's entry is backed up with passably well-written background and straight-up spectacular action sequences. Gentry engages in well-scripted hand-to-hand combat, gun battles, and MacGyver-esque escapes.
Unfortunately, Greaney presents a character that has 'Punisher'-level lethality but needs a 'Wolverine'-like healing factor. The assassin tears through dozens of heavily-armed Special Forces-trained foes while sustaining obviously mortal damage - but he seemingly easily bounces back just in time for the next cinematic firefight. 'The Gray Man' is painfully 2-dimensional: more suited to a Comic Book than an international action-thriller.
Greaney *tries* to put his assassin in jeopardy, but makes him indestructible.. there is zero suspense in the story - Gentry is going to be just fine and we all know it.
Compounding the offense, the author builds the action around a sketched-out kidnapping rescue plot in this installment. I found myself not caring one whit about any of the characters involved.

One of the stronger aspects of this audiobook is the reading performance from Jay Snyder. Other reviewers point out his deficiencies in voice-acting (and his accents are, indeed, inferior), but Snyder otherwise reads clearly with commendable pacing, excellent timbre/cadence, and a tone redolent with gravitas (he could fairly be accused of melodrama, but he's clearly trying to make this silly story momentous). Audible Studios did well assigning this project to Snyder.

I rate this yawn-inducing cardboard cutout book 4 stars out of 10. As an example of the genre, it's one of the weaker ones. You're not crazy to give it a try, but your Credit is easily better spent elsewhere. Try some Ludlum, Hurwitz, Flynn, or even Child.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great spy Novel.

Great books all the way through. Realistically advanced and great action. All books after are just as good in their own way. Supporting characters and all.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

grey man keeps you on edge , he is an intense guy.

narrator was great
story was easy to follow
typical hunt em down, get jammed up, shoot em up , next kinda book.
but keeps you interested .

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Adequate action. Dreadful Accents

This is an acceptable ' trashy' thriller. Fast paced, lots of action. Noble self sacrificing main character. No swearing or sex. The author clearly doesn't know anything about the UK or British people so the British characters are cartoonish in the extreme and the voice actor's attempts at British accents are embarrassing. Made it hard to get through. The story itself was gripping if unbelievable. Good entertainment for a long drive.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Way better than the movie

The narrator was awesome. I felt i was on the journey with the gray man.

well written as well

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome audiobook!!!

If you like this genre, The Gray Man is a must-read audiobook. You do need a slight suspension of reality as our erstwhile hero takes on wound after wound and just keeps going. Still, it's a very fun, action packed book where I really rooted for the good guys and couldn't wait until the bad guys got theirs.

The performance was terrific, with great accents all around.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

Heard about this series from Mark’s interview on Joe Rogan. Fantastic book. Thrilling and full of action. Jay’s voice over was great but some of his accents weren’t fantastic. His South African sounded very Irish, but I’m just being nit picky. Awesome book all in all.

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  • Safekeeper
  • 2017-07-26

The gray man talks about gentry in the 3rd person on the court

This is a book I really wanted to like. I've run through reacher, allon, rapp and multiple other name drop genre books. I just could not stop rolling my eyes at the poor writing and honest to god stupidity of the characters.

His handler is head of a private security firm but unable to provide security for his own family? Seriously?

And I swear to god the first time the writer referred to the protagonist as the gray man, gentry and court in the same sentence. I thought I was going bat sh*t crazy. Unfortunately I wasn't. It was just poor writing. The kind of writing reserved for Amazon reviews. AND IT KEPT HAPPENING

The gray man may be a badass. But in this book he's also completely inept when it comes to figuring out he's burned.

This book makes me miss Jason Bourne (the original trilogy not after the hack took over).

Run people. Run away from this book. Unless you have nothing else to read. But beware the gray man doesn't need bullets or guns to kill you. He might just use your book.

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281 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 2012-04-21

They Run, They Fight, They Run Some More

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.

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185 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason Spencer
  • 2010-09-01

Action packed, edge of your seat "page-turner"

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.

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169 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ed
  • 2017-03-25

Move Over Jack Reacher

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.

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144 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Js
  • 2010-09-08

Perils of Pauline

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.

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125 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 2010-09-25

High Energy Ride!

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.

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98 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Eugenia
  • 2016-08-08

Fun Thriller

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.

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85 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • arto
  • 2017-03-15

Simplistic action book

The story is fast paced and keeps up the suspense, but the characters are one dimensional and boring. If you like action books with some more depth, try John Rain.

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64 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Terri
  • 2012-03-09

A real life superhero

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.

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49 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • rhl60
  • 2010-11-09

Utterly unbelievable, but very good...

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...

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42 people found this helpful