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The Gray Man

Narrated by: Jay Snyder
Series: Gray Man, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (259 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

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

Critic Reviews

"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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    137
  • 4 Stars
    86
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    25
  • 2 Stars
    6
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    5

Performance

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  • 4 Stars
    78
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    18
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    6
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    5

Story

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    123
  • 4 Stars
    81
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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

Solid story and main character.

A good yarn. The "world" is described in sufficient detail that it's easy to travel along with the Gray Man. The action scenes are gripping with only a little suspension of reality required to make it all possible. Narration is generally good although some of the characterisation, particularly accents" jars. It is, however, always clear who's speaking.

3 of 3 people found this review 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

Not for everyone

Any additional comments?

I scored it a 4 and will buy another one in the series but need to make it clear that the book is not going to be for everyone.

It's fast paced and action packed in a similar vein to Tom Wood's "Victor" series. However, you will need to the ability to accept the fanciful and push reality aside to enjoy the entertainment.

Without giving away any spoilers you will need to be able to believe that the best assassin in the world has a moral compass and his body is able to withstand amazing injury and still out-fight dozens of able bodied military trained professionals.

Jay Snyder did a pretty good job. Some of the accents were a little suspect and some of the cuts from different recorded takes were evident but the latter is really a production issue rather than the narrator's to be fair.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Court Gentry, Good guy and your worst enemy.

The introduction of the Gray Man, a lethal weapon and a man with his own integrity.
This guy is loyal and fearless. He seems to experience a lot of bad luck but always seems to achieve the primary objective, often very worse for wear.

Great escapism and perhaps a vehicle to release some of the pent up energy from my highly structured and stressful life.

Loved this book, now listening to Book 3 and just purchased book 4.

Keep them coming Mark Greaney!

1 of 1 people found this review 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

Twice Purchased Thrill

Lost a lot of books transitioning from USA to Australia Audible and remembered this one with relish. Jumped in and obviously it's been a few years so I actually enjoyed it as much as the first time, unknown drama around every corner. Predictability gets stomped on, while the narrator sucks you into tense shoulders and urges you to get back into listening at very next opportunity. Not for faint hearted but not crass.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Clean fast action from the start

good fun action from the start. A heroes struggle against insurmountable odds. The Gray Man

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Story - Okay, Narration - ummmmm

THE GOOD:
Story was okay, nothing amazing as its protagonist seems to be the anti-hero stereotype, dark, mysterious and although not bulletproof, pretty damn well invincible.

Semi interesting story but the execution, excuse the pun, was lacking.

Huge amounts of trained 'assassins' out for one bloke get within a couple meters and still can kill the main character. True if it was reality the book would have been about 10 pages long
i.e:
"Target sits on bench in train station, group of highly trained 'assassins' pull out long gun and shoot him in the chest while another team is close by to get the body etc... Come on... I understand the plot line... (no spoilers) but for 'alpha killers' these guys are pretty useless."

THE BAD:
First off, I just want to say that it takes a great deal of skill to narrate a book and I by no means am an expert. In general, the narration was okay. The writing was sometimes almost archaic in the writing style, so narrating it must have been a bit challenging so well done for trying. But some of the passages read are like your listing to the nightly news broadcast. Monotone and matter of fact, almost clinically accurate but lacking feeling when they didn't need to be.

THE UGLY:
Oh geeeeeeze the accents... Cringe worthy.
Accents are hard for most people, but with training you can get them.

Maybe some more training would help the narrator to make:
- South African’s: not sound like Irish
- Nigerians: not sound mentally challenged
- South Americans: not sound like Mexicans
- Germans: not sound American then slowly get more and more German then British then German again as the book progresses... ummmm
- East European accents: not sound like a mix between Russian and Arab...???
Good try on the British accents but sometimes they sound ummm interestingly half American half I don't know what... especially the tech guy.
It kind of detracted from the book a bit.

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

struggled through but maybe potential

The writer sounds new and wooden.. not the slick style of eg Berenson. But if he is a beginner then he had, imho, potential and i will try another one. Very American.. the characature of a Brit and use of words like 'bloke' .. oh dear. Anyway, the narrator also needs to get out a bit - (out of the USA) . mispronunciation of eg. Citroën and Kazaks.. started to grate. But the story clips along and i did finish it so a promising start to a new series. Fingers crossed for book 2.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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my review

enjoyed the storytelling and intrigue. The
storey teller was very good and made listening
very interesting

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 28-06-2019

Well read, but labored story telling

First up, I have no problem with gonzo-action stories from the likes of Child. However, such stories still need to keep you hooked into the world - keep you suspending your disbelief. They can only do this when all the characters are well-constructed and consistent. Alas, this is not the case with The Gray Man.
The 'bad guys' are paper thin. I had to keep pushing myself back into the book to get past the strands of subtle racism in the writing style from time to time. Worse, characters act in ways that are completely and utterly puzzling. Without spoilers, I just could not see why the head of an international mercenary organisation - himself an ex British Special Forces who operated in Ireland - would not call upon his considerable resources as soon as his family was threatened. But even when I tried and get past that fundamental flaw, the main bad guy's behavior was so fundamentally flawed as to make me just shake my head in wonder.
Add to this writing that continually had to remind the reader - directly - how 'good' the hero was just left me cold.
On the plus side, The Gray man is well-paced and the scenes well constructed. The author can write a decent combat scene - just as long as you ignore the poor characterisations of the combatants.
That said, the book is perfectly performed by Jay Snyder. Given the excellent reading, I made it half-way through the book before giving up. And given some of the trashy books I enjoy as a guilty pleasure (James Swallow, I'm looking at you!) that's damning praise.

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

An alternate Reacher

Loved it. Plot has a few holes but gratuitous violence more than makes it up.

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  • Overall
    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
  • 08-08-2016

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.

45 of 47 people found this review helpful

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

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.

145 of 156 people found this review helpful

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

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.

67 of 72 people found this review helpful

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

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.

81 of 89 people found this review helpful

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

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.

99 of 113 people found this review 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
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  • Pam Sturgess
  • 29-07-2014

Couldn't turn it off!

Any additional comments?

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.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Terri
  • 09-03-2012

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.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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

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.

132 of 152 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-2011

Maybe bias but I'm a fan...

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.

33 of 38 people found this review helpful

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

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...

37 of 43 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 30-10-2013

Escapism

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.

30 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayjor
  • 14-01-2017

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.)

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • I. A. Wright
  • 07-03-2018

So bad that it's funny

Snyder needs to learn about accents, dialects, and English spoken by mainland European foreigners. He's even worse when not reading conversation

The story breaches the rule regarding the willing suspension of disbelief. The too-many fight scenes are ridiculously funny.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Odwa
  • 19-07-2018

Enjoyable read

Great depth of characters. The inclusion of international hit squads meant lots of accents for the narrator to master. I think many of them are difficult enough (let alone the seldom heard Botswana and South African accents) and many of them tripped him up. Still, it wasn't enough to detract from the entire book.

I love this genre of books for the fast thinking, fast paced action, and general adrenaline rush. To this end I wished the narrator also increased the pace and intensity of his voice during fight sequences.

Otherwise a good read. looking forward to the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • d
  • 09-08-2014

worst book i've ever had

Would you try another book written by Mark Greaney or narrated by Jay Snyder?

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.

What was most disappointing about Mark Greaney’s story?

starting it

Would you be willing to try another one of Jay Snyder’s performances?

doubtful

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

anger

Any additional comments?

How someone who co-wrote Tom Clancy books could write such utter drivel .

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Smartie
  • 15-05-2019

A poor man's Orphan X

My first ever bad review, i know how hard ppl work on these projects so i don't do this lightly.

Too many cliche' e moments,. Northern Irishman with red hair? The majority of NI don't have red hair. Tremendous amount of body damage but still he keeps going? The posh military man...the German lead opposition with a concience and so on. In the end i was willing on the bad guys.
The narration in itself was okay but the pronunciation of european words was outstandingly bad for example Citroen pronounced cit ro en and the cliche interpretation of the posh colonel or clipped upper class German accent was laughable.
How on earth this is being considered for TV is beyond me. In old money......its going straight to DVD.....Sorry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • nigel
  • 19-10-2017

Awful.

I am not familiar with Mark Greaney, but the fact that he has worked with Tom Clancy suggested that he should be good. This book was awful and so far removed from the likes of Frederick Forsyth, Andy McNab, Gerald Seymour etc that this was probably made for TV, such is the pointless puns. I hated this book and had it refunded. The narrator made a bad book worse.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Fersh
  • 02-01-2019

Far-fetched but enjoyable

Not my usual type of story but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Yes, it’s impossibly far-fetched but I found myself liking the assassin and other “goodies” and wishing inevitable I’ll on the “baddies.” I actually kept it going whilst I cooked and cleaned and did household tasks. I’d recommend it as pure escapism. The narrator did have problems with some accents and pronunciations but it could be dismissed relatively easily. Seriously considering getting the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Burnett
  • 25-02-2018

A highly enjoyable adventure with a dangerous man

Jay Snyder's narration can be pleasant and calming, but the inconsistencies such as after when he's taken a break are obvious. It was very annoying to repeatedly hear poorly pronounced French such as Bayeux and Citroen becoming Bayoo and Sitrowen,for example. These annoyances, amongst others, spoiled a thoroughly enjoyable book. Greaney has thoroughly researched his character's behaviour and weapons and provides highly detailed descriptions of environment and surroundings to the extent that one believes they are there with the Grey Man. Highly enjoyable. Book 2, 'On Target', awaits...

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 23-02-2017

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.
PJ

1 of 1 people found this review helpful