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Publisher's Summary

After Jack the Ripper and before Son of Sam there was only one name their equal in terror: the deadly, elusive, and mysterious Zodiac. Beginning in 1968 the hooded mass murderer terrified the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area with a string of brutal killings. A sexual sadist, his pleasure was torture and murder. His first victims were a teenage couple, stalked and shot dead in a lover's lane. After another slaying, he sent his first mocking note to authorities, promising he would kill again. The official tally of his victims was six. The real toll may have reached 50. He was never caught. Graysmith, who was on the staff of the San Francisco Chronicle at the time of the murders, gives this gripping account of Zodiac's reign of terror.
©1976 Robert Graysmith (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the critics say

"Provocative....Bizarre....Graysmith's taut narrative brings the horror back with jolt upon jolt." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Will fascinate true-crime readers." (Library Journal)

What listeners say about Zodiac

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    5 out of 5 stars
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LOVED IT

Absolutely Loved it! I was familiar with the story of the Zodiac prior to reading this book. I severely underestimated the amount of detail and mystery I had been missing from the story! A must read if you're interested in the Zodiac

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Z
  • 2006-05-19

Interesting

I hadn't really heard of Zodiac, perhaps it's not living in the US, or perhaps being younger than 30, but when I think of well-known serial killers this isn't a name I think of. So in that sense, the details in this book were all new to me.

I thought this book was well written and well-read. I liked how the chapters alternated between chapters about victims, chapters about zodiac, and chapters about law enforcement. It made it very easy to follow the progression of the story.

The book is well narrated and easy to listen to. Although this audio version is new, I think the actual book is relatively old, however this doesn't really matter, since I don't think there would have been any new developments since it was published.

I can't speak for the accuracy of facts in this book, since I wouldn't know, but it seems plausible enough.

Overall enjoyable if you have an interest in true-crime stories. I didn't find it particularly graphic (it's certainly not for kids) so you probably won't have nightmares for weeks after listening. The murder scenarios were described in some detail, but it wasn't gratuitous. But your mileage may vary.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Kristi R.
  • 2014-05-19

Ok factual account but needs an update.

I thought this book was an updated version of the Zodiac but it was written in 1986 and some of the suspects hadn't died yet.

Besides that it was a factual well written book by a former political cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He made some interesting suppositions about the Zodiac perhaps knowing at least one of the victims and maybe more.

It meandered a bit and went from one suspect to another and by the end of the book I couldn't remember who was who and which one he felt was the best choice.

It didn't take me long to finish it and I was interested in getting to the end to see if there was an updated chapter added. No such luck.

Good narration.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kenji
  • 2007-06-27

Great read

The movie pales in comparison to this wonderfully written book. While I've read that some of the material in this book have been debunked, it reads well, fast, and makes you a believer of some of the astonishing possibilities to the identity of Zodiac.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • kiwimec
  • 2007-08-04

Gripping... and scary

I downloaded this after seeing the new Zodiac film with Jake Gyllenhaal. Unbelievably dense in detail and very well narrated, this is a chilling tale. 5 stars.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Insectlady
  • 2007-04-17

Spine Chilling

The story of the Zodiac makes your skin prickle and you thank the Heavens that you are living in 2007. The narrator is the perfect voice for this story, he sounds like what someone like the Zodiac would be imagined to sound like. You will easily get sucked into the narration and almost belive the Zodiac himself is reading this story to you (and snickering all the way, enjoying how much he confounded the best minds in America for decades). Very worth your time and money to have this book in your audio library.

13 people found this helpful

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  • David S. Mathew
  • 2017-07-14

True Crime Classic

The Zodiac Killer is the spiritual successor to Jack the Ripper. Graysmith's history of Zodiac acknowledges the comparison, as he dives deep into the history of one of America's most notorious, uncaught, serial killers. Graysmith badly needed an editor as some parts of this a bit too detail heavy. However, considering that Greysmith himself starts to mentally unravel during his research, that potential flaw actually makes the book feel even more tense and paranoid. This is trip down a dark rabbit hole, unlike anything I have ever read.

As for the narration, Stefan Rudnicki is one of my favorites. His voice just drips with menace and foreboding, making him ideal for this sort of book. Highly recommended!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Elmer
  • 2013-01-07

Perfect narration voice as well as content!

Would you consider the audio edition of Zodiac to be better than the print version?

In some ways yes since the voice is perfect for this type of opus.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Zodiac?

The amount of information compiled just from the Darlene Ferrin murder. Almost as if solving her murder would have revealed the identity of the killer.

Which scene was your favorite?

The recounting of the Ferrin- Mageux attacks.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Just about. Or least to listen to it again and again.

Any additional comments?

It's too bad Graysmith is the only individual to take an interest in the topic. And he wasn't even an author. He was a cartoonist!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lindsey
  • 2009-11-09

Great

"Zodiac" is compelling and kept me on the edge of my car seat. I found myself grabbing my ipod and listening while I was doing housework, exercising, and anytime I had the opportunity. I was dissapointed to reach the end. If you are a true crime buff like me, this is a necessary listen. The story is thorough and dripping with detail. The narrator's voice is perfect for the content of this book. In between listening I couldnt help but do my own research on the Zodiac killer because my curiousty was so stricken. I recommend the (unabridged) version only because all the details that are in that version are necessary to understand the nature of this serial killer.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Douglas
  • 2009-10-10

Eight Years Of Painstaking Research...

delivers a chilling account of one of the creepiest uncaught criminals in the annals of American serial killers. This is as hypnotic as Stewart's MANHUNT: THE TWELVE DAY SEARCH FOR LINCOLN'S KILLER, as captivating as Capote's IN COLD BLOOD and as creepy as Nabokov's LOLITA. Riviting detail with a nonetheless bare-bones style of narrative. Read it with the lights on.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Crusader
  • 2009-06-28

Mesmerizing!

I was only about 8 years old when the Zodiac killer started playing havoc in California. Although very graphic, this book was very educational, well written, and interesting. Not one dull moment!

2 people found this helpful