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Zodiac Audiobook

Zodiac: The Shocking True Story of the Nation's Most Bizarre Mass Murderer

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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 Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1084 )
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4.2 (760 )
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4.2 (759 )
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Zentaro 05-19-06
    Zentaro 05-19-06 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "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.

    40 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 05-19-14
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 05-19-14

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenji New York, NY, USA 06-27-07
    Kenji New York, NY, USA 06-27-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kiwimec Jakarta, Indonesia 08-04-07
    kiwimec Jakarta, Indonesia 08-04-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    34
    5
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    "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 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Meyer MN USA 04-17-07
    N. Meyer MN USA 04-17-07 Listener Since 2005

    insectlady

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elmer SAN FERNANDO, CA, United States 01-07-13
    Elmer SAN FERNANDO, CA, United States 01-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "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 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philippa Powder Springs, GA, United States 08-24-11
    Philippa Powder Springs, GA, United States 08-24-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Representation of Facts"

    If you are looking for some graphical representation of some fictional string of killings, this book is not the right one. If you have been obsessed with the facts of this real serial killer's case and want to learn more about the crimes events and evidence, then this book is the right one.
    This book walks the reader through the mountains and mountains of events, evidence and facts of the Zodiac's crimes. The author manages to depict the crimes as horrible as they were without exaggeration while introducing the different characters as if they lived in your neighborhood.
    Although, the book explains some of the problems that have influenced the difficulty of solving this case, I do not understand how this case could still not be solved (considering all the newest advancements in forensics) but that is not the author's fault.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crusader Menifee, CA USA 06-28-09
    Crusader Menifee, CA USA 06-28-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise Wallingford, CT, United States 06-03-07
    Louise Wallingford, CT, United States 06-03-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    85
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    "Interesting........"

    I remember the Zodiac killings but was a bit young to remember exactly the details. This book was very informative and chilled my spine. The reader was GREAT for this type of book, some nights I found I could not sleep thinking someone might be still out there, the Zodiac or someone just like him.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eunice Harrodsburg, KY, United States 04-21-08
    Eunice Harrodsburg, KY, United States 04-21-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    272
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    "Fascinating!"

    Fact is way more fascinating than fiction! This book was a great listen. It was a well written narrative, and very well read. After listening, I rented the movie, but was sorely disappointed. The book is so much better...so much more opportunity to get to know the victims, detectives, and suspects. Just great!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
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  • John
    Crook, United Kingdom
    5/31/11
    Overall
    "Terrifying!"

    I found this a really hard book to read but it was great as an audiobook and very accessible. Full of mystery, intrigue and really terrifying that the man was never caught. Great download.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    south shields, tyne & wear, United Kingdom
    11/23/09
    Overall
    "Detailed & thrilling"

    One of the great unsolved crimes of the 20th century examined in startling detail by robert graysmith and read with the appropriate gravity by Stefan Rudnicki. I was gripped from beginning to end and since the facts in such a labyrinthine case case can escape you after just one listen you'll find yourself returning to this audiobook again & again. The best true crime book i've ever read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • JT
    UK
    12/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent if you prefer a lot of fiction mixed in"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, I have actually listened to this book many times, over the years since 2007.


    Has Zodiac put you off other books in this genre?

    Not at all.


    What does Stefan Rudnicki bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Excellent performance, no issues. His voice is commanding, clear and very easy to listen to.


    Was Zodiac worth the listening time?

    Yes because it got me properly interested in the case many years ago.


    Any additional comments?

    It must be stated that this book is almost a work of fiction. Don't get me wrong, a lot of work went into it by Graysmith, and it is compelling at times, but unfortunately there are many things in it, that he just makes up and are not in any way actual case facts, far too many to list here. Just be aware of this and don't go into it thinking this is the Zodiac killer case 101.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • john
    Winterslow, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Thorough"

    Whilst the title music is lurid, as noted above, this is a thorough examination and condensation of the known facts.

    It contains a good balance of opinion and conjecture to cope with the ultimate open-endedness of the case.

    A mystery tackled.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Barry Jellye
    Perth Scotland
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Stars align"

    Zodiac was a classic who done it without the answer it kept me riveted through out and gave me my own insight into who from the list of suspects suited my profile of one of the worlds most elusive killers

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ico
    Slough, United Kingdom
    1/1/12
    Overall
    "A review of two halves"

    I was really torn after listening to this between 3 or 4 stars.

    It sets it's tone out from the start as it opens with dramatic creepy music at would comfortably suit a hollywood horror film. With this i felt divided, part of me found it a creepy prelude of the things to come but part of me felt like it was sensationalising criminal acts for entertainment. Which in a way I guess it was.

    I downloaded this after watching the great david fincher film, and yes i do appreciate i'm probably being a little hypocritical here as that film was mass market entertainment. The book is in depth, a little too much i thought, to the point of padding out the length though i wasn't convinved by the narrator as felt he hammed it up a bit personally.

    All in all a good listen but a little on the light side though a good accompaniement to the zodiac film. Interesting but feels a little light on content.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it."

    Have read a lot of serial killer books. This being the best so far. Well worth a read/listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Review
    8/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Faultless"

    A riveting and well written book. The reader is a perfect choice. Lost a few hours sleep after listening to this. If you are on the fence as to whether to buy this - do it! Scary, interesting, well written and paints a picture of the crimes and gives you all the information possible for you to make your own mind up as to what really happened and for you to decide who you think the culprit really was!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lee
    Ireland
    5/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting companion to the FIlm"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a well narrated and interesting book. While it can be a hard listen sometimes due to the graphic violence, it is well written, clearly structured and a well researched investigation to the history of the zodiac killer.

    I picked it up after watching the 2007 movie based on the same book and found it to be both an interesting companion and standalone investigation to the killer.

    Well worth a listen if you find true crime interesting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Zodiac?

    The investigation into the potential suspects at the end of the book is very well written and even with a few leaps of faith, still feels like a fair exploration of potential suspects.


    What does Stefan Rudnicki bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    It is very well narrated, good pace and with an element of compassion.


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

    It was a harrowing listen on occasions, but the author did, as far as possible, maintain a professional detachment in terms of exploring theories even though he was closely involved in the case.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Johnny
    UK
    8/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty good"

    Some of the detail was a bit too much, it was like a police report maybe. But overall interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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