• Zodiac

  • The Shocking True Story of the Nation's Most Bizarre Mass Murderer
  • By: Robert Graysmith
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (2,111 ratings)

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Zodiac  By  cover art

Zodiac

By: Robert Graysmith
Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
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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

Critic reviews

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

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What listeners say about Zodiac

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Z
  • 05-19-06

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.

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53 people found this helpful

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

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.

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17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Dare I say it, overly factual?

Never made it to the end of this one. I think I went in expecting something akin to "In Cold Blood". It's not. As some of the other reviews state, the book is CHOCK FULL of details, but they're not details I am interested in: victim was found 10' 6" from the passenger side door; victim was wearing a yellow metal class ring. It's like a dreary recitation of a police report. If you're a Zodiac enthusiast, this may be the book for you, but I guess I am not. Any attempts to ratchet up the suspense or create drama seem sort of clumsy, and are completely ineffectual. In the end, the book did not hold my attention. Three stars because the book is what it says it is... but nothing more.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It's a mystery

How a book without surprises can be so utterly fascinating is a mystery. Well-researched, well-written, told from innovative and interesting perspectives, and full of details that paint the most vivid pictures, Zodiac ranks up there with the best reportage in the American language. Stefan Rudnicki's beautiful voice enhance an already devastatingly intense listening experience.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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6 people found this helpful