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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  14,462 Ratings  ·  502 Reviews
"SHE WAS YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL BUT NOW SHE IS BATTERED AND DEAD. SHE IS NOT THE FIRST AND SHE WILL NOT BE THE LAST." Few cases in the history of true crime are as colorful and intriguing as that of Zodiac, the bizarre gunman in an executioner's hood who hunted the streets of San Francisco in the late 1960s and sent dozens of taunting letters to the police. Robert Graysmith p ...more
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published 2008 by Levné knihy (first published January 1st 1986)
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Cj Carpenter Well I most likely read this book when it first hit the stands in 87'? Then I just saw the Movie about 2 hours ago . BUT I can say with complete…moreWell I most likely read this book when it first hit the stands in 87'? Then I just saw the Movie about 2 hours ago . BUT I can say with complete honesty the Movie is good but it leaves out Sooo much but then how could it not? The question you ask would be similar to asking " I just saw the movie "Titanic" is that all there is to the Story or is there more to it? " Well obviously there's much more about the sinking of the Titanic then is in the movie and there is a Huge amount of information missing from the Zodiac Movie as in all Books that are turned in to Movies you can't fit 600 pages into 1 1/2 hours you just get a little bit of the facts and absolutely no Background information or Any other Info that the Producers didn't feel was needed for the Movie which would be roughly 75% of the Book, In my opinion it's on the same level ( well not quite) as "Helter Skelter" only I think" Zodiac" is longer if I recall . For the True Crime Fan it's a must read, It's one of the Classic's I'm surprised someone had to ask. (less)
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2.75-3 stars

I decided to pick this book up after watching Zodiac which was completely enthralling, however this was not the case for this book.The book was definitely well researched as it contains information from various sources,witnesses and reports.The book goes into extreme detail which was interesting at times but most of the time, it was just too much.

It feels as if Robert Graysmith just dumped all of his findings into the book without editing anything.Some of the details feel completely
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Let's say you're a serial killer. Now let's say what gets you off more than anything except your killings, is to taunt the cops with letters that mock their inability to catch you. You, of course, do not want to be caught, but there is always the possibility.

Now let's say you just happen to work at a famous newspaper, one of the papers to which you like to send your letters. How lucky for you, or how wonderfully designed, because as a member at the paper you are insinuated into the investigatio
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's sad to say that I dnf'd this with 40 pages left. 40 pages left and I couldn't be bothered to finish. I think the reason why is because there isn't an ending. We all know the Zodiac was never caught so why am I intruiged to know how it ends.

I mean... it had a promising start. It was gripping, detailed, talked about victims and the letters. But like halfway through it started to get dull. No suspects had been announced. Most letters were being credited as hoaxes. There were no more victims.
Would you believe that I was unfamiliar with the Zodiac killer until last week? I mean... I knew that there was a serial killer who went by the name, but I didn't know anything at all about the details of the murders or the killer himself. I had never even seen the movie.

I think that this ignorance kind of benefited me. I skimmed some of the other reviews for this book, and I see a lot of complaints about the fact that Graysmith included every single detail. But I didn't even notice this. My no
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Things to keep in mind before you read this.

1) Have you seen the movie? Because going by reviews here, if you see the movie first, you won't like the book. I suspect because people can't grasp the idea that the movie can get away with more in the name of entertainment than something sitting on the True Crime shelves can. This is "true crime," not "fiction based on a real event." Also, the movie covers things in the author's real life, which the book isn't about to do. They're just different. St
Jun 07, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
To read or not to read Zodiac, that is the question. Regardless of what some say, no one knows who the Zodiac was. No it's not Ted Cruz, sit down internet conspiracy theorists.

I feel like this is bait. Ain't nobody got time for that.
The facts of the Zodiac case are like the worst urban legends sprung to life. As any true crime fanatic knows, real life is where the real nightmares come from and boy, did Zodiac make many nightmares reality.

He was the hooded executioner who tied up and pretended to rob a young couple, then came back to stab them over and over in front of each other, throwing their money and car keys back at them before leaving. He rigged single women's cars so that their batteries would run down or their tire
Marianna Neal
The writing style is a bit too dry for my taste, but the subject is so fascinating! Enjoyed this book very much, loved how detailed and informative it was.
I picked this up because I enjoyed the movie version and thought I'd investigate the truth behind the Hollywoodization (that is SO a word).

I found this book very interesting, despite its somewhat uneven tone. It's quite dry in places but, hey, it's journalism not fiction, so I'm not expecting it to be Dickens.

Ultimately, though, due to the fact that the Zodiac killer was never caught, it kind of peters out at the end, leaving one feeling rather unsatisfied. Still, I'm glad I read it.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A very thorough recounting of the Zodiac killings and the long investigation, told by a newspaper cartoonist who became obsessed with the case and involved with the major players. Graysmith lays out the known facts, reproduces the full text of the Zodiac letters for the first time, and conducts his own investigations of the major suspects.

Man. I’d forgotten, but this is a hell of a story. It reminds me not to be too hard on a lot of thrillers and cop shows, because in fact you cannot make this s
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I will admit, I picked up this book after seeing David Fincher's Zodiac. I found the case both horrifying and intriguing and I knew I wanted to know more. The Zodiac murders happened long before I was born, but Robert Graysmith did a great job at laying out all the facts from the case in an easy to read format. However, it was quite obvious that Graysmith was not a writer (he was a cartoonist) by the unpolished way that he writes at times. I gave Zodiac four stars instead of five because the mat ...more
Ted Leon
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Be careful if you read this book. It has a very high potential to get you addicted to the case and try to figure out who the Zode is.
Paquita Maria Sanchez
I'm sure this was riveting and very convincing in the court of public opinion back when it came out, which must've suuuuuucked for the accused. I'll admit I have the benefit of things like hindsight and DNA testing and whatnot, but Graysmith just seemed so stuck on his Arthur Leigh Allen theory that it was almost like he wasn't willing to entertain any suspects or scenarios outside of it, at least at the time. Circumstantial evidence is so dangerous, and that is essentially all this is. Maybe A. ...more
Brad H
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What i really like about this book was how it was told and how it was layed out.
Mr. Graysmith was a Newspaper cartoonist who later became involved in the Zodiac case. Not by his volition but, by the Zodiacs.

He lays out the facts. Gives you the time line and how things were investigated. How things happened. Precise and to the point.

He includes reprints of the letters that the Zodiac sent to the police and newspaper. Some of which to this day are unsolved and undecoded.

what is good about this boo
Chris Gordon
The Zodiac killings of the late '60s and '70s were some of the most notorious unsolved murders in the history of crime, comparable only to the Jack the Ripper murders. Not only were the murders gruesome on their own, but behind these slaughters was a psychotic genius who managed to escape capture by the police up until this very day. His taunting and braggadocious letters to the police and newspapers of California are legendary, having been dissected and studied by investigators for answers, to ...more
I don't think you can watch the film adaptation and remain unmoved by Graysmith's story and his obsessive quest to uncover the identity of the Zodiac killer. There was no question that I had to read his book. Graysmith was a cartoonist by occupation, not a journalist, and it shows. He makes the number one blunder of any amateur writer of either fiction or non-fiction -- he tries to include every last detail. Graysmith's obsession with the Zodiac killer means every minutiae of the case is deemed ...more
Jason Schneeberger
4.5 stars. Fantastic true crime story!
Amanda Alexandre
A few months ago, there was a guy who used to jump over my walls and spy on me. He even masturbated at my porch, sometimes, as he was seeing me study late at night, through my window shutters. Sometimes, he knocked on my windows and whispered things that he would like to do with me. I had curtains put on my windows and contracted a home surveillance service. I have an old bitch at home, but she never alarmed me of his presence. We tried to catch him a few times, but he always ran before we had t ...more
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zodiac completeists only
[2.5 stars, rounded to 3 for hometown bias.]

The merciless Goodreads statistics might show that I started this book in 2011, but while yes, I am a slow reader, I’m not that slow. I wasn’t on the page-a-day diet, rather I threw this book aside numerous times for months on end out of sheer frustration, but always determined to come back to it. It. Was. A. Slog. The thing with true crime, sometimes you get lucky and Truman Capote writes one, but that’s not the rule. I have genuine admiration for wha
Josh Auerbach
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally do a review after finishing books but I thought this was a fantastic read. I would highly recommend to anyone interested in the subject matter.
Jack Saxon
I wanted to love this book so badly. I'm fascinated by everything Zodiac, and the book is a major source (if not THE source) for almost everything. It's the seed that grew into the massive Oak. However, I just don't like how it's written. I can appreciate the research, but the style is just not for me. Thank you Mr. Graysmith for doing the legwork.
Jun 03, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm really rather embarrassed to have read this, but the recent film (all thirteen hours of it!) sufficiently intrigued me. Graysmith, as several people cautioned me, is not a very good writer; he has an odd tendency to sensationalize not especially sensational moments, and then describe parts that are naturally fantastic or terrifying in a strangely flat tone. In a way it served as a compliment to David Fincher, who included some legitimately nail-biting scenes in his 26-hour-long adaptation. I ...more
♥ Marlene♥
I have read this book years ago.
Trying to add some books on Shelfari I discovered I had never registered this book on BC.

From Library Journal
From 1968 to the early 1970s, the self-styled "Zodiac" killer made headlines in the San Francisco Bay Area. In random attacks, he is known to have murdered six persons; in a series of letters to newspapers, which sometimes included cryptograms, he boasted of many more. To this day, the infamous case remains unsolved and surprisingly little has been written
I have a great fascination with the turbulent history and weirdness that was the California bay area during the 60's and 70's. Beatniks, hippies, Sonny Barger and the Hells Angels, the Black Panthers, the S.L.A, riots and civil unrest, SF evolving from hippie mecca to homosexual mecca, multitudes of nutty political and religious groups, and way too much other lunacy for me to list. Even today in spite of the yuppification of the area you can still feel the ghosts of the past in the air. On top o ...more
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Zodiac by Robert Graysmith
It what reads more like a collection of small collections of thoughts about various aspects of the Zodiac kills, Graysmith gives his opinions about the case. He should be commended for being the first to bring most of the information together, but his narrative of the events is in no way a true narrative. It jumps around too much.
I found the topic to be interesting, but the book was poorly written. Graysmith is truly passionate about the identity of the killer, and he s


Appendices: Zodiac Attack Victims and Possible Victims, The Zodiac Letters, Riverside Writings, Zodiac's Handprinting, Zodiac's Speech Patterns, Zodiac's Phrasing, Zodiac Descriptions, Zodiac's Cars, Zodiac's Weapons, Zodiac's Materials, Zodiac's Training, Zodiac's Method of Operation, Psychological Profile of Zodiac

Selected References

Darbi Simmons
I would have scored it lower if I wasn't a true crime freak! But Zodiac is an okay read if you are interested in the Zodiac case, but Graysmith is in NO way a competent writer. He notes 'this name has been changed' that by the end of it yo are wondering what if ANY of his facts are true. Not a hard read and if you have nothing better to do.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this near the end of my time reading true crime. It probably explains why I quit.

Bookstore copy.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I had forgotten exactly how fascinating I found this particular true crime story that I first read some time in my teens. Ever since watching the Fincher movie some years ago, it had been tickling in the back of my mind to re-read it and see if anything still remained of that fascination. Finally, I discovered it by chance on audiobook at the library and gave it a whirl. Yes, the story is still just as mysterious, disturbing, and fascinating. Unsolved crimes will always remain something that the ...more
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Bookworm Bitches : December 2014: Zodiac 5 57 Dec 04, 2014 12:28PM  
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Robert Graysmith was born in Pensacola, Florida as Robert Gray Smith. He changed his name to Graysmith in 1976.

Graysmith is a true-crime author of the books Zodiac; Zodiac Unmasked: The Identity of America's Most Elusive Serial Killer; Unabomber: A Desire to Kill; The Sleeping Lady: The Trailside Murders Above the Golden Gate; The Murder of Bob Crane: Who Killed the Star of Hogan's Heroes; The Bel
More about Robert Graysmith...
“Just because yu can't prove it doesn't mean it isn't true” 2 likes
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