by Robert Graysmith

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Robert Graysmith’s New York Times bestselling account of the desperate hunt for a serial killer and his own investigation of California’s unsolved Zodiac murders.

A sexual sadist, the Zodiac killer took pleasure in torture and murder. His first victims were a teenage couple, stalked and shot dead in a lovers’ lane. After another slaying, he sent his first mocking note to authorities, promising he would kill more. The official tally of his victims was six. He claimed thirty-seven dead. The real toll may have reached fifty.

Robert Graysmith was on staff at the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969 when Zodiac first struck, triggering in the resolute reporter an unrelenting obsession with seeing the hooded killer brought to justice. In this gripping account of Zodiac’s eleven-month reign of terror, Graysmith reveals hundreds of facts previously unreleased, including the complete text of the killer’s letters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425212189
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/02/2007
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 20,767
Product dimensions: 4.13(w) x 6.88(h) x 1.05(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert Graysmith is the New York Times bestselling author of several true crime novels including Zodiac, Zodiac Unmasked, Auto Focus, and Amerithrax. The major motion pictures Zodiac and Auto Focus are based on his books. A San Francisco Chronicle political cartoonist and artist for fifteen years, he lives in San Francisco.

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Zodiac 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Sametcho More than 1 year ago
My order never arrived. (Order was shipped 1 month ago today). They quickly and happily refunded my money, and added that if the item ever does arrive, I can keep it with their complements. That is great and I recommend this seller for their generous service.
nicky_too on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This can be said in one word: WOW.I saw the film and, as usual, got curious about the book. Recently I finally managed to get my hands on it (the library doesn't have it!) and I simply could not put it down.One of the first things I noticed is how well the film is made. Usually there are huge differences between book and film. Not in this case. Eventhough the film takes the more personal perspective (what did the Zodiac case do to people's personal lives?), the information on the actual killings and police investigation is used very well indeed.I have to say that I found the book more exciting than the film, especially towards the end. I won't put any spoilers in this review, just read it for yourself!One could argue about style, though. Robert Graysmith manages to jump from past tense and third person style, to present tense and first person style. However, if you are not a stickler for detail, that shouldn't bother you. The overall style is easy to follow and he presents his case really well. I'd recommend this to anyone!
whirled on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There's a scene in David Fincher's excellent film based partly on Zodiac where Robert Graysmith (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) begs journalist Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) to write this book and is, regrettably, rebuffed. As a true crime writer, Graysmith makes a great cartoonist. He just doesn't have the skills to write believable dialogue or to pull together the many twisted threads of the Zodiac's unsolved crimes. In the end, Zodiac is as much about Graysmith's singular obsession with the case as it is about the case history itself. I was left feeling sorry for his wife and kids more than anything else.
grrizzk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The chilling true story about the elusive Zodiac killer, writting by a comic strip writer of one of the newspapers that recieved letters and secret codes from the killer himself. A must read for anyone who loves murder mysteries, true stories, or has a fasination with serial killers, like myself.
MeganAngela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 material could be dry at times, and a more skilled writer may have been able to do a better job at making those parts sparkle and shine like the rest of the text. I definitely think that this would be a great book for any true crime buff or for those who are interested in the great unsolved cases of our day and age. Also, if you enjoyed the movie, you will more than likely enjoy this book for filling in all the missing pieces and giving you a glimpse at some of the actual evidence from the case. A definite must-read for true crime fans and a good primer for those looking to get into the genre!
khoov00 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It was informative and interesting. I am a little bit too young to remember the actual events going on but the book lays out the events in enough detail to make them interesting without being boring with too much information. Listening to this book made me want to watch the movie. I realized from the book that there are several movies based on these events, including "Dirty Harry." Overall, a great listen and I would recommend it to anyone interested in true crime stories.
delphica on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(#36 in the 2007 book challenge)Well this was a trip and a half. I don't read very much true crime, but I had to run out and pick this up because we rented the recent Zodiac movie, and there was a part about one of the suspects that seemed not fleshed out enough in the film and it was burning a hole in my brain and I assumed that the book would have more detail (no joy on that call, it didn't have much more information). A quick aside about the movie -- it wasn't especially great overall, but there were these small elements that I loved. It had repeated shot compositions that emphasized horizontal lines that were so impressive, just so visually striking, and one scene that was suspenseful that it ended up making pretty much the rest of the film seem bland. ANYWAY, back to the book. I suppose I should mention, for those who can't keep the 1970s serial killers with catchy nicknames straight, that the case is still unsolved and the book outlines the crimes, the investigation, and the main suspects. Talk about a being a product of its time -- boy, the decade of the 1970s was a character on its own. A recurring theme in the investigation was the likelihood that the killer was into witchcraft, and quite possibly into the LSD. You know what happens when people get into witchcraft, and the LSD! I have a sneaking suspicion that the author himself entertains the possibility that the symbols and twitchy references in the Zodiac's correspondence with the press carry some meaning and intent external to the person doing the killing. I mean, I get that a demented person, or a person who decides to kill a bunch of people, or heck, even a person into the witchcraft and the LSD, might find meaning in various symbols, and in his head might believe the symbols communicate things such as "hey, go stab some people tonight" but it's not as if the symbol itself is going to cause anyone to become a mass murderer, or that someone else could see the symbol and glean any information about the killer from it. The other funny thing is how dated the ... profiling? is. Anyone who has seen The Silence of the Lambs could come to the same conclusions that the experts did. I understand how this works -- we only have The Silence of the Lambs because of what criminologists learned in the past, but still, it's a little hard in 2007 to take it too seriously when an expert pronounces "the killer may have issues with his mother."Grade: C+Recommended: I don't think this is especially good as far as true crime goes (from my limited experience with the genre), in fact I was distracted by the possibility that the author had gone around the bend, which seemed almost more unsettling than the murderer (the murderer is clearly around the bend, so that part was just obvious). I had a hard time sussing out why Graysmith felt some suspects were more likely than others. However, it was an interesting look at the effect of the crimes, and the weirdness of the letter-writing campaign, on the San Francisco region and the people who were charged with investigating the case.
the_unnamable on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An engaging, if flawed work. Graysmith's close vicinity to the terrors of Zodiac-struck California propels interest in the sometimes bizarre, unsolved crimes. Perhaps due to his cartoonist's eye, the reconstructions are frequently groan-worthy, full of heavy-breathing into the darkening night, and similar such scenes. One wonders how much is fact versus obsession-driven fancy, and this is Graysmith's chief mistake. Still, the work reads like a dime novel or comic book at times, and is a fine primer to one of the strangest shadows of twentieth-century crime.
nms72 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Easily the most frightening non-fiction book I've ever read. By the time you finish this book you are, at first, comforted by the knowledge that the Zodiac is either dead or too old to keep doing what he loves. Then you realize the world is full of people just like him.
kf4vkp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is based on the authors interviews with victims, cops, suspects, and others involved in the Zodiac killings. All suspects are listed under false names as no one has ever been convicted of these crimes. It's a pretty decent book as far as true crime novels go, and is very informative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a huge fan of Criminal Minds, I first learned about The Zodiac through The BAU. At the time, I lived in Sacramento so when I found out The Zodiacs hunting ground was the Bay Area and parts of Sacramento, I was immediately hooked. I was really fascinated (in a non creepy way) by The Zodiac Killer. I found everything interesting and did all the research I could do to understand why he did the things he did. That is when I bought this book. Usually I hate reading and it takes me a long time to read books, but I loved this book! When I finished it, I was surprised I broke my own time record! This book was super informative and I learned a lot! I especially loved how it was Graysmith's point of view and how he goes through the investigation step by step. As someone who loves to read crime themed books, I really liked how well explains every scene and event to the max detail he experienced. Personally, I also enjoyed the personal point of view that Graysmith included into the book, and that it wasn't just raw facts and evidence. The point of view really adds a handful of character to the book. Plus the pictures were a bonus! The pictures were a huge help to visualize the handwriting and cipher of The Zodiac. Honestly, the little details that he includes in the book are what make it easier to follow and comprehend. For example, each chapter starts off with the date that the event took place. And throughout the chapter when that day ended, he would continue to the next day or major event day by starting off with the complete date. It is little details like that make the investigation easy to follow. But hands down, this is a great book that I would totally read again. I can't wait to start Graysmith's Zodiac Unmasked!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. I had nightmares the whole way through. It also doesn't help that I live in Vallejo, where alot of the murders took place, so I recognized all the streets and I know the area of Santa Rosa and alot of the places that were mentioned in Sonoma county, Marin county, and San Francisco. If you want to get this book, don't hesitate. The movie sucked compared to this book. I really didn't like the movie because it does not cover even 25% of what really happened. The movie skips over alot.
diana45 More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting and informative book. I learned a lot I didn't know prior to reading the book. Graysmith does a great job with making the book absorbing, and he is very good with organization. Very great book, I would recommend to anyone.
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Pasidina More than 1 year ago
This is a riviting, spine tingling book. This book takes you in the crimes, as if you were investigating them. Since there are no absolutions to the crimes it definately leaves you wondering. If you like books based on true accounts this is definately the book for you.
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This book gets into more detail than the movie. If you like true crime, this book is for you.
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ShakespeareInLove More than 1 year ago
Robert Graysmith did an incredible job of putting together this story of the Zodiac Killer. He did outstanding research, and detailing when writing. This is the best true crime book I have ever read. It's a keeper in my library because of the details, each time I read it, I discover something new. I love that Mr. Graysmith leaves nothing out or to the imagination....that's what makes his thriller #1 for me.