• 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 (2,043 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.97

Buy for $20.97

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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)

What listeners say about Zodiac

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,077
  • 4 Stars
    608
  • 3 Stars
    277
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    42
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    941
  • 4 Stars
    437
  • 3 Stars
    175
  • 2 Stars
    28
  • 1 Stars
    22
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    921
  • 4 Stars
    441
  • 3 Stars
    177
  • 2 Stars
    38
  • 1 Stars
    25

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

6 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JT
  • JT
  • 12-18-14

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John
  • John
  • 05-31-11

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ian
  • Ian
  • 11-23-09

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Barry Jellye
  • Barry Jellye
  • 12-23-12

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

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ico
  • Ico
  • 01-01-12

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Species
  • Species
  • 06-19-21

Confusing if you've seen the film

I have seen the film so many times i thought I would finally get round to listening to the book - Unfortunately for me I struggled with it as, (understandably), he changed the names of the characters - so I was thinking through it - oh I think he means this character.

I certainly don't want to detract from the amazing work that Robert Graysmith put in - heaven only knows how much time he devoted to all this, which is a real credit, and if you haven't seen the film it is definitely worth reading.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kawgparker
  • Kawgparker
  • 01-09-21

Fantastic book

This is an unabridged accurate report of the Zodiac killings. Absolutely superb writing. I’d give it 10 stars if I could!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mr c knowles
  • mr c knowles
  • 06-15-20

A true crime must

beautifully written , intreging ,
leaving many thoughts on WHO the Zodiac is/was no surprise to anyone familiar with the case and if this account is as close as anyone will get , leaves you with an almost nailed on suspect

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for G. Clifton
  • G. Clifton
  • 07-23-19

Still intriguing

Having read so many books, seen so many films, the Zodiac case still has a fascinating draw. Graysmith covers all aspects and evidences his thoughts the entire way through. Good narration. Clear and a good pace.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for john
  • john
  • 04-07-13

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 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matt
  • Matt
  • 12-22-15

Bizarre

This is an exceptionally bizarre story told through a unique viewpoint. Rather exceptionally, the author segmented the story into chapters in which the story focuses on an individual person. This story has really irked me, mostly as it remains unsolved. Baffling - though I believe that they found a very likely suspect in the end.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sarah
  • Sarah
  • 10-23-18

Different

It was interesting but I found the narrators voice very one toned which may have been the intend for the book. Most true crime novels I have read you get to know the criminal so it is a different way of hearing about true crimes. Struggled to finish but glad I did as I found the end more interesting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Annette Mersel
  • Annette Mersel
  • 06-01-21

Great listening

Loved this book, very much in depth. Narrator was easy to listen to and understand. 5 stars all round.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-05-20

Brilliant ! One of the best audiobooks I've bought

Fantastic story on the unsolved case of the Zodiac killer. I enjoyed every second.Worth every cent! Don't hesitate to buy it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-01-18

Brilliant

Brilliant. Well read and more than captivating. the choice of narrator was clever. Well done to all

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alex
  • Alex
  • 05-11-18

Terrifying, fabulously written & well performed

Ever since listening to the Zodiac, I've been trying to get hold of other true crime stories that measure up. This reader is one of the best I've heard, the writing is well-paced and clear, the narrative is organised really well. Brilliant stuff!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-18

Thorough and chronological

Reads a bit like a thesis- starts out very detail oriented, and kinda laborious to follow, but very thorough. You can see the obsession Graysmith struggled with- the frustration and desperation to present every single fact. Presents some great theories and plot twists quite objectively. Got a little strained toward the end when the clues ran out, but that can't be helped. Will have to listen again to keep up with all the Darlene Ferrin conspiracies, but am happy to do so. Great book. Movie is a nice accompaniment too.