Books, Critical analysis and reviews

Gave up: “Zodiac” by Robert Graysmith

My first defeat in my reading challenge comes in the form of Robert Graysmith’s Zodiac. It’s taken a while to write about it on account of being busy reading things I’m enjoying (more on that later). But at the start of February, I gave up on my next read after Black Sunday.

Breaking my own rules

Now, in the rules for this self-inflicted reading pile challenge, I did say:

I am allowed to give up reading a book if it’s not managed to hold my interest after I’ve attempted to read at least a third of it.

Dear reader, I could not even make it that far. I managed the first chapter and that was it.

I am familiar with the case of The Zodiac Killer, and I have read plenty of non-fiction in the past but this book is essentially a dry accounting of all the evidence that Graysmith collected over the years he investigated the cases at hand.

So, I gave up on the book.

I will be keeping hold of it, but just for writing purposes as a source of inspiration.

Do I change my rules?

Perhaps having my third of the way through rule isn’t entirely helpful. Maybe I should make it less generous.

I do have well over one hundred books to try and get through.

But there are books in the past where I struggled with the first chapter and then finally got into it. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix is one such novel. And I’m pretty sure it took me a bit to get into This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race by Nicole Perlroth last year.

I’m not going to change the wording for now, but I am allowed to change any rule as per the tenth rule in my list.

Is this a sign that the book deserves a zero star rating?

I think I’d just rather rewatch the David Fincher 2007 film adaptation of it, which removes the dryness of the book.

I’m going to say that Zodiac doesn’t need a rating from me. I can tell it has potential, I just can’t get on with the style of how it was written. Plenty of other people over the decades have found it a fascinating read but its style just ain’t my cup of tea.

And that’s okay.

(For the ins and outs of the To-read pile challenge check out the challenge and rules page.)


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