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.)