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The Stranger Beside Me

The Stranger Beside Me

Written by Ann Rule

Narrated by Lorelei King


The Stranger Beside Me

Written by Ann Rule

Narrated by Lorelei King

ratings:
4.5/5 (392 ratings)
Length:
18 hours
Released:
Feb 21, 2012
ISBN:
9781442353800
Format:
Audiobook

Description

THE DEFINITIVE WORK OF AMERICAN TRUE CRIME FROM "AMERICA'S BEST TRUE-CRIME WRITER" (Kirkus Reviews)

Utterly unique in its astonishing intimacy, as jarringly frightening as when it first appeared, Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me defies our expectation that we would surely know if a monster lived among us, worked alongside of us, appeared as one of us. With a slow chill that intensifies with each heart-pounding page, Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. He would confess to killing at least thirty-six young women from coast to coast, and was eventually executed for three of those cases. Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy's death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer -- the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew -- Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.
Released:
Feb 21, 2012
ISBN:
9781442353800
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Ann Rule wrote thirty-five New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. Her first bestseller was The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship with infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. A former Seattle police officer, she used her firsthand expertise in all her books. For more than three decades, she was a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She lived near Seattle and died in 2015.


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Reviews

What people think about The Stranger Beside Me

4.5
392 ratings / 37 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Really fascinating. Creepy.
  • (3/5)
    One scary individual.
  • (3/5)
    Ann Rule is the James Patterson of True Crime writers. In other words, prolific, ubiquitous, practically rules her genre--but essentially an empty writer of boiler plate. But this book, such as it is, is definitely a fascinating read for two reasons: one, Ted Bundy is among that rara avis, a serial killer, and a high-functioning sociopath who kept a mask of sanity so skin tight and smooth that Ann Rule, who knew him and volunteered beside him on a suicide hotline had not a clue he was the killer so many were looking for--and that she was writing about as a crime reporter. And there you have the other reason: she did know him. She did think of him as a friend. So the inherent fascination of content triumphs somewhat over the clumsy hack writing.
  • (5/5)
    Story of Ted Bundy. Scary, makes we wary. Can't read too many of her books without getting spooked.
  • (5/5)
    One of my best friends used to have Ted Bundy babysit for their kid. I was shocked to find his name in the book years later.
  • (4/5)
    Although I read this book when it was first published, I am still haunted by it. Ann Rule is the standard by which true crime writing is measured, and she did a spectacular job of describing Ted Bundy, who touched her life. This is a fascinating account of this horrific, psycopathic killer and the people he knew who had no idea of the depths of his depravity.
  • (5/5)
    Ann Rule's initial true crime book, sparked off by her friendship with Ted Bundy, possibly the USA's most notorious serial killer, is a milestone in the true crime genre.The events of this book are so unlikely that a fiction writer trying on a similar storyline would be laughed out of the publishing houses. Rule worked side by side with Bundy on a suicide prevention hotline, then maintained contact with him in person, and via letter and telephone calls though his continuing campaign of grotesque killing, eventual capture and escape, and ultimately his conviction and execution. The Stranger Beside Me is therefore just as much about Rule's own growing realization of the truth about Bundy as it is the story of his sick life. In ordinary circumstances, this would be insufferable in a true crime writer, but the circumstances here are so far from ordinary that a very large measure of indulgence to Rule's moral equivocating is due. This is a long, complicated book, but it needs to be. It's highly recommended for all true crime fans.
  • (5/5)
    This is a required book for anyone who is a Ann Rule fan, wants to know how she became involved in writing in this area. Book deals with herdual relationship with Bundy, friend and reporter. The book demonstrates how a successful serial killer, a person who murders undetected for many years, must be an expert in humanpsychology, must be extraordinarily skilled in presentation of self, in manipulation of others.
  • (5/5)
    What makes this book truly amazing are the added bits in later editions, where Ann Rule updates the tale. Amazing writing and storytelling about one of the most vile men of all time.
  • (5/5)
    The detail and deftly way with which this book was written are absolutely phenomenal!
  • (4/5)
    Different than any other serial killer account. I've read and studied serial killers for around twenty years and I found this to be quite different than any other book. Anne Rule showed Ted Bundy's human, seemly emotional side. I was surprised at how much emotion he was capable of. He seemed to have a low level of compassion that I didn't think Phychopaths were not capable of. I've been trying to put these guys into some kind of box and this book makes most of that seemingly impossible.
  • (5/5)
    Great book, it is terrifying and sad but a great book
  • (4/5)
    Gripping and horrifying from start to finish. I feel wrung out after listening to it. Really worth listening to.
  • (5/5)
    So interesting and brilliantly written! I would highly recommend it!
  • (1/5)
    I’ve read this book so I thought I’d try the audiobook. The book was good but the audiobook reader was TERRIBLE! The fashion in which she completed each word was beyond irritating! I couldn’t even listen to the audiobook all the way through. The end of the sentences were spoken like it was suppose to be the last sentence/word in the book.
  • (5/5)
    Well written and well read, clear and comprehensive, a serial killer I knew nothing about. Highly recommend
  • (4/5)
    Fascinating account of Ted Bundy and the author’s connection to him.
  • (1/5)
    Need a different narrator! This one made the book even more boring. Sorry, but I don't understand why everyone calls Anne Rule one of the "best" crime writers out there. I tried reading her, that didn't work so I turned to audiobooks. One more and I won't "read" her again.
  • (5/5)
    Muito bem escrito e detalhista. Me fez sentir assustada, indignada e bastante triste. Ann fez um trabalho excepcional!
  • (5/5)
    AnnRule is such a great author. This must have been especially hard for her since her own life was so entwined with Ted for years. I felt that she was totally honest. I was impressed with how she revealed how long she held on to believing it wasn’t really him. Then as she began to see how wrong she was she still felt loyal to Ted, still sent him Money And stamps. She held her honesty by telling him how her mind was changing. Then still send stamps and money Ann Rule was still human. Difficult story to tell but she did it so well.
  • (1/5)
    Did not finish.
  • (4/5)
    Very interesting! She covered the details without making it too graphic or sensationalizing it.
  • (1/5)
    This book is a story of the author's crush on the killer. It does not honor the victims at all. It excuses the killer's crimes. Through the author the master manipular and con Bundy tries to manipulate humanity yet again. Left a really bad taste in my mouth.
  • (5/5)
    Good read/listen! Definitely kept me entertained during my work day.
  • (2/5)
    I was very excited to read a book written to some one that has known the criminal and with a background related with crime and investigation. She was specialized to write about ??people, who often wear a perfect mask..? It seems my expectation did not match the other readers...At least it is what you expect when you see all these five stars evaluation. The book looks more a report of the writer with a very superficial analysis of Ted Bundy. In fact, most of the book is a about good cop nice justice and many?many description about supposed victims. The last chapter (named as that) you really gets lost in among many people (lawyers, news report, girl friends, etc..) that wanted to get any money from the situation. In fact, this scenario give me the reason to give the three stars: one sociopath looking to be famous at any expenses, and, in the other hand, people (lawyers, reports, girls, etc..) taking the chance to be part of it to become famous.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    best true crime thing I've ever read listened to or watched a must read

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Absolutely fascinating how this true crime writer, of all things, worked alongside and was friends with, Ted Bundy. Rule does a fantastic job detailing their relationship and his heinous crimes, and remaining objective throughout.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The Stranger Beside Me had a huge influence on me when I first read it years ago. Ann Rule was my first true crime book that I read and started me on a true crime obsession. I have read almost all of Ann's books and they where all 4 to 5 star ratings in my opinion. Ann will be truly missed. RIP Ann Rule.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This nonfiction look at the strange case of Ted Bundy is chilly to say the least. The author knew him well and was researching the killings without realizing she knew the killer. At times it dips into her personal life, which I could have done without, but to be fair, her real life was intertwined with his so it was relevant.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I read horror novels like they're going out of style, I devour twisted psychological suspense stories, and yet I have the strongest reactions to true crime accounts. I guess that's not surprising, since these events actually happened, but The Stranger Beside Me scared the living daylights out of me.Ann Rule's account of her relationship with Ted Bundy, before and after he was charged with murder, is straightforward but still manages to delve into the emotional aspects of the case, both in terms of her friendship with Bundy and in terms of his many female victims. The writing is not spectacular, but in this case, it really doesn't have to be. The facts speak for themselves. (Some readers don't respond well to this type of writing, but it seems to be more of a preference thing than a comment on the writing talent. I personally think this type of straightforward writing is extremely effective.)The crime scenes are stomach-turning and graphic, which juxtaposes horrifically with Bundy's suave, charismatic demeanor. Simply put, this book is terrifying and still gives me chills when I think about it. Bonus chapters, epilogues, and forewords show just how far Ted Bundy's infamy has spread through American culture...25 years after his execution, we're still talking about him.Readalikes:Green River Running Red - Ann Rule. If you liked how this serial killer account unfolded, from the murders to official investigations, to the trial, GRRR is another must-read. This time, the murderer is the Green River Killer, who was finally caught at the end of a 20+ year reign of terror in the Pacific Northwest.My Life Among the Serial Killers - Helen Morrison. A forensic psychologist interviews several infamous serial killers in the hopes of learning what makes these murderers tick, and how they became serial killers.The Good Nurse - Charles Graeber. Although this book isn't written from an insider's perspective, it evokes many of the same powerful and visceral reactions as TSBM. The Good Nurse covers the crimes of Charlie Cullen, a male nurse on the East Coast who killed as many as 300 patients in his 16+ years of hospital experience.Defending Gary - Mark Prothero. An insider's perspective into an infamous serial murder case - in this instance, written by the lead defense attorney for Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer.John Wayne Gacy - Sam L. Amirante. See above. This book, however, covers the trial and crimes of John Wayne Gacy, the Chicago serial killer who dressed like a clown for his victims.

    1 person found this helpful