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The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy | [Ann Rule]

The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy

Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends. Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast.
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Publisher's Summary

Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends.

Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast. Ann Rule, who kept in constant contact with Bundy throughout the investigation, tells his story as no other person can, capturing the essence of his magnetic power, unholy compulsion, and demonic double life.

Available for the first time on audio, this shocking true story is an unforgettable listening experience. In an emotional reading, Rule tells us about Ted Bundy - the man she thought she really knew...the stranger beside her.

©2008 Ann Rule (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"As dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (201 )
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  •  
    La Becket New York, NY 12-05-12
    La Becket New York, NY 12-05-12 Member Since 2011

    LaB

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Embarrassingly terrible narration"
    What would have made The Stranger Beside Me better?

    One would think it would be difficult to make this sensationalist account of Ted Bundy -- one of America's most enduringly interesting serial killers -- boring. And yet somehow, Lorelei King manages.

    She attempts to pitch her voice unnaturally low for all male characters -- the vice she shares with many female narrators -- but also bizarrely forces her voice higher whenever women are speaking. Beyond distracting.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Borger, TX, United States 06-20-12
    Stephanie Borger, TX, United States 06-20-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible Narrator Performance"
    Would you try another book from Ann Rule and/or Lorelei King?

    From Ann Rule, but never Lorelei King.


    What didn???t you like about Lorelei King???s performance?

    Her attempt to "sound like" various characters was very, very annoying and detracted from the story.


    Was The Stranger Beside Me worth the listening time?

    Yes, though there were times I didn't think I could stand the narration another moment.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 03-27-12
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 03-27-12 Member Since 2008

    Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!

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    "More Like a Police Report than a Vibrant Story!"

    This book is unique in the sense that the author was actually close friends with Bundy, and you can feel the need she has to defend him permeating the pages. She presents the details of his killings in a cold, detached way that comes across as somewhat boring. She manages to convey the sense of how each murder/victim was different, but she does it in a way that feels like you're reading some kid's book report. It's just not that colorful.

    I like some of Rule's other books, but this one doesn't do Bundy justice. For a criminal as charismatic and manipulative as he was, his story deserved to be told with more excitement and horror. In fairness to Rule, this was her first successful book, so I'm sure she's been improving as a writer with each subsequent book.

    The 3 hour epilogue is helpful, in that it brings us up to the point that Bundy is finally executed... I doubt that's a spoiler for anyone. If it is, sorry.

    The narrator was great. I've read reviews of the abridged version that says that narrator was horrible. This one is spot on.

    Overall, if you're interested in Bundy, this is the book for you, NOT the abridged version. You'll certainly have a clear understanding of just how monstrous this man actually was.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Parusski Jackson TN 05-10-12
    Parusski Jackson TN 05-10-12 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good but with reservations"

    Unfortunately, Ann Rule stumbles with The Stranger Beside Me, by claiming to be an intimate friend of Ted Bundy. She transforms the short, erratic time she worked with the man into a close relationship. Yet, despite herculean efforts, nothing more than a casual acquaintanceship is described. Also, Rule frequently repeats that she was highly regarded by law enforcement agencies, thus attempting to validate her own self-importance. Furthermore, Rule is enamored with Bundy, often mentioning how sophisticated and gentlemanly he was. Eventually listeners will tire of the lavish praise heaped on one of histories most prolific killers.

    However, interspersed with the leaps of fantasy are outstanding snippets of the gruesome horrors perpetrated by Ted Bundy. Of course, Rule does a superb job of describing his descent into murderous madness. To begin with, we see an intelligent, polite young man. But, gradually a portrait emerges of a monster. In addition, the notorious killer was suspected of abducting and killing eight year old Ann Marie Burr, in 1961. She is thought to have been Bundy's first victim, with the murder being perpetrated when he was only 14. Lorelei King delivers an effortless performance as she recounts Bundy's childhood, the murders he committed, his capture, imprisonment and trial. All things considered, it would be remiss to imply that this is less than an engaging account of the infamous serial killer.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 10-22-13
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 10-22-13 Member Since 2010

    Audio-addict!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow!! A really amazing book!"

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. That's putting it mildly. I was entranced by it! I like true crime books, but I stay away from subjects that are too gruesome and scary, like the murders of Ted Bundy.
    I worried this book would give me nightmares. However, Ann Rule does not fill her book with gory details. Instead Ann tells the shocking and fascinating story of life in the years of his murders and trials, and of her relationship and correspondence with him. The book is updated to reflect all the changes in his legal situation.

    There is a lot of heart in this book. Ann Rule writes it with such compassion and true emotion. It's incredibly well written!! I can't say that enough. Instead of coming away with nightmares, I was able to view the horror and tragedy of Ted Bundy from an unusual and fascinating perspective. Rule stays away from the sensationalism that you might expect from a "serial killer" expose. She has written an unbelievably compelling story. It was really interesting to read (hear) her shifting of thoughts and emotions regarding Bundy and his crimes, as she battled with the realization that he may have used her just like he used the other women in his life. Oh it is just a really good book.

    I highly recommend this. It is a book that will stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. And I will continue to read Ann Rule. This isn't my first if her books, but I think this is her best that I've read so far!!

    Great Narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip Arlington, TX 01-28-13
    Phillip Arlington, TX 01-28-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Just OK."

    I had always heard that this book was a classic of true crime. I am by no means an aficionado of the genre but I thought this was a rather boring book. It read a bit like a text book and had no real narrative flow.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-02-13
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-02-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Creepy"

    The author tricked me into believing that Ted Bundy was a handsome, clever, ordinary guy--just as he tricked her. If we believe Ann Rule, it was long after capture and late in the judicial process that she saw the truth about the guy she had once worked with. And that's what makes the whole thing really creepy.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Johnson California 06-24-14
    S. Johnson California 06-24-14

    S. Johnson

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    "Interesting and Real"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    YES YES YES. If the topic interests you this is a first hand experience written by someone who know Ted Bundy. Well written and should I add written with the neutrality of a professional. great book


    What other book might you compare The Stranger Beside Me to and why?

    none


    What does Lorelei King bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She was easy to listen to and presented the story perfectly with the right innuendos


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    definitely


    Any additional comments?

    get it you won't regret

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tara Cheney, WA, United States 10-21-13
    tara Cheney, WA, United States 10-21-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Terrifying and Shocking"

    Ann has a way with bringing a story to light. She can lift the victims in a way that makes you feel like they were your neighbors, your friends, your family. But she has a way of making the killers seem that way as well.
    A perfect murderer, intelligent and cunning, Bundy swept the nation with his killing spree from Washington to Florida. To this day there isn't an accurate body count, and now that he's gone, there may never be.
    As her first official novel, Stranger Beside Me casts an eerie shadow on our beloved author as she narrates her friendship with one of the worst killers of the 20th century.
    I couldn't imagine having to admit that one of my best friends was a mass murderer and a psychopath.
    This book isn't just about Bundy and his slayings, though they do go into incredible detail, it's also about one woman's struggle to see the devil in the angel she thought she knew.
    Her journey was long, exhausting, and disappointing, but she weaves her tale so wonderfully that it seems as if you were right there with her throughout the ordeal.

    This book is a MUST READ for ALL Ann Rule fans. Again, as I've said before, it's a must read for all of those who reside in the Pacific North West.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    farmhouselady farmland, PA USA 12-04-12
    farmhouselady farmland, PA USA 12-04-12 Member Since 2011
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    "The true-crime Master has done it again."
    Any additional comments?

    Ann Rule sets the standard for true-crime books. I have yet to discover another author that comes close. If it is by Ann Rule, you know you are getting the very best, and you will be sucked in and taken away into another universe.

    She does meticulous research the reader benefits from, and she adds a depth to the telling of the facts that comes from very deep understanding of her topic. Over decades of focusing on true crime, she has perfected the art of telling these stories like no one ever has.

    This work is unique in that Ann actually knew the serial killer personally, had worked with him and maintained ties of friendship with him even after his trouble with the law began. So she had more than a bird's eye view, more than police records and media articles. That aspect - her own emotional involvement - adds another layer of interest but does not get in the way of her strict discipline in relating the facts and unfolding the story, to her credit.

    There's no way you can go wrong with this book. Treat yourself.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
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