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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 35 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.

©1992 Ann Rule (P)1992 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Painful at best

Someone HAS to be honest with a writer who decides to narrate their own books. Not everyone is cut out to be a narrator and as good an author as Ann Rule is, she is absolutely NOT a narrator! I read this book quite a while ago and really enjoyed it, but listening to the abridged version read by Ann was painful. Save your money and buy the book, you will enjoy it so much more!

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Delana
  • Lawrence, KS, United States
  • 08-28-10

Five stars if only it were unabridged!

This is a fascinating look at Ted Bundy through the eyes of someone who knew him, as she says, about as well as anyone could. Ann Rule's narration is saved only by the fact that she's Ann Rule, but the story is fascinating, as she had a very unique perspective on this prolific serial killer. I am sad that it was abridged, but I'm still glad I got it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Danya
  • Boulder, CO, United States
  • 07-04-13

Wish I had bought the unabridged version

Where does Stranger Beside Me rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was pretty decent

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Absolutely, Ann rule never ceases to amaze me

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

A much more personal account

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Ted Bundy's story is pretty intense

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good book that provides a seamless time line of Bundy’s life and his spiral into the depths of mental illness and evil. Ann does a good job of lifting up gently and respectfully the victims and giving us some understanding of these young women and the brutality Bundy inflicted upon them. No excuses in this book. Ann lays the blame directly at Bundy’s feet and if you were never a believer in the death penalty, you will be after you listen to this.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Facinating & Disturbing “Other”Side of Ted Bundy

To be sure - I make no excuse, wish for no pardon (too late), and generally believe those so broken as to become serial killers should likely be removed from society permanently. Whether by death penalty or actual (no parole) life entirely separate from their prey.

However - Ann Rule’s telling of a more personal account of a clearly complex and highly intelligent, yet irrecoverably depraved, disturbed and dangerous man ... was both chilling and horribly sad.

Bundy’s crimes will forever be part of American crime lore. Horrifying and unforgivable.

Yet, I find myself wondering if he could have gone a different path. One that didn’t include the brutal murder of so many beautiful, brown-haired women. Lives who will go down in history as victims of one of the most famous serial killers. Women who had lives and potential so far beyond what they will always be remembered.

After listening to Ann Rule’s first hand account ... it just makes me wonder if there is a trigger or point where maybe he (or someone like him) could be steered from becoming a murderous icon.

Or, was he just born bad. So intelligent that maybe even Ann was fooled. That his ability to manipulate every relationship to suit his world view was one and only ... that there is an element of pre-destination because of his psychology & neuropathy would inevitably lead to violence?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

Ann Rule is one of the best true crime writers out there and the fact that she had a friendship with Ted Bundy is insane. Her descriptions are not exaggerated at all. Very fascinating.
Ted Bundy in my opinion is the most fascinating murderer. He was such a master at being a completely different person that even a person with a forensic background did not suspect him one bit. Definitely get this immediately if you are into true crime and appreciate a story about a first hand account (let alone a multi year friendship) with one of the most known serial killers in the US and the world.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

GOOD

I plan on listening to more of her. I like the fact that she writes true crime.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really great book!!!

I really loved that Anne narrated the book. She was thorough in her explanations and story and it was really interesting to hear things about Ted Bundy I never knew! Great easy read!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Chilling Close-Up into the Life & Mind of Bundy

Any additional comments?

A must read for today's generation. As gruesome and dark as his life and crimes were, I think it's especially important for young girls/women to see that a man's outside can be a cleverly designed ruse for the evil intentions that lie within. I showed my 14 year old daughter a video interview of Ted Bundy and asked her "What do you think of this guy?" She responded "He looks like a really nice guy". I then told her the truth. Hopefully this will make her think twice before trusting a guy based solely on his looks and personality. Ann Rule is a great true-crime writer, and this is probably her best work. The fact that she coincidentally weaved herself into one of true-crime's most fascinating stories, makes this a must read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel
  • Atascadero, CA, United States
  • 01-19-12

Fascinating!

Would you listen to Stranger Beside Me again? Why?

Yes. To actually be introduced to the

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, I knew the outcome but Ann Rules's skillful writing kept me hoping for a different ending...

Which scene was your favorite?

Where Ann shares that if , as many believe,Ted took lives, he also saved them.

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

Yes! But I also wanted it to last as long as possible.

Any additional comments?

Please do an unabridged version! I had to go out and buy the full book, but if audible offered an unabridged version, I'd be first in line to buy it!