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Stranger Beside Me

By: Ann Rule
Narrated by: Ann Rule
Length: 2 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (341 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From number one New York Times best-selling author Ann Rule, “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews), her unforgettable classic account of the horrifying murders in the Pacific Northwest and her shock when she discovered her friend - Ted Bundy - was not only a suspect but also one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.

Meeting in 1971 at a Seattle crisis clinic, Ann Rule and Ted Bundy developed a friendship and correspondence that would span the rest of his life. Rule had no idea that when they went their separate ways, their paths would cross again under shocking circumstances.

The Stranger Beside Me is Rule’s compelling firsthand account of not just her relationship with Bundy, but also his life - from his complicated childhood to the media circus of his trials. Astonishing in its intimacy and with Rule’s clear-eyed prose, you can’t help but share in her growing horror at discovering that her friend was one of the most notorious American serial killers.

An unforgettable and haunting work of research, journalism, and personal memories, The Stranger Beside Me is “as dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight” (The New York Times).  

©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

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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!

19 of 23 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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

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

Haunting and sad

A sad feeling all the way hrough out this audio book. Sad for the women and author.

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

An intimate look Into the life and motivation.

Ann provides an in depth look at Ted, an man without conscience, who's scorn from the past pushed his fragile psyche over the edge. We will never know if he just snapped one day, or if he started his murders earlier in his life. This portrait of Bundy shows us that a man of such promise and possibility could fall down the darkest of holes, turning to rape, murder, necrophilia, overcome by compulsions of demented brutality, and constantly maintaining his innocence. The side most people knew is explored, and how it seemed almost impossible that he became the monster he was.

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

Intriguing and well told

I looked forward to my morning and evening commutes to get back to the story. It was very interesting.

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

GOOD

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