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The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

The Stranger Beside Me (1980)

by Ann Rule

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1,745506,100 (3.96)49

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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
I've had this book about Ted Bundy and the woman who knew him on my to-be-read list for quite some time, and I finally got around to reading it through Kindle Unlimited. The story is interesting, and because I lived in Colorado when Bundy escaped from the Pitkin County jail made it more interesting for me.

Still, this book was much too long for the story it was telling. Add the multiple epilogues/addendum since it was first published, and there is a lot of reading to be done here. Bundy was a strange person, but I couldn't manage the author's attitude towards him, even once she finally believed he was guilty of the many murders. It bothered me that she seemed to have more empathy for Bundy than she did for his victims. Yes, she wrote about caring about the victims, but it didn't ring as true as her feelings for Bundy. Yes, he did not have an ideal childhood, but that does not excuse that he was a monster. I think the author fell for the charming side of his personality more than she recognized. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Feb 22, 2019 |
Good book about someone who is a straight up psychopath - or sociopath - or antisocial personality - depending on who you ask and what term is in style. I wonder what Ann Rule's other books are like as those aren't written about a murderer that she personally knows. Three stars because it is too long by about 150 pages and the writing is competent but by no means creative. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
This is a great book. Toward the end, it just drug on. It needs to be broken into two books. The man and then the trial. ( )
  Bethgarvinloflin1 | Dec 18, 2018 |
In the first half of the book it was very clear that Rule was writing very deep into her personal connection to Ted and her unwillingness to believe that the same man she knew was capable of such heinous crimes. As the book drew on, that fell away and she began to sound more like a third-party narrator. This is the only book by Rule that I have read, so I cannot compare it to her other writing, though I imagine that this was the most difficult book she has written in her life.

As far as her story telling of Ted's life and crimes, I truly enjoyed it. I got goosebumps during one description in the epilogue or afterward (I now forget which of the two). Even so many years later, I still assume that everybody knows the story of Ted Bundy, but reading this book made me very aware that there is so much we don't know. I enjoyed learning more about Ted Bundy the person, not Ted Bundy the criminal, because at the end of the day, he was still human.

This book also drew out some personal feelings of mine that I didn't quite realize I had. Although I am a true crime and crime fiction fan, I realized that I didn't truly examine my feelings in relation to them as humans at their core. Guilty or innocent, regardless of how many lives they took, these are still people. Rule did a great job of making that point clear.

I would recommend this book and I would be very interested in reading more of Rule's books. ( )
  startwithgivens | Dec 4, 2018 |
I read this online with about 20 people and it was an excellent discussion. Ann Rule worked overnight at a 24 hour crisis center alongside Ted Bundy. They discussed many things and Ann told him about the serial killer articles she was writing about never thinking that she was talking face to face with the killer sitting right next to her. She could not publish the articles until the killer was caught. In the end, the articles became this book, The Stranger Beside Me. The book tells a detailed account about how Bundy committed the murders by fooling all of his victims. He even fooled Ann Rule through most of the book. It was very hard for her to believe that the guy who was saving suicide victims with her was a serial killer. I found this book most interesting as you begin to wonder what has changed such a personable person into a serial killer. I still don't really know that answer and I'm sure there are many factors to consider the reason someone would do what Ted Bundy did. I would highly recommend this book to those who like true crime. Definitely shows how a true story can be stranger than fiction. ( )
  EadieB | Nov 29, 2018 |
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And tortures him now more, the more he sees
Of pleasure not for him ordained: then soon
Fierce hat he recollects, and all his thoughts
Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites:
"Thoughts, whither have ye led me? with what sweet
Compulsion thus transported to forget
What hither bought us? hate, not love, nor hope
Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste
Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy,
Save what is in destroying; other joy,br>To me is lost...."
Paradise Lost: Book IX (Lines 469-79)
This book is dedicated to my parents; Sophie Hansen Stackhouse and the late Chester R. Stackhouse...for their unfailing love and support, and because they always believed...
First words
I never expedcted to be writing about Theodore Robert Bundy once again.
No one glanced at the young man who walked out of the Trailways Bus Station in Tallahassee, Florida at dawn on Sunday, January 8, 1978.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451203267, Mass Market Paperback)

Not long ago, true crime writer Ann Rule recalls lying on an operating table. The anesthesiologist leaned over before putting her to sleep. "Ann," the anesthesiologist said softly, "tell me, what was Ted Bundy really like?" Despite meeting Florida's electric chair in 1989, the subject of Rule's bestselling book continues to haunt her. Rule and Bundy were friends. They met in 1971 at a Seattle crisis clinic, where they shared the late shift answering a suicide hotline. Their subsequent conversations, meetings, and letters spanned the rest of Bundy's life as he evolved into one of the century's most notorious serial killers. It's been 20 years since Rule first penned this chilling account. But the story--and her 2000 update--will still have readers reaching for their Xanax. No gratuitous gore here; just the basic, bone-chilling evidence. In fact, like a protective mother shielding us from horrors too awful to mention, Rule seems to avoid delving too deeply into crime scene descriptions. She devotes one paragraph in her new afterword to her discovery that Bundy engaged in necrophilia and returned to the scenes of his crimes to "line dead lips and eyes with garish makeup and to put blush on pale cheeks." She tells readers that John Hinckley, who shot Ronald Reagan, and David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam Killer, traded prison correspondences with Bundy. And she hints that Bundy's insatiable killer instincts may have started when he was a 14-year-old paperboy. (Ann Marie Burr, an 8-year-old girl on his route, mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the night and has never been found.) The skimpy update is over too soon, leaving readers wanting more and offering further proof of the public's never-ending fascination with serial killers. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:49 -0400)

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The #1 "New York Times"-bestselling true crime writer tells the chilling tale of how she came to learn that Ted Bundy, her close friend and colleague at a Seattle crisis hotline, was in fact a savage serial killer.

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