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The Stranger Beside Me (1980)

by Ann Rule

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2,208555,324 (3.93)84
Overview: 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.… (more)
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English (53)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Could have been a good book, even a great one. However, it’s way too long and this edition is full of typos, some of them hilariously bad (e.g. ‘the public hair of Melissa Smith’, p.256; ‘Officer Don Ford who eatched and waited on the corner…’, p.305; ‘I watched the television screen in San Franscio.’, p.513). It was first published in 1980, so you’d think they’d have had time by now to iron out the problems. Looks like the editor and proof-reader got the afternoon off the day they were scheduled to work on this. Very disappointing. Why it appears on so many ‘Best True Crime Books’ lists beats me. ( )
  flanerie | Jul 31, 2021 |
My review of this book can be found on my YouTube Vlog at:

https://youtu.be/i7C9LrPoSDU

Enjoy! ( )
  booklover3258 | Jun 18, 2021 |
It’s hard to say how many women Ted Bundy murdered in the 1970s. Former Seattle policewoman Ann Rule was a friend of Bundy’s and it took her a long time to believe that he had actually done the things he was convicted of and put to death for. This book outlines the murders, as well as Ann’s friendship with Ted, and her realization that he did do those things.

Unfortunately, this was another abridged audio. Again, I feel like it was done well, in that I didn’t notice things that might have been missing. I just wish it had been the entire book! Like “Helter Skelter”, I did read this one back in high school, but given that that was 30+ years ago, I didn’t remember much of it. I actually hadn’t remembered the author’s friendship with Bundy at all (though the murders in Florida – the last ones he did – had stuck with me all this time, as well as other details about him). What I listened to was very good, though I’m not sure I’m a fan of Ann Rule reading her own books. Like with “Helter Skelter”, because this was an abridged version, I would still like to reread the entire book. ( )
  LibraryCin | Feb 10, 2021 |
10 out of 10 this was fascinating and unreal and I need more ..if anyone has any recs please let me know! Lol ( )
  ashezbookz | Oct 20, 2020 |
The audiobook my library has is an abridged version of this book read by Ann Rule. I think the biggest draw of this story is the interesting frame of Rule's personal relationship with Bundy, though it did make me want to read more true crime about cases I have some knowledge about to get the a more complex picture than the headlines. ( )
  bookbrig | Aug 5, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
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,
To me is lost...."
Paradise Lost: Book IX (Lines 469-79)
Dedication
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 expected 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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Overview: 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.

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W.W. Norton

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