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Mass Market Paperback The Stranger Beside Me (Revised and Updated): 20th Anniversary Book

ISBN: 0451203267

ISBN13: 9780451203267

The Stranger Beside Me (Revised and Updated): 20th Anniversary

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Book Overview

In 1971, while working the late-shift at a Seattle crisis clinic, true-crime writer Ann Rule struck up a friendship with a sensitive, charismatic young coworker: Ted Bundy. Three years later, eight... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

9 ratings

Love Ann Rule, great and immersive!

Haven't picked up a book in years, glad this is one I picked up! Definitely gives you her perspective about Ted bundys character.

Hype wasn't there.

Honestly, for the hype this book gets on how amazing it is, it didn't do it for me. Usually I fly through books, but this was a fairly slow read and incredibly dense. I particularly enjoy dense books. However, it continued to drag on and the point of the book was pretty anticlimactic in my opinion.

ann rule is a legend for a reason

great read. ultimate true crime book. scary read of his crimes then great coverage of ensuing legal battle after his arrest.

This book is amazing.

I can’t seem to put it down, the author has a way of pulling you in with every detail.. if you’re a Ted Bunday fan, this is a must have!


I found this book after hearing about it on the My Favorite Murder podcast and I love it! Haven’t been able to put it down since I started it.

The Ultimate Book on Ted Bundy

And i would say this book is also one of the greatest insights into the life of a Serial Killer, in this case one of the most known and prolific Serial Killers of the modern era, ever. Ann Rule has created a masterpiece that delves heavily into the mind of Ted Bundy, and she also keeps you hanging with every passing chapter of this 498-page book. It's hard to put this book down when reading it. Ted Bundy has to be one of the most famous, and in my opinion, most fascinating Serial Killers ever. I have read about countless Serial Killers, i own many books on Serial Murder, but this one by Ann Rule, "The Stranger Beside Me", is undoubtedly the most gripping, realistic and most involving one i have ever read. What makes it so unique, mainly, is the fact that the Author, Ann Rule, was a good friend of Ted Bundy's. They had met and become good friends at a Crisis Clinic (Of all places for Ted Bundy to have worked..) where they both worked for a time. From their first meeting in 1971, when Ted Bundy was 24 and she herself was nearing 40, all the way to the early-mid 80's, Ann Rule kept in touch with Ted Bundy. This book is so deeply involved, so heavily investigated and well-thought out. Another unique thing about it is how Ann Rule tends to write and describe certain things. Her way of writing, at least in this book as i don't happen to own any of her other books unfortunately, just keeps you on edge. The facts, dates and information about each murder is extremely in-depth, as is the letters and calls Ann Rule and Ted Bundy made to eachother, and what Ted Bundy has said on tape to Police Detectives and Investigators that worked on the case. The updated chapters, from the mid to late 80's, are also a great highlight and a good reason to pick up this book. The whole book is such an interesting read, and so hard to put down when reading, that it's a mistake to pass up on this. If you are at all interested in Serial Murder, or if you are interested in Ted Bundy and his story, certainly without a doubt do not miss out on this. Pick this up straight-away, you just will not be disappointed. Ann Rule has written a classic book that will go down in history, or at least in this genre of writing's history, as one of the greatest. 5/5 is really an understatement. Also check out books such as; "The Only Living Witness" and "Conversations With a Killer - The Death Row Interviews" by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, and also "The History of Murder" by Colin Wilson, a massive 639-page book that has extremely in-depth coverage of Murder all through the ages. From the years 1000 through to the Columbine Massacre of April 1999, it chronicles everything from Vlad the Impaler, Marquis de Sade, through to a very detailed and very long chapter on Serial Murder and leads into "Serial Killers of The Nineties" which is a detailed guide to some unknown and less famous Serial Killers.

Truly Terrifying

I had heard of this book, of course; had wanted to read it for years, so when this 20th anniversary edition came out, I decided to give it a go. I had a pre-conceived notion: OK, this is going to be a really interesting biography of Ted Bundy, with the added attraction of having been written by a former dear friend. Fast, easy crime reading, I thought. I was wrong. This story is so chilling, so frightening, it grips you in the gut. Ann Rule has simply stated the facts. No sensationalism, no gratuitous gore, no psychobabble. Just the facts. As they happend. And even though the reader might think of Ted Bundy as "old news," and even though he was executed in 1989, this book makes one check to see that the doors and windows are locked.There are actually two stories here: one describes the gradual disintegration of a seemingly normal, affable, brilliant man into a sexual psychopath so evil, so methodical in his vicious killings, that one wonders if he was at all human. The other story is that of Ann Rule herself, a decent, hard-working, middle-aged mother of four who meets and befriends a nice young man working beside her in a crisis clinic. A man she regards as a younger brother; a man she views as a close and trusted friend. The slow but inexorable realization on Rule's part that this man is in fact an unspeakably violent serial killer is as painful to read as it was for her to experience.Each victim is described in terms of such respect and such anguish that even a family member, I think, can feel that his or her daughter has been given a chance to shine, a chance to be more than a victim, more than a nameless number (8th girl killed, and so forth). The poignancy of these girls' very human preoccupations and lives serves to outline the contrasting horror in even more detail. That is why Rule does not have to defile the victims with intricate detail. The contrast between their young lives and their terrible deaths is enough in itself.Rule's new Afterward, written in 2000, is fascinating. She has not "recovered and moved on"; there is no real "closure." She has come to accept that the incomprehensible contrast between Ted the Dear Friend and Ted the Monster will never leave her, and will never be fully explained, no matter how many facts she sifts, no matter how much progress has been made in understanding the sexual psychopath. It is her fate to have known Bundy in all his skins; it is our privilege to read her account of it.

True crime doesn't get much scarier than this

This book is one of the most definitive books on serial killer Ted Bundy, and for good reason: author Ann Rule actually knew and worked with him at a Seattle-based suicide & crisis hotline. Bundy seemed an unlikely murderer; friends knew him as a smart law student, a man with an interest in state politics, and a man with a longtime girlfriend. Like most people, Rule wasn't sure what to believe when Bundy was first arrested on kidnapping charges in Utah in 1975. She stayed neutral and wrote this book, and the result was a fascinating account that manages to walk the fine line between good taste and opportunism.The Stranger Beside Me covers a lot of ground in its attempts to paint a clear picture of Ted Bundy. Countless acquaintances of Bundy are quoted or mentioned, and Ann Rule's past experience as a police officer gave her inside access to the investigations that most people could only dream about. She also manages to describe her strange relationship with Bundy without making herself sound overly important, thereby keeping her credibility above reproach. Bundy is revealed to be a hollow, warped, sadistic predator, not at all the cassanova that the press sometimes made him out to be. This book is fascinating on many levels, and Rule's careful research also shows. For all these reasons, I couldn't give this book any less than five stars. The only real complaint that I have is that the book often has a wandering feel. The book isn't just about Bundy; it's also about Ann Rule and how she followed the case and later the trial, even sometimes speaking with Bundy or writing him letters in jail. As a result, the focus of this book often seems to waver. But it is hard to blame Rule for any of this because Bundy himself was a wanderer, committing his crimes in several western states (that we know of) before finally ending his criminal career in Florida. His crimes were numerous and terrible and his personality was very abnormal, resulting in a very complex and tragic story. Rule glosses over some of the worst details, but it's just as well; there is no way for anyone to fail to appreciate how awful Bundy was. True crime doesn't get much scarier than this.

Ann Rule's Best Book

As a true crime fan, I have read many books by countless authors. Ann Rule is the only author who has completely explained the proper definition of a serial killer. This book is a fascinating look into the human mind and a man, Ted Bundy. I would like to thank Ann for finally describing and telling this story. This is a must read for any psychology student and true crime lover.

The Stranger Beside Me Mentions in Our Blog

The Stranger Beside Me in Horror Where You Least Expect It
Horror Where You Least Expect It
Published by William Shelton • October 18, 2022

Fear, where it is least expected, is all the more rich an experience. Such as when it is found among the pages of a story of romance, or a bucolic tale of life mundane. Here are my favorite tales with surprisingly dark moments.

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