Read The Inside-Out Man by Fred Strydom Online


Brilliant jazz pianist Bent lives from gig to gig in a city of dead ends. He is plagued by fragmented visions of the past, and has resigned himself to a life of quiet desolation. That is, until the night he meets wealthy and eccentric jazz fan Leonard Fry.In the days that follow, Leonard makes Bent a devilish deal, proposing a bizarre experiment in which Bent will play a vBrilliant jazz pianist Bent lives from gig to gig in a city of dead ends. He is plagued by fragmented visions of the past, and has resigned himself to a life of quiet desolation. That is, until the night he meets wealthy and eccentric jazz fan Leonard Fry.In the days that follow, Leonard makes Bent a devilish deal, proposing a bizarre experiment in which Bent will play a vital part.The deal provides an opportunity for Bent to start afresh, to question everything he knows, and for the two men to move beyond the one terrifying frontier from which neither of them can be sure they’ll ever return: the borders of their own sanity.Fred Strydom’s novel The Inside-Out Man is a jazzy and surreal mind-bender of a book....

Title : The Inside-Out Man
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781415209561
Format Type : Softcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Inside-Out Man Reviews

  • Alison Smith
    2019-03-27 12:23

    Who are we? Really - at rock bottom? Fred Strydom sets out to show who Bent Croud really is - or isn't. An intriguing, surreal mystery that severely bent my brain out of shape. At the end of the book I had as many questions as answers. A bright new light on the South African literary scene. If you want to try a novel that's different, and well-written, give Fred's novel a whirl.

  • Larissa
    2019-03-22 12:38

    This is a twisted, gnarly, slippery story, guaranteed to leave you with chills down your spine and big questions about your own existence in your mind. I will say nothing more about it. You must start this one untainted.

  • Anita
    2019-04-14 07:22

    This is a strange, distorted, convoluted story by a young South African author. Bent, (his name is no accident,) a poor, talented young jazz pianist is contracted to lock-up a rich older man called Leonard Fry in a room in his own country house for a year; not allowing him out however he pleads and shouts. This is apparently a crazy experiment by a bored man, who has always had his material needs met and is looking for new experiences. Bent in a few words "bites off more than he can chew" - for the remainder of the story, read the book!In conclusion, I am still not too sure what motivated the characters in the book; whether in fact, they were real, or figments of Bent's alcoholic, drugged-induced hallucinations. This story crosses the line between fantasy and sci-fi. Interesting read!

  • Natalia Bonegio
    2019-04-08 12:30

    To reiterate my comment on Fred's debut novel, "what the fuck did I just read?!"I need to mull this one over a bit, but one thing is for sure: Fred Strydom is an excellent storyteller and an incredible novelist. "The Inside-Out Man" had me reading a genre WAY out of my comfort zone and loving every minute of it! This book is riveting, confusing, compelling, and gripping all the way through. Read it, and then maybe read it again.

  • Natasha
    2019-03-28 08:17

    Rich people with weird tendencies? At first, I thought that this was another version of The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney. You know where there's a rich benefactor with a big mansion trying out some bizarre experiment by housing random strangers. In the end, those strangers turned up dead?Well, this turned out to be nothing like that. It's more of a psychological exploration of a very confused man filled with lots of inner monologues. The good thing is nobody is murdered but that twist, in the end, is open to different interpretations.

  • Samantha
    2019-04-08 07:21

    Bent Croud is about to have a radical change in circumstances. A routine meandering between a run-down apartment, a bar and a piano shapes Bent’s life; jazz music in dark rooms filled with smoke in exchange for just enough money to get by. Only when a dapper gent by the name of Leonard Fry approaches the jazz pianist and offers him a private gig – with a 2 million rand payout – that Bent considers things could be different. All he has to do for this sum is play piano over a weekend; a straightforward, albeit hard to believe deal.To satisfy his curiosity, Bent arrives at Mr Fry’s palatial residence at the appointed time, and plays his set. Two million rand richer, he prepares to leave when Fry introduces another proposition – a social experiment between the two men, which will require Bent’s presence in the house for a year. With nothing to lose, and a new lifestyle to gain, Bent accepts.Fred Strydom is brilliantly sneaky – a story as darn and bent (cough cough) as the main character, The Inside-Out Man is as unpredictable as it is macabre and thrilling. Bent is thrust into a world of complete indulgence and murky moral grounds, and his reaction to this is a judge of his character and his sanity – how much can he keep from those around him, and how far is he willing to go to secure his new place in the world? The Inside-Out Man could make a brilliant film – think of a stylish mash-up of Gattaca and Inception, with a South African accent. This book is without doubt the best South African fiction title of the year, making the local literary scene that much more enthralling. Kudos to the author; he’s a rock star.The Inside Out Man by Fred Strydom is published by Umuzi, an imprint of Penguin Random House South Africa.

  • Andrea
    2019-04-19 05:35

    I'm going to come back to this one when I actually figure out what happened and what I read. Surreal horror is a hell of a ride.

  • Lior Sinai
    2019-03-26 12:21

    After the Raft, I had to read Fred Strydom's second book. This is a very different book; it is a much darker and twisted tale, and is set on a smaller scale, with most of the action confined to a few set pieces. That said, I really enjoyed it, and if you liked the Raft I think you'll like this one.The story drew me in quickly. It is narrated by Bently Croud, a cynical, hardened jazz pianist. The reader is let in fully on his distorted view of the world, and he is a great character to follow as this deranged story gathers momentum until its mind-numbing conclusion.(view spoiler)[ The one fault I have with this book is, like many mystery novels, it holds on to too much right until the end. The final twists and the ending are excellent, but I do not feel like it was necessary to hold back so much. For example, by the time the importance of the key is finally explained, I had long forgotten about it.(hide spoiler)]Overall, I preferred the Raft, but that may just be my preference for sci-fi. This book deserves its own praise, and confirms that we can expect more great stories from this South African author.

  • Cait Corcoran
    2019-04-08 05:21

    I was first sucked into the world of The Inside Out Man by it’s descriptive imagery alone (e.g., “An old woman was standing behind me, a big red perm mushrooming around her head as if somebody had hit a nuclear pause button.”) but then really fell down the rabbit hole with the crazy, constantly developing plot. The story is told through the eyes of Bent, a jazz pianist living a life of desolation, until he meets a man by the name of Leonard Fry. Leonard is a wealthy and magnetic character with an unusual request: to have Bent lock him in a room of his mansion for a year to be left to his own mental devices. In return, Bent can live in Leonard’s shoes, inheriting a life of luxury. Insanity erupts and splatters itself over the pages of this story as it took me to realms that were completely unanticipated. It left me constantly reorganizing my thoughts as I worked out the puzzle that is The Inside Out Man. I’ve never read anything like this...

  • Consuelo Roland
    2019-04-05 12:11

    More philosophical and literary than The Raft (which I loved!) but once again a satisfying read with unusual characters put into a most unusual situation. He handles tricky plots with elan. Strydom is a very talented writer. I look forward to his future novels.

  • Katie Thimons
    2019-04-18 09:13

    This book started out sooooo strong for me. I was instantly in love with the writing style. Bent was a character I could see myself wanting to talk to. I loved his description of simple city scapes and the people that inhabit them. But as the story was climbing, it just gave up trying and rolled lazily back down. Very disappointed with the ending. It almost felt like there were two different authors.

  • Kathy
    2019-04-01 12:26

    The Inside Out Man by Fred Strydom is an unusual novel with an intriguing but rather convoluted storyline.Raised by a single mother who died when he was a teenager, Bentley "Bent" Croud is a talented jazz pianist who plays in local bars a few times a week and lives in a rundown apartment he has dubbed the "Crack Radisson".  Learning of his barely recalled father's death, he receives a bit of a puzzling inheritance.  Not long after hearing this news, he is offered a hefty sum to perform at weekend party on Leonard Fry's large estate.   After the weekend is over, Fry has another proposal for Bent which is rather bizarre. In exchange for access to all of his possessions for the next year, Bent agrees to serve Fry three meals a day after he locks himself in a room in his mansion.  At first enjoying his luxurious accommodations, things take a rather odd turn after Bent meets Leonard's friend, Jolene.Bent is an interesting character who does not seem overly unhappy with his life when he first meets Fry. He has a passing acquaintance with his neighbors  and although the bars where he plays piano are not high end, he is comfortable with the bartenders and patrons. Bent agonizes over his decisions to Leonard's two very different proposals, but in the end, he is curious enough to agree to his benefactor's somewhat peculiar propositions.The Inside Out Man is well-written and at first the storyline is engaging and interesting. However, the novel quickly takes a very strange and dark turn and readers will have a difficult time knowing whether or not Bent's experiences are real.  Fred Strydom brings the confusing novel to a twist-filled conclusion that is somewhat ambiguous and rather unsatisfying.