Cutting the Cheese

Novel by Edward C. Patterson

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Cutting the Cheese Reviewed by Libby Cone author of War in the Margins

This brief, funny book packs a lot of sharp observations on what we do for love or for money as played out at an evening meeting/party at the home of Sugar Daddy Roy Otterson. To paraphrase the song, Patterson looks at all kinds of love: fresh and still unspoiled, love/lust that is slightly soiled with meretricious desire, the mellow love of middle age. The author manages to cover this gamut without being judgmental, though the characters, with wildy disparate agendas, (the Lesbians' agenda, to their frustration, is mainly that of the meeting), are often bitchy and downright hostile. Patterson, as omniscient narrator, understands that our lives and our relationships are full of agendas, often hidden, somtimes greedy, and he refuses to favor one character over another, even the newbie. A fun book (each chapter is named with a different kind of cheese) that belongs on every shelf.

Libby Cone
author of War in the Margins

Cutting the Cheese Reviewed by Blue Goddess - Kindle-aholics Anonymous

Being straight, this book provided a whole new insight for me into the gay and lesbian world. Someone close to me, I suspect is gay. I realize that it is scary coming out, and taking those first steps into a new world. I really felt for the newbie, not knowing who to trust, who would be a reliable friends, and who was foe. For me, it was hard to keep track of so many characters, but that is probably my own problem.

All in all, a fun read, with interesting characters, and definitely a broadening of my horizons since this is not usually my type of book. But I believe in supporting the indie author, and I hope many others will too!

Blue Goddess
Kindle-aholics Anonymous

Cutting the Cheese Reviewed by Timothy Mulder author of Lonely and Lost

A casual afternoon spent with your nearest and dearest 'activist' friends discussing the best way to go about expanding your group's influence on the wider community, while supping over wine and cheese. What could be simpler or more civil? Unfortunately almost every character in this convoluted clash of cross purposes and hidden agendas seems to be the reincarnated souls of some of the most vilest, back stabbing, boot licking neophytes to ever grace a royal court. Into the center of this snake pit wanders poor befuddled Luke. Idealistically romantic Luke. In over his head and sinking fast, will the bewildered and beguiling young newbie ever find his knight in shining armor?

The characters are vivid; (I'm certain I know one or two personally), the setting is masterfully detailed; (I could easily see it as a movie, or better yet... a theatrical production) and the pace; frantic and fevered. Hold on tight, because this trip through the lavender 'newbie shredder' is not for the faint of heart.

Wickedly Funny!!!

Review by Timothy Mulder
author of Lonely and Lost

Cutting the Cheese reviewed by Mireille Reyns (Belgium)

Great Fun!

Cutting the Cheese reminds me of a good old fashioned stage play, very fast paced and irresistibly witty. Vivid characters take the stage, and in the middle of all the fussing and commotion there is Luke, his life coming to a complete stand still when he sets eyes on this complete stranger. Or should I say the stranger sets eyes on him?
Great fun!

Review by Mireille Reyns

Cutting the Cheese reviewed by Thomas Riccobuono (Cottonwood, Z)

Double Snap

Every character in this twisted little comedy may seem like a stereotype, but stereotypes exist for a reason. I have personally met people in my life who are exactly like these characters. I have no trouble envisioning them acting in just this way.

This is one nail-biting, back-stabbing, hair-pulling thrill of a ride. With the sweetest of love stories set right in the middle.

I laughed so hard, I felt guilty, because I felt like I was laughing at myself and some of my closest friends.

Cheese and wine will never be the same again.

I give this naughty little treat two over-the-head snaps!

Review by Thomas Riccobuono

Review By Todd A. Fonseca (Minneapolis, MN)

Coming Out Can Be Gouda

Uncertain, confused, and feeling lost after coming out, Luke Oliver searches for answers to this new world in which he now belongs. Finding the bar scene full of too many unspoken rules and regulations unknown to a newbie, Luke suddenly finds himself invited to the ostentatious home of one Roy Otterson where a meeting of a local gay and lesbian activist group is to take place. Intimidated by not only the grandeur of the home but by it's occupants, Luke quickly finds himself relegated to the kitchen drafted to the "cheese brigade" where houseboy Kelly Rodriguez and live-in playwright Mortimer demonstrate the proper size and shape for the cheese cubes to be served during the meeting.

One by one, members of this illustrious activist group arrive at the meeting quickly turned party and Luke begins to wonder if perhaps this lifestyle is for him. But then Branch McPherson arrives whom Luke has admired from afar. Unfortunately, Luke has invited a date and when Charles (Chaz) Remsen arrives, his personality lights up the party more than the time square crystal ball on new years eve.

Edward C Patterson offers a hilarious and engaging look into the challenges and opportunities one faces when coming out. Each of Patterson's characters are carefully crafted and I enjoyed meeting each one and seeing how their hopes, fears, desires, and manias would play out as the ever building collision course of personalities, hormones, jealousies, agendas, and love climaxed at the novel's conclusion.

As I read Cutting the Cheese, I couldn't help but be reminded of The Birdcage though Patterson's characters are more engaging and entertaining than the best Nathan Lane produced on the big screen. Patterson's humor and cadence are spot-on throughout. For cheese lovers, Patterson offers no less than twenty-eight different cheeses as titles for each of his chapters - enjoy!

Review by Rebecca Lerwill (Utah, U.S.A.)

4.5 stars for a 5-star laugh

A previous reviewer called Ed Patterson's Cutting the Cheese a reminder of an old-fashioned stage play. That was exactly my thought about 5 pages into this sinfully wicked rib-tickler.

Newbie' Luke - just coming out - is about to join a group of gay activists (male and female) who are meeting at the pompous place of elderly, slightly narcissistic and very horny Roy Otterson. Matter of fact; every (male) attendee of this meeting seems to be driven less by the urge to cut the large amount of Cheddar Sharp into the right sized cubes, but more by an overdose of testosterone. Newbie Luke, a bit on the shy and uncertain side, and just trying to ease himself into the pool of madness, gets rattled around by this group of crotch-ogling characters. While the seriousness of the meeting quickly escalates into a full-fetched full-Monty, Luke finds himself standing true to his feelings and his yearn for romance.

Being a straight woman, I can't possibly understand what it must be like to `come out' and deal not just with family, society, but most of all - myself, as a homosexual. With Cutting the Cheese, Ed Patterson allows us a glimpse of the Gay Hierarchy, as he calls it on the back cover of his vividly written novel. A very hilarious glimpse, but still with enough depth to linger. The characters breath reality just as much as the dialogue rings in true tones.

As previously mentioned, a well-cast stage-play would do this book justice. Let's just hope that Robert Carlyle and John Cleese are available when casting begins.

Rebecca Lerwill, author of The Acronym - White Nights of St. Petersburg

Plenty of cheese to keep the reader cracking up!
Review by J.R. Reardon (Washington, D.C.)

I have to agree with other reviews....Edward C. Patterson's CUTTING THE CHEESE, a lighthearted look at Luke Oliver, a shy man who has just come out of the closet and attends a Gay and Lesbian Activist Association meeting/dinner party, could easily be adapted into a stage play.

Patterson's cleverness and sharp wit shines in this fast paced novel. There is plenty of cheese to keep the reader crack-ing up!

Review by Geoffrey A. Snyder (Dallas, TX)

Decent Coming Out Story

I have mixed feelings on this book. The story line of Luke's coming out was well done. The image of him sitting in the dark trying to work up the nerve to call a gay support line made me want to hug him. However, the older queens were just over the top. They were snippy and catty and flowery and pretty much gayer than anyone in my circle of older queens - they, and the lesbians - were a distraction.

In the kindle edition, there are a couple formatting issues, but nothing to get overly excited about. Overall, I enjoyed the book but wanted it to be tighter.

Review by Yale Jaffe

Broadway Here It Comes, January 16, 2010

Edward C. Patterson's Cutting the Cheese is a short, laugh out loud yarn about the interactions of several characters at a gay and lesbian activist meeting. The action takes place at the mansion of a wealthy benefactor and supporter of the cause. This book reminded me that the gay community is not homogenous - there are solid citizens, committed activists, leeches, innocents, powerful rich, and others.

The plotline moves along with anticipation. Early on, we are told of Luke's late-arriving date - who is he? Does anyone know him? And, while we awaited this arrival, we learn more and more about each character. The dialogue is excellent, and had me audibly laughing at several passages. The character studies while anticipating the arrival of Chaz reminds me of Beckett's Waiting For Godot.

This book deserves to made into a play - the diverse range of characters would keep any audience interested, while the dialogue would have them laughing and thinking.

Review by Ellen George (Atlanta, GA)

An introduction into the Robert's Rules of Disorder

Poor Luke Oliver. He is young. He is successful. He has just come out of the closet and has been invited to a meeting of the Gay and Lesbian Activist Association of New Birch and Sipsboro (GLAABS).

GLAABS is gay political causus that while the gays and lesbians butt heads, the newbie members clearly go to the heirarchy of GLAABS by doing the meanial work of cutting and setting up cheese and goodies served at the meetings. It is not a pretty job, but you surely can get the scoop on all the members of the group. And a room filled with so many types of cheese gets pretty ripe after a while.

Luke invited a date, but he will be late. In the meantime, he sees someone he has admired from afar.
The hilarious banter between Gays and Lesbians will have you laughing out loud, as you will feel how out of place Luke is starting to feel.

Perhaps just having Luke be Luke and not what an organization of clubbers turn
ed partygoers want him to be would be the way to go. But Luke, like all of us, straight or gay, needs to find out for himself.
Although I am into Mr. Patterson's wonderful Jade Owl Series and the companion Sister series, there has never been a book I've read of his that is not written to the T's and whatever the genre plain wonderfully good reading.

An interesting experience to those of us uninitiated, but you'll love all the characters and be able to say you know some of them in your office, or church or, oh my! another organization you belong to!

A fun read!