Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Edward C Patterson
Available: Paperback, Kindle
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 Bird Cage 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!