Ross Mclure, an ambitious and rather cocky graduate student, is given the chance of a lifetime: to conduct an experiment that tests the true liberation of the liberal-minded. After answering an ad for a fourth roommate to share space in an alternative living situation, Ross is invited to move in. His roommates are a homosexual, a practitioner of Wicca and a person with cerebral palsy. As part of his experiment, Ross decides to become the resident nudist. His roommates reluctantly accept his lifestyle (lest they be hypocrites), and the experiment continues exactly as planned--until Ross meets a homeless man named Maurice. Now the experiment changes.
If you were an unkempt homeless man standing next
to a young urban professional, who would you think
had the most success in life? If you saw a young urban
professional walking an unkempt homeless man
on a leash, who would you think was in control? Don’t
be so sure of your answer.
Creamy Nougat is a novel that deals with the human
quest for self-identity and peace of mind amidst physical,
racial, and socio-economic tensions.
Lighthearted and with shock value very much intact,
Creamy Nougat is a relatively comic account of issues
that are often broached with the utmost seriousness.
I love this book. It got into the crevices of my mind and made me think about how I define myself and relate to others, and what my (and all our) relationships are really based on. Assumptions? Prejudices? Fantasies?
Author Erec Smith has provocative things to say about how we so often relate to each other on the basis of how we appear and how we rarely get to know the unique delicious beauty each of us has at the center of our beings--the delectable "creamy nougat."
The well-drawn main characters in this story each have a different background. Individually, they're interesting. When they start interacting, things get downright fascinating. The story transported me right into its world, beginning with the first few (rather shocking) pages. That the novel is so artfully written is no surprise. Smith is an English professor at prestigious Drew University.
To sum up, anyone who likes a memorable read and is open to understanding life a little better will enjoy Creamy Nougat. It's delicious!
George Harold Jennings
“The battle to maintain an authentic sense of self can be unrelenting, as cleverly demonstrated in Erec Smith's novel, Creamy Nougat. It is a work that is both vivid and bold in giving the reader a look into a world where the psychology of identity, issues of diversity and marginalization are lived out by characters certain to entertain the imagination, and enliven the spirit. Yet, there remains an important message at the core of this work that is certain to trigger reflection and discussion, as Smith unhesitatingly creates a reading experience that promotes a deep appreciation of the strength it takes to genuinely accept others as well as ourselves."
“Smiths' characters, all tricksters on some level, attack the polite lies we live by in academic culture. With courage and honesty, Smith holds a mirror up to that culture, but even more courageously, to himself as an author. What does it mean to seek the alternative, the margins? What happens when we push the race, class, gender triad to its logical limits? Smith submerges us into an alternative culture engendered by the progressive liberal arts and demonstrates that being in the margins is not an automatic antidote for thoughtlessness.
The novel succeeds at revealing its theoretical underpinnings while at the same time sustaining its page-turning unpredictability. The novel's clarity interplays with its carnivalesque, comic, and surreal drive. The craziness is, of course, part of the author's trick to end each thread of the story with lasting epiphanies."
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