By: David Wienir
Published Year: 2018
Publisher: DeWallen Press
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this book.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Amsterdam Exposed tells the true one-of-a-kind story of an innocent exchange student who moves to Amsterdam hoping to write a book about the red light district and everything that follows. It’s an American abroad story, and also a love story; it’s an uplifting tragedy, full of humor from beginning to end; it’s an Amsterdam survival guide; a sympathetic look at a societal problem; a little piece of policy; a sweet farewell to a world just about gone; and, ultimately, as close as you can come to a free trip to Amsterdam without leaving your couch. In sum, Amsterdam Exposed takes readers deep into the district on a journey never before possible, forever reshaping their understanding of one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world, and the women who work there. If you’ve ever spent time in Amsterdam, or dreamed of doing so, this book’s for you.
The cover drew me in, but the synopsis made me nervous. I'm glad that this cover is so beautiful, because without it, I don't think I would have even read the synopsis. Having never been to Amsterdam and always enjoying travel, I thought this could be an interesting book. I was a little wary about it being non-fiction.
What I thought
This is a fascinating story of the red light district of Amsterdam in 1999. I felt as though I traveled to Amsterdam without leaving the comfort of my couch.
David is a law student who decides to study abroad for a semester in Holland. While he is there to study law, his main motive is to get into the dark underbelly of the Red Light District and write a book about the women who work there. This book is the one that he set off to Holland to create 18 years ago, and talks about how he finally got there.
What was so interesting about this story is that I knew nothing about the Red Light District. I knew that drugs and prostitution were accepted and common. Since those are not things I'm interested in, I never took an interest in learning more about the Red Light District.
This book shared with me a history I knew nothing about and both fascinated me and broke my heart. It's an easy read and David does a wonderful job at shedding light on the grittiness and sadness that is the truth of the Red Light District.
I think that this story could make a wonderful movie, but I wish that there had been more to the story of David's life outside of the Red Light District. I'm curious what else he did while he was there and some of his law school interactions. I guess over time, he felt as though that wasn't the part of the story he wanted to tell. The book is surprisingly short, and I'm even more curious about why it took him 18 years to finally write this story.