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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 05/2018
  • 9780999355909
  • 264 pages
  • $12.95
Ebook Details
  • 05/2018
  • 9780999355909
  • 264 pages
  • $4.99
Amsterdam Exposed: An American's Journey Into The Red Light District
David Wienir, author

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

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.
Reviews
In this uneven memoir, entertainment lawyer and author (Making It on Broadway) Wienir shares the events of his 1999 journey to Amsterdam, where he spent his last semester of law school. He aims to “take readers on a journey deeper into [Amsterdam’s red-light] district than they could ever go before.” But Wienir, writing from the point of view of the 26-year-old he was, has a more personal and idealistic agenda as he searches for a woman who works as a prostitute to guide him through the district. He meets a young woman named Emma who agrees to guide him, hoping “to restore [her] self-worth”and perhaps change her life. Wienir gives the reader a sense of the district’s “addictive” power (“There was a sense of immediacy, a feeling it might be the last night on Earth”), as well as its hard-nosed business rules (“Never ask for a discount.... Agree on when the clock starts ticking”). Wienir’s book, however, becomes less about the district and more about his obsession with Emma, with whom he felt “a connection from the second we met,” although he never became her customer. Emma eventually left her work as a prostitute, got engaged, and had a daughter, and she and Wienir fell out of touch. Wienir’s is an honest though naive look into the workings of Amsterdam’s red-light district, and an earnest though juvenile search for love. (BookLife)
Kirkus Reviews

A memoir chronicling the education of a naïve American law school exchange student in Amsterdam in the late 1990s.

In a book that the author describes as part tragicomedy, part “survival guide,” Hollywood entertainment attorney Wienir (Making It on Broadway, 2004, etc.) chronicles his experiences during his third year at the University of California, Berkeley, law school, during which he moved to the Netherlands for a four-month semester. Although the purpose of his sojourn was to get legal experience abroad, Wienir also had intentions to write a book about Amsterdam’s notorious red-light district. He was hoping to dispel widespread misconceptions about it and offer a closer look into the area and its workers. After several weeks of culture shock, he learned a lot more than just the Dutch language.

The wonderfully curious author describes the city as a “wonderland” of cannabis coffee shops, bicycle culture, and historical regions. He offers accounts of his adventures attempting to chat up sex workers for his book project (most rejected his offer) and excitedly befriending new drinking buddies. But he also offers astute observations, opinions, and an insider’s perspective on Amsterdam’s city-sanctioned prostitution. He brings his stories of sex workers—such as Emma, with whom he became emotionally connected—to vivid life with recollections of impassioned conversation and well-meaning friendship, and the overall tone never lapses into pity or judgment.

Overall, Wienir is a delightfully frank tour guide, uniquely describing the district (including its 10 unspoken “commandments”) and drawing readers deep inside its sexy, neon-lit world. However, this book is not for the timid; the author doesn’t skimp on the details of his subjects’ professional escapades, nor does he underplay the emotional impact of his time in Amsterdam.

A provocative, enlightening, humorous, and impressively executed guide to Amsterdam’s twilight world.

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 05/2018
  • 9780999355909
  • 264 pages
  • $12.95
Ebook Details
  • 05/2018
  • 9780999355909
  • 264 pages
  • $4.99

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