Raised in Massachusetts and educated in New York, Ben is a Northeast transplant that has spent the l...
The Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man11 December 2013, by Benjamin Garstka
Just in time for the holidays, Simon Woolcot releases his book The Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man. Experience the trials and tribulations of a supremely superficial Londoner turned Amsterdammer as he describes a month of his life as a spoiled expat in the Dutch capital.
Simon Woolcot began his journey as an expat nine years ago, when he arrived in the Netherlands for what was supposed to be a six-month assignment.
Flash-forward and this oblivious Brit with a taste for fine dining, tailor-made suits and womanising received a challenge in self-reflection from his friend Anna, who kindly phrases his existence as "living the equivalent of a worm’s grave" (read: extremely shallow). Her idea is that Simon will only realise the hollowness of his life if he writes it down. Thankfully, for the enjoyment of the reader, that’s exactly what he did.
About the book
Taking place from June to July, the book is written in the form of a diary and divided into seven thematic sections according to sin: lust, greed, gluttony, envy, sloth, pride and wrath.
Within these chapters, Woolcot hilariously recounts his adventures in dating Dutch women, romps in sex clubs, poignant observations on daily dilemmas that come with living in Amsterdam (how to catch those bewilderingly smart Dutch mice anyone?) and wider cultural trends (like clues for judging contacts via social media platform "Stalkbook"). Through his personal vignettes and keen cultural perception, the witty, sarcastic and absolutely comedic tone shines.
The frustratingly funny nonchalance of Woolcot encourages the reader to love-to-hate-to-love him. His exploits are entertaining, his narrative voice remarkably perceptive even as it is colloquial, and the subject matter undeniably relatable to expatriates, the Dutch and visitors alike.
The Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man makes the perfect holiday gift for anyone who has experienced or is curious about life in Amsterdam and the expat social scene!
About the author
Along with being the man behind amsterdamshallowman.com, Simon Woolcot is an IT director by day and our protagonist with a knack for revealing Amsterdam’s subtleties from a very particular perspective.
Preferring colourful ties and a rigorous grooming routine, Woolcot is the successful expat with a good job, a busy social life and a profound sense of (British) humour that elevates mundane cultural differences to hilarity in his writings on Amsterdam.
Or, try your luck to win one of five free copies by entering our competition here!