Amsterdam Exposed: An American’s Journey Into The Red Light District by David Wienir book review


Synopsis (as taken from 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.


This book gives a sharp, brilliant eye to detail. The author gives us a take on one of Europe’s most discussed places: The Red Light District. The detail in this novel is told via names of streets, cafes, and fully descriptive details of each place, taking us on the journey along David as he recounts his time spent there.

This memoir is truly groundbreaking and one of its time. David breaks through what we think we know of this place and shows us what it truly is. This famous tourist attraction is not just sex and neon-lit streets but rather one full of pain and heartbreak. David lifts the veil and shows us the lives of the women that work here and what they endure to survive.

One questions how can such a place be so dark when its so brilliantly lit. When the reader travels with David in this book we are pulled from our comfort zones as we wish to pull through the novel and help the women in this district from such a horrible fate.

This memoir truly is evocative. This emotional story is one heck of a ride from start to finish. I normally don’t read many memoirs but this one fascinated me, when I saw the cover and saw the description. The cover to me speaks of the memoir itself. This cover is beautiful and captivating from the outside but once you get inside the cover (to the actual story) it is heartbreaking and emotional, much like what David describes The Red Light District to truly be. Beauty on the outside but at closer look it is full of secrets, heartaches and so much more.

5/5 stars from me.

***I received an e-copy of this title from NetGalley via the publisher***

  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Publisher: De Wallen Press (May 1, 2018)
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2018
  • Shelved: Memoir, Travel, Nonfiction

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