Reviewed by Patricia Kooyman
I’m Dutch so I DO wear jeans. A lot. Almost all the time. And the first time Simon Woolcot voiced his objections to the Dutch preferred way of dressing, in The Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man, he actually made me laugh out loud. Repeating this aversion every other page in a way that is supposed to be funny but is actually exasperating did not.
Confessions… is a rather unromantic novel (I take it) disguised as a blog. It focusses on sex and drugs (sorry, no rock ‘n roll) and bashing the Dutch. All in very plain and factual prose with quite a few more language errors than I had hoped for, from a native speaker. Apparently nine years of living in Amsterdam has not softened Mr. Woolcot’s opinions on the Dutch, but he seems to have adapted to their sloppiness in using languages. On top of that he mangles the Dutch language by (just) misquoting or misspelling nouns and expressions.
But then his description of the ‘circle of death’ Dutch party made me laugh out loud again. And then I read some more about how bad it is to wear jeans. After that I opened up The Shallow Man Guide to Dating the Dutch. Most of the facts I am in a position to verify are certainly true. Yes, we do wear jeans a lot. Actually, most of the time. But filling a guide on dating with repetition, as if you’re trying to teach kindergarten pupils, does not work for me. Did I mention Mr. Woolcot’s aversion to jeans?
Unfortunately Mr. Woolcot’s sense of humour does not work for me. I hope it does for you, as signed copies might still be available.
You Review a Local Author: Books with an orange connection, reviewed by ABC customers.
Simon Woolcot presented his book at Meet My Book in March.