Home / About the book, the Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man

About the book, the Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man

The Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man

Simon Woolcot began his journey as an expat eleven 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 is the perfect book for anyone who has experienced or is curious about life in Amsterdam and the expat social scene!

The book can be ordered from BOL.com or Amazon

Portrait of the shallow man
Portrait of the shallow man



Click here to buy a copy of the Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man available from BOL.com. and of course Amazon.


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Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man
Warning, this book contains sarcasm
  • Alex

    Dear Shallow Man,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your book. Your scathing yet humorous (humorously scathing more like, but I will pretend to be a good person) commentary on the dear Nederlanders made me chuckle many a time.

    One thing to note: If you are going to truly commit to your hyper-pretentious American Psycho-esque self, I would suggest investing in a committed editor and/or spell-checker. Men of high standards do not spelling errors make (well they do, but then they have interns to correct them), and there is something off about reading a book about the Netherlands written by a man that cannot spell ‘Albert Heijn’ (note the lange ij).


    • Simon Woolcot

      Fair comments Alex and thanks a lot for the feedback. If you wouldn’t mind writing a review on BOL or Amazon depending on where you bought the book from, that would be great.


  • Kim

    Great book!

    After a sleepless night last night, scrolling through my kindle recommendations I came across this book and was curious as I am preparing to leave Amsterdam after 20 years for London. If I ever need to remember the good times and bad, I will reread this book! Some experiences came too close to the mark… and some of the reasons I am leaving this wonderful country have been mentioned in great detail… .. Not quite finished the book but it kept me entertained for a few hours yesterday.. Many thanks Simon


    • Simon Woolcot

      Thanks a lot Kim, much appreciated.

  • Iris Wester

    Absolutely looove your writing. Yes, we’re terrible.. but since you expats steal our best apartments, it balances it out 😉 Used to live in East London as well (Finsbury), so I know the flipside 😉 consider moving to Utrecht.. no Dutch would want to be found dead in Amsterdam these days. And I’m pretty sure your quite Dutch by now. Been to hospital yet? Isn’t it lovely? Xoxo and keep it up Shallow Man!

    • Sorry for the late reply, but thank you. Utrecht is very pretty, but about as ethnically diverse as the Dutch female hockey team 😀 You’ve lived in London, I like to live in cities with a multicultural population 😀 I’m about as Dutch as Dr Dre 😉