We Bought A Zoo

We Bought A Zoo

Paperback - 2011
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When Benjamin Mee decided to uproot his family and move them to an unlikely new home--a dilapidated zoo where more than 200 exotic animals would be their new neighbors--his friends and colleagues thought he was crazy. Mee's dream was to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business. The grand reopening was scheduled for spring, but there was much work to be done and none of it easy for the novice zookeepers. Tigers broke loose, money was tight, the staff grew skeptical, and family tensions reached a boiling point.

Then tragedy struck. Katherine, Ben's wife, had a recurrence of a brain tumor, forcing Benjamin and his two young children to face the heartbreak of illness and the devastating loss of a wife and mother. But inspired by the memory of Katherine and the healing power of the incredible family of animals they had grown to love; Benjamin and his kids resolved to move forward, and today the zoo is a thriving success.

Publisher: New York : Weinstein Books, [2011]
ISBN: 9781602861572
Characteristics: 261 p. ; 21 cm.


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Mar 20, 2015

The movie was great!mand I can't wait to read the book!

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 17, 2014

A former newspaper columnist and his young family buy a rundown zoo in the English countryside. Within a year, despite monumental financial uncertainties and heartbreaking personal tragedy, and with remarkable ingenuity, imagination and courage, they manage to licence and open the revitalized zoo. For anyone who loves animals, this is a remarkable story of a family who lived their dreams.

mkarolyi Sep 14, 2012

A compelling memoir (although it could have done with a bit more editing to improve the flow of the writing; given the author is a journalist, I was surprised by the lack of continuity in some sections). I read the book after watching the ('romanticized') Hollywood movie and found the book much more satisfying than the movie. I, too, would like to see the BBC series that was made during the actual purchase and renovation process. It's too bad Hollywood took out some of the best bits of the story and condensed the rest to make it more 'sell-able' to an American audience.

Sep 04, 2012

This is very interesting, though not always all that compellingly written. Haven't seen the movie yet but plan to, but have the feeling many liberties were taken.... Would really like to see the BBC TV series, Ben's Zoo, made during the renovation and reopening of the Dartmoor Zoological Park (DZP). It sounds as though it would be very interesting too.

Jul 01, 2012

Not just based on a true story, this is the story of how a family bought a rundown zoo in England and, with a lot of sweat, tears, fear, and even a few laughs, were able to open the zoo to overwhelming success. You can even go in the internet and see their web page. Fun to read and interesting to think about, it really shows you can do anything you set your mind to do if you are willing to work for it. Inspirational.

jdaigle3 Jun 25, 2012

Great read, story is a little more disjointed than I'd like so the flow was off a bit. FAR better than the movie, although both are equally heart wrenching at points.

May 29, 2012

A great story about people who care about animals, but the truth of the story doesn't come out; wild animals should not be kept in confinement for human entertainment.

Incinerated_Newt May 03, 2012

A fun read, but not as engaging as I'd hoped. I'm curious to see the movie, though.

Jan 30, 2012

Loved this book.

Dec 06, 2011

"We bought a zoo" isn't just a story about buying a zoo. The section about Mee losing his wife was unexpected and quite good. However, most of the book is about buying a zoo and getting it ready to re-open after years of neglect. And, there were animal stories scattered throughout. Definitley, a fun read.

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