We Bought A Zoo – By Benjamin Mee

Hey Jared,

This is a book off my shelf (Bookshelf Blitz!) that I’ve been curious about since I watched the movie. It really is just a secret childhood fantasy that someone managed to actually do it.

we_bought_a_zoo_book_coverTitle: We Bought a Zoo
Author: Benjamin Mee
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: UK, Zoo, Animals, Fulfilling Dreams
Synopsis: Benjamin Mee decided to uproot his family and move them to an unlikely new home: a dilapidated zoo on the English countryside, complete with over 200 exotic animals. It was his dream to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business. There was much work to be done, and none of it easy. Tigers broke loose, money ran low, the staff grew skeptical, and family tensions ran high. Then tragedy struck. His wife had a recurrence of a brain tumor, forcing Benjamin and his children to face the heartbreak of illness and the devastating loss of a wife and mother. But inspired by her memory and the healing power of the incredible family of animals they had grown to love, Benjamin and his kids resovled to move forward. The Mee family opened the gates of the revitalized zoo in July 2007.
Recommendation: An interesting look at this once in a lifetime experience. For those who enjoy non-fiction.

This book is way outside my preferred genres. I like animals and the idea of buying and running a zoo is an intriguing one. First this is a memoir, so it’s focus isn’t about being factual or telling a narrative. Instead it’s someone telling their experiences.

The style isn’t one of my favorites but I still thought it was pretty good. My single complaint is in regards to the over-all flow. Numerous times the author would focus on a specific line or series of thought over several months just to jump back in time to follow another. A couple of these were nice and well deserved but on the whole I found it jarring.

I’ve seen the movie but that was quite a while ago, so I was surprised to find that the Zoo is located in the UK. I do think it’s probably better that movie, but only because we get so much more context and details. The movie does make it more palatable and entertaining.

I hoping to rewatch the movie soon so I can give a better comparison.

I’m having trouble finding anything else to write, since plot, characters, or magic don’t really apply…….so I’m just going to leave this here. In summary, it was decent and I’m glad I read it even if it’s just to assuage my curiosity.



We Bought A Zoo – By Benjamin Mee

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