Friday, May 30, 2014

We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Changed Their Lives Forever

Author: Benjamin Mee
Stars: 1
Review by: Mandy Apgar

Firstly, anyone expecting a situation anything like the film do not bother. Writer and psychologist / amateur animal behavior therapist Benjamin Mee lives with his wife and two young children in France's wine country when he gets word that his parents are going to sell their large home in an exclusive London suburb. Relocating the family to England, they decide to invest their collective savings in an area zoo and begin the process of rehabilitation. Doing most of the work themselves, the Mees cope with the loss of Benjamin's wife and periodic animal escapes (a jaguar, tiger, etc.) after which they open the zoo to great acclaim. Hosting none of the film's bratty son backstory, subplots with sick animals or the tacked on romantic interest, the book is simply Mee and his story. Which in itself is great, however; if the events of the film were improbable, the book was still downright dull. Events are drawn out for too long and with a very small book with large print it is too often sidetracked and loses its charm.

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