Sunday, October 12, 2014


Benjamen Mee
Doubleday Canada

The remarkable true story of a family who move into a rundown zoo– already a BBC documentary miniseries and excerpted in The Guardian.

In the market for a house and an adventure, Benjamin Mee moved his family to an unlikely new home: a dilapidated zoo in the English countryside. Mee had a dream to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business. His friends and colleagues thought he was crazy.

But in 2006, Mee and his wife with their two children, his brother, and his 76-year-old mother moved into the Dartmoor Wildlife Park. Their extended family now included: Solomon, an African lion and scourge of the local golf course; Zak, the rickety Alpha wolf, a broadly benevolent dictator clinging to power; Ronnie, a Brazilian tapir, easily capable of killing a man, but hopelessly soppy; and Sovereign, a jaguar and would-be ninja, who has devised a long term escape plan and implemented it.

Nothing was easy, given the family’s lack of experience as zookeepers, and what follows is a magical exploration of the mysteries of the animal kingdom, the power of family, and the triumph of hope over tragedy. We Bought a Zoo is a profoundly moving portrait of an unforgettable family living in the most extraordinary circumstances.


Way, way better than the movie, which is only loosely (very loosely) based on Mee's true story. This was simply amazing. I loved every word of this book. I listened to it on Audible, but would gladly read it too.

In the book, Mee's wife plays a very important role in the story and in the creation of the zoo, which is in London, not California! And his kids were very young. No teenager, like the movie! Ugh! Watching the film after listening to this book just ticked me off.

I highly recommend this book whether or not if you've seen the 2nd rate film. I give it:

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to like the movie so much more than I did. Glad to hear the book is a winner.