Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee

We Bought a Zoo
by Benjamin Mee
Anchor Canada (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-385-66622-0
Buy From Indigo 
Dartmoor Zoo:

Description: The house hunt of author Benjamin Mee and his wife, Katherine, ended with an unusual, even bizarre solution: The pair decided to move into a ramshackle zoo in the English countryside. Mee had a degree in psychology and specializes in animal behavior, but not even he could have imagined the complexities of holding sway over more than 200 exotic animals. Almost immediately, the project of reopening the zoo as a family business ran into financial -- and four-footed -- obstacles. Then a major tragedy broke: Katherine's brain tumor recurred and she died at the age of 40. Through it all, the family persevered, and in July 2007, the zoo reopened under Mee management. A bittersweet story about creatures sharing one another's company

The Good Stuff
  • Heartwarming and hilarious and honest
  • I am in total awe of this man and his family and what they accomplished against all odds, truly inspiring
  • It's about family and zoo animals -- what's not to like
  • There are Otters - OK only 1 paragraph (Pg 74), but anyone who mentions otters is cool with me
  • Talks about Gay Animals -- yup its true (take that homophobes)
  • Liked authors writing style
  • Interesting to hear about the inner workings and challenges of running a zoo
  • Author is just extremely likable and you really feel his love for his wife
  • Learned so much
  • Now REALLY want to see the movie
The Not So Good Stuff
  •  Have a sudden urge to go see this zoo -- people I do not have the time and money to do this (hell at least I have a Zoo membership)
  • It made me cry (not a bad thing, but I sick, crying makes my body feel even crappier)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I was the mad Englishman they were the slightly bemused French country folk - tolerant, kind, courteous, and yet, inevitably, hugely judgmental."

"I am reasonably convinced he had high-functioning Asperger's syndrome. For the first, and last, time in our conversation, he looked me in the eye and smiled, as if to say, "So you like Tumors too?" and excitedly introduced me to his team." (While his wife was being taken in for surgery)

"The vet arrived with the necessary sedatives, on on the third attempt Sovereign was successfully darted, although unfortunately, it appeared, in the tip of his sheath, and he jumped around angrily until he began to slow down, scowling and prowling, glaring at us through the wire. You got the impression he was memorizing faces, so that if he got out again he'd know whom to punish for this indignity."

"... I had always wanted to dedicate to free-ranging monkeys, and to my father, Ben Harry Mee, who had provided the funds for the park --albeit unwittingly and posthumously, and absolutely certainly (had he been alive) unwillingly."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Anyone and everyone

5 Dewey's

I received this From Random House in Exchange for an Honest Review -- thanks guys I was home sick and you made me cry with this one


  1. I actually really want to read this book AND see the movie. I featured the movie trailer in one of my weekly posts a month ago and since then this book has been on my radar. :) Guess I should pick it up soon! :)

  2. I agree Chrystal : ) Don't forget the kleenex

  3. I don't have time to read it, but you have definitely put the movie on my must see list.

  4. Stacy - I can't wait to see the movie too : )