We Bought a Zoo

Benjamin Mee, Author . Weinstein $24.95 (261p) ISBN 978-1-60286-048-3

Between his wife Katherine's diagnosis of glioblastoma and her quiet death less than three years later, Mee (The Call of DIY ), his siblings and his mother bought a bedraggled zoo, complete with decaying buildings, a ragtag group of animals, an eclectic staff and a reputation that had been quickly going to the wolves. In this occasionally charming (to his children: “Quiet. Daddy's trying to buy a zoo”) but overly wordy book, Mee writes about caring for his dying wife and their two young children, dealing with Code Red emergencies (when a dangerous animal escapes its confines), hiring staff, learning about his new two- and four-footed charges and setting his sights on refurbishing his zoo into a sanctuary for breeding and raising endangered animals. Mee tends to meander with too-long explanations for one-sentence points, and the awe he feels about each individual animal is repetitive. Coupled with Britishisms that are never explained and a curious lack of varied wild animal stories, this book that was obviously meant to make animal lovers roar with pleasure will only make them whine with frustration. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/14/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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