Zoo Story by Thomas French
Life in the Garden of Captives

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"This story, told by a master teller of such things, does more than take you inside the cages, fences, and walls of a zoo. It takes you inside the human heart, and an elephant's, and a primate's, and on and on. Tom French did in this book what he always does. He took real life and wrote it down for us, with eloquence and feeling and aching detail."
-Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author

"An insightful and detailed look at the complex life of a zoo and its denizens, both animal and human."
-Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi and Beatrice and Virgil

Welcome to the savage and surprising world of Zoo Story, an unprecedented account of the secret life of a zoo and its inhabitants. Based on six years of research, the book follows a handful of unforgettable characters at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo: an alpha chimp with a weakness for blondes, a ferocious tiger who revels in Obsession perfume, and a brilliant but tyrannical CEO known as El Diablo Blanco.

The sweeping narrative takes the reader from the African savannah to the forests of Panama and deep into the inner workings of a place some describe as a sanctuary and others condemn as a prison. Zoo Story shows us how these remarkable individuals live, how some die, and what their experiences reveal about the human desire to both exalt and control nature.

About Thomas French

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Thomas French has been a reporter at the St. Petersburg Times for the past 27 year. He is the author of two books and won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for Angels & Demons, a seven part series detailing the the murders of Jo, Michelle and Christe Rogers and the eventual capture of the murderer, Oba Chandler.
Published July 6, 2010 by Hachette Books. 309 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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An in-depth look behind the gates of an American zoo.

Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Zoo Story: Life in the Garden...

Publishers Weekly

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Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist French goes behind the scenes at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo in this absorbing and balanced account that reveals extinction, conservation, and captivity issues in all thei

Apr 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Zoo Story: Life in the Garden...

Bookmarks Magazine

French adroitly mixes the sordid details of Lowry Park with a "big-picture" approach, avoiding the finger-pointing and polemic that so often accompanies discussions of zoos.

Jul 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Zoo Story: Life in the Garden...

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