Download Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives Audiobook

Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives Audiobook, by Thomas French Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Thomas French Narrator: John Allen Nelson Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2010 ISBN: 9781400188833
3.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 5 3.67 (6 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Welcome to the savage and surprising world of Zoo Story, an unprecedented account of the secret life of a zoo and its inhabitants, both animal and human. 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.

Zoo Story crackles with issues of global urgency: the shadow of extinction, humanity's role in the destruction or survival of other species. More than anything else, though, it's a dramatic and moving true story of seduction and betrayal, exile and loss, and the limits of freedom on an overcrowded planet—all framed inside one zoo reinventing itself for the twenty-first century.

Thomas French, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, chronicles the action with vivid power: Wild elephants soaring above the Atlantic on their way to captivity. Predators circling each other in a lethal mating dance. Primates plotting the overthrow of their king. The sweeping narrative takes the listener 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. All of it comes to life in the book's four-legged characters.

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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • The book captures the fascination humans have with animals, and vice versa, and raises questions about the purpose and management of zoos. Kirkus Starred Review

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abby | 5/11/2011

    " Interesting story about Tampa Bay zoo. I thought it was interestingly written. I would recommend it to anyone who ponders over the zoo/wild problem. Or to anyone who enjoys some great animal stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liyana | 5/4/2011

    " Must read for all animal lovers who are conflicted over the existence of Zoos & its purpose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 benny | 4/4/2011

    " Must read for animal lovers and rescuers. At times heartbreaking but an interesting behind the scenes view of zoo life. The good and the bad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 3/6/2011

    " A rambling story, centered about Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida. I found it a good read and enjoyed the insights into the lives of the animals. I didn't expect the "political" intrigue and drama about the humans. Overall worthwhile. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katty | 2/10/2011

    " I am so glad I read this book, but it was a hard read at times. the book totally focused on the gray areas of zoos, animal confinement and human relations with "wild"and wild animals. It is an important story and I'm glad someone told it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 1/27/2011

    " An interesting look at behind-the-scenes life at the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida. "

About the Author

Thomas French was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and many other honors for his writing during his three decades as a reporter at Florida’s St. Petersburg Times. He is the author of Unanswered Cries and South of Heaven and currently holds the Riley Endowed Chair in Journalism at Indiana University. French is also a writing fellow at the Poynter Institute.

About the Narrator

John Allen Nelson’s critically acclaimed roles on television’s 24 and Vanished are among the highlights of his twenty-five-plus years as an actor, screenwriter, and film producer. As a narrator, he won an AudioFile Earphones Award for his reading of Zoo Story by Thomas French.