The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
Trust Hollywood to transpose an eccentric and quintessentially British tale into an overly sentimental tearjerker set in the US.
Directed and co-written by Cameron Crowe, We Bought A Zoo is based on freelance writer Benjamin Mee's book about how he, his mother and his siblings bought Dartmoor Zoo and turned it into a tourist attraction.
The film centres on Mee losing his wife and soul-mate to cancer and purchasing a run down zoo to give a fresh start to his two young children.
Essentially about grief and overcoming adversity, it’s saved by the fine performances from its A-list cast Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church. In typical Crowe fashion it is funny, moving and passionate.
Yet it bears merely a passing resemblance to Mee's truly awe-inspiring story.
No doubt it will help to encourage thousands to flock to the real-life Dartmoor Zoo.