Elephant Man
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Elephant Man

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  909 ratings  ·  47 reviews
John Merrick had lived for more than twenty years imprisoned in a body that condemned him to a miserable life in the workhouse and to humiliation as a circus sideshow freak. But beneath that tragic exterior, within that enormous and deformed head, thrived the soul of a poet, the heart of a dreamer, the longings of a man. Based on the extraordinary motion picture that captu...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1980)
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The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternWater for Elephants by Sara GruenGeek Love by Katherine DunnSomething Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburyThe Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
Circus/Carnival Books
46th out of 224 books — 553 voters
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LerouxLover Awakened by J.R. WardJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëDark Lover by J.R. WardThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Best Fiction With Disfigured/Disabled Leads
322nd out of 751 books — 851 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sean Meriwether
I believe this is one of the first books I’ve read that is based on the movie, rather than vice versa. At times it crosses the line into sentimentality, but romantics will take heart and a handful of tissues. Both the movie and the book condensed and misrepresented the real history of the real Elephant Man for dramatic effect. They also got his name wrong; it was Joseph and not John, but this is a common mistake attributed to his doctor’s memoir. However, what Christine Sparks captures is the hu...more
What a sad life experience. I'm glad Mr. Merrick good some light, love and peace in his life. It was beautiful, better than I expected with the book being based on a movie (though based on real life) and the emotions and experiences of Mr. Merrick and the doctor were well expressed. It made me feel sad, brought tears to my eyes during the horrible moments and i felt with Mr. Merrick - his terror, sadness and fear but also the small, or for him, big joys he got - his books, portraits, everyday th...more
Maha Ebraheem
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The most heart felt book I have ever read. It will capture your heart the first chapter.
The fact that I read this book for my sisters as a bed-story still freaks me out. Saddened for the ending as I wanted him to prove everyone how wrong they were about him as they judge him with their cruel shallowness, yet asking for that seems impossible. And yet somehow he accomplished that by making few, true friends.
Dupsie Oriyomi
As someone who has never watched the movie of the elephant man, I have to say that this is a beautiful, beautiful book. It really touched my heart and I fell so sorry for John Merrick (a.k.a. Joseph Merrick). The characters really touched my heart with their kindness and patience. This is book that I bought in hardcover and have now borrowed it to a friend to read. I fell in love with this book and even though it reminded me a little of Phantom by Susan Kay, the main difference was that the elep...more
A good story, but not the best writing. It shows both how cruel people can be as well as how loving and kind people can be. One thought I had was that the situation at the end of the story could have been avoided if John would have had courage to stand up to the bully, Renshaw, in the beginning. Also I could have done without the event on pages 77 & 78. I know it was included to make Renshaw even more despicable, but he was horrible enough. I don’t think that horrific event needed to be incl...more
Saman Kashi
May 01, 2008 Saman Kashi added it
Shelves: screenplay
مرد فیل نما فیلمی است به کارگردانی دیوید لینچ‌ که در سال ۱۹۸۰ ساخته شده است. فیلم سعی در روایت زندگی تلخ جوزف مریک (در فیلم جان مریک) معلول از فرم افتاده انگلیسی در قرن ۱۹ دارد. فیلم در زمان خود نامزد دریافت هشت جایزه اسکار از جمله بهترین فیلم شد که موفق به دریافت هیچ‌کدام نشد. این فیلم سیاه و سفید فیلمبرداری شده است و فیلمنامه آن هم اقتباسی از داستان«مرد فیل نما و خاطرات دیگر» نوشته سِر فردریک ترِوِس بود
لينك اين فيلم را در پايين مي‌گذارم
Gary Fowler
Written and published in 1980, based on the well-received movie of the same name and year. Both the book and the movie were very effective, at least for me: I saw the movie in one sitting (of course!), and just today read the book in one sitting.
Historically accurate? Close but not quite; but that did not diminish my enjoyment.
John Easton
Like the film, Elephant Man separates from true life but the turn is nonetheless an interesting one and worth reading. Mr. Merrick's decision to remain honorable and kind in the face of human cruelty is both admirable and inspiring. The story is a reminder for me to be mindful of my own prejudices and actions.
Horrifying story based on the truth about the disease. The true horror and glory cannot come through from the pages. This is a classic case where the award winning film version stuns you into watching one of the great stories of fortitude and compassion. Brilliant acting, script and cinematography
Raquel Daponte
Despite the fact that John Merrick is horribly disfigured he is beautiful to his core. A character you can't help but fall in love with rooting for him every step of the way. Definitely one of my top favorite stories of all time!!!
This story as it is was really sad and compelling. I thought it was really good taken as it is but it is grossly innacurate when it comes to John Merick's real life which I can be ok with because it's presented as fiction.
Aug 17, 2008 Rachael rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rachael by: mom
I can't explain why I love this book. I have read this mulitple times. It is heartbreaking but beautiful. Everyone has feelings and everyone needs to be loved. Beware: I have never been able complete it without crying.
It was a really good story, with some really moving parts; however, it is a little weak in writing style. It was as easy to read as a Nancy Drew book; it would fit better in a 5th or 6th grade reading class.
Oct 20, 2008 Kymberly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Kymberly by: Always wanted to read this book
Shelves: favorites
One of the greatest books I have ever read. Got three chapters to go!!!!10/18/08

10/20/08 I finished this book last night. I cried it was so sad. One of the greatest stories of compassion.
Interesting story- read most of it during an e.r. wait for x-rays. (Nothing's broken!) This makes me think about how superficial we are, judging so much from the outward appearance.
Heather Gessling
I was surprised to enjoy this book. It is disturbing and the elephant man reminds me of Frankenstein the monster. You end up rooting for him to create a better life.
Not particularly well written, nor is it very factually accurate, but John Merrick (the titular character) is fascinating & beautiful in all his many literary forms.
Amazing and touching book. Finished at 12:13. Sitting on the couch at home. Mom reading The Tiger Next to me on the other couch. Hazy and wet outside as the snow melts.
Ross Warren
Good book for an introduction.. I think there are some factual errors. Madge Kendal may have never met John, but she plays a central role near the end.
Haven't been on this site in a while, so I should probably update what I've read...I finished this about 2/3 months ago...pretty good. Really sad though...
I love this book. I watched the movie long before reading the book, and love them both. I've read it 3 times so far and like it more each time I read it(:
What a tragic story. I fought, and gave into, tears all through this book! What a journey, my heart was broken and healed several times throughout.
Zoha Trabelsi
I can't explain why I love this novel, It's so heartbreaking and depressing. but it will always be one of my most favorite books! <3
I liked it, although it wouldn't have been a book I picked out for myself. I will reserve my thoughts for book club.
Man, when I was in middle school I read this like four times. I'm weird. Why am I so weird?
One of the few books which made me cry. Don't let that put you off though, it is excellent.
This book makes me cry out loud and is the only book I can read over and over again.
Saeideh m
Jun 29, 2007 Saeideh m added it
Shelves: novel
well i didn't like the story ,actually it makes me feel sad . poor elephant man!
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