Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Elephant Man” as Want to Read:
Elephant Man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Elephant Man

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,026 ratings  ·  51 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
Mass Market Paperback, 281 pages
Published November 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1980)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Elephant Man, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Elephant Man

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,675)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
From the moment I picked up The Elephant Man, John Merrick latched himself onto my soul and stirred and awakened an even greater empathy within me. The Elephant Man is the heartbreaking tale of John Merrick, an Englishman born with major deformities. He was ridiculed his whole life, but learned that not all people are evil under the care of Doctor Frederick Treves. This book was heartbreaking, but honest, which I appreciated. It did not seem to sugar-coat the life of Merrick and it inspired me t ...more
Maha Ebraheem
رواية حزينة جداً
قرأتها في طريق سفر

أول رواية قرأتها بالإنجليزية المبسطة
استمتعت بقرائتها
The most heart felt book I have ever read. It will capture your heart the first chapter.
Andrew Torres
This was another book that I only read excerpts from back in high school. To repeat myself, I most likely would not have appreciated it back then as much as I did right now.

Based on the 1980 black & white film directed by David Lynch (yes, the book is actually based on the movie this time around), I was conflicted if I should watch the movie first or actually just take the time into reading it. Reading it was the right choice, I believe. The book starts off slow and only begins to become a
Easily one of the best books I have ever read. It made me feel guilty for all the times I was mean to people growing up. This book will make you feel just about every emotion humans are capable of. I found a copy of The Elephant Man in my local used bookstore for $3.00. Best $3.00 I ever spent! I can't recommend this book enough.
I read this last spring and forgot to mark it. It was very interesting, poignant, sad, ugly, and beautiful all at once. Some parts I would rather not have read, so it wasn't perfect, but good overall.
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
MJ Atkinson
Heartbreaking and thought-provoking, if a bit under-edited.
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
مرد فیل نما فیلمی است به کارگردانی دیوید لینچ که در سال ساخته شده است. فیلم سعی در روایت زندگی تلخ جوزف مریک (در فیلم جان مریک) معلول از فرم افتاده انگلیسی در قرن 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
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 for their foolish, shallow judgement; yet I find asking for that seems to be rather impossible. But somehow I think he accomplished that by making few, true friends.
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jonathan Lanza
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 55 56 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
FHS English 12 - ...: Week Four 16 6 Mar 07, 2015 01:38PM  
FHS English 12 - ...: Week Two 5 5 Mar 04, 2015 02:30PM  
FHS English 12 - ...: Week One 8 8 Feb 20, 2015 12:50PM  
  • Beware of Cat: And Other Encounters of a Letter Carrier
  • Whose Life Is It Anyway?
  • Jag heter inte Miriam
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 1
  • Annie Hall: Screenplay
  • In Reckless Hands: Skinner v. Oklahoma and the Near-Triumph of American Eugenics
  • Freedom Road
  • Heinrich Himmler: The Sinister Life of the Head of the SS and Gestapo
  • The Cool War
  • Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald
  • The Prisoner of Second Avenue
  • American Wop -  Beaver Buffalo Buttons Brass Boxing and Beer: That's why you're here!
  • Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend
  • The Time Is Noon
  • Love Is a Wild Assault
  • Tropical Gangsters: One Man's Experience with Development and Decadence in Deepest Africa
  • Razor: Tilly Devine, Kate Leigh and the Razor Gangs
  • Our Man in Tehran: The True Story Behind the Secret Mission to Save Six Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Foreign Ambassador Who Worked with the CIA to Bring Them Home
Yanks More of the Good Life The Enigma Files Rising Damp Enigma Files

Share This Book