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Elephant Man

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,289 Ratings  ·  68 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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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booklady
I recall buying this book right after seeing David Lynch’s film of the same name back in the early 1980’s. The Elephant Man tells the moving and largely true story of Joseph* Merrick, (1862-1890) born in Leicester, England who suffered from an extremely severe case of neurofibromatosis and/or the result of a disease known as Proteus syndrome. His mother died when he was 11 and when his father remarried a year later, he left school to roll cigars in a factory but had to quit in a couple years bec ...more
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
ilknur a.k.a. iko ◬
lise 1'deyken, 10 saat ingilizce görüyorduk, anadolu liseliler bilir. işte bunun 4 saatinde farklı hoca giriyordu, bize penguin books'un eğitim amaçlı sadeleştirme yaptığı bi serisi var, person education, 3. seviye olan pre-intermediate, bazen de 4. seviye intermediate, onları aldırırdı. bu kitap onlardan biri.

tabi benim ingilizcem o zamanlar şahane falan değil. kitabı okumak gibi değil de daha çok audio-book gibi değerlendirsek daha güzel olur :D:D:D:D:D

neyse genelde hoca okudu, arada biz böyle
...more
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
Rebecca McNutt
A classic book about human dignity and the power of friendship, Elephant Man is the amazing and powerful story about a man with a rare mutation, practically held hostage by a "freak show" owner at a traveling carnival until, with the help of a number of new companions, along with his own courage, he is able to show London the man he really is.
Andrew Torres
Jan 30, 2015 Andrew Torres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
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
...more
Emelie
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
Dupsie Oriyomi
May 22, 2010 Dupsie Oriyomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Saman Kashi
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
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080678
...more
Adrien
Jan 16, 2013 Adrien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most heart felt book I have ever read. It will capture your heart the first chapter.
Maha Ebraheem
Sep 22, 2012 Maha Ebraheem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
رواية حزينة جداً
قرأتها في طريق سفر

أول رواية قرأتها بالإنجليزية المبسطة
استمتعت بقرائتها
Waad
Mar 18, 2017 Waad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
متحمسه اقراه
Laura Bowman
Nov 12, 2015 Laura Bowman rated it really liked it
The Elephant Man is a well-written and touching story based on the life of John Merrick. With some brief research it appears as though Sparks was well researched and included many major events of Merrick's life surrounding the time he was in the care of Frederick Treves and the London Hospital. Some details (like his knowledge of his mother) may have been fictionalized, but ultimately I enjoyed the book enough to research more and I consider it to be successful for that reason.
This story takes i
...more
Sophie
Nov 20, 2014 Sophie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason Vedder
An adaptation of the film, that once was interesting to me as was the play, but going to wikipedia and read about Joseph (not John) Merrick I read about his life which was not truly depicted accurately. It was a movie. Someone should make a film that accurately depicts his life. Reading this was a bit of a chore after I discovered that his life was not filled with the abuse depicted in the film. In reality it was his idea to be a side show attraction and so forth. Eye opening in its another movi ...more
Crystal
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
SouthWestZippy
John Merrick was a an Englishman born in 1862. John was born with a disorder known as neurofibromatosis. John lived as a circus sideshow freak and lived in a workhouse until he was visited by a surgeon named Frederick Treves. His life forever changed and John became well known in London society. John past away in 1890. This heartbreaking subject makes the book to read but I found it to be a fascinating read. This book was published in 1980 and is based on the movie that was made in 1980.
HekumHanan
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
Jul 23, 2013 Gary Fowler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 01, 2013 John Easton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mascha Hufflepuff
That book isn't new and I didn't buy it. I got a big box of old books in German from a friend and that one was in there as well. The story is just amazing. You can't put it aside. And you will be shocked how cruel people can be. When I finished the book I found out that the Elephant Man really existed!!
Tristan
Jun 14, 2012 Tristan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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.
Rachel
Aug 02, 2011 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Esra Simsek
Sep 04, 2016 Esra Simsek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best ever observing story telling that reveals the deepest gloom into anyone's consciousness, longed after 'Crime and Punishment'. It simply kept me up questioning human nature and the idea of destiny.
Katrina
Jan 13, 2015 Katrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!!!
Rachael
Aug 17, 2008 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Arnold
Dec 23, 2007 Arnold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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
Chelsea
Oct 25, 2012 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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(:
Daniella Jácome
Jun 29, 2016 Daniella Jácome rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Sin dudas, uno de los mejores libros que he leído. Cautivador y conmovedor hasta la última página. De esos libros que te dejan con un profundo vacío cuando lo terminas. Un libro inolvidable.
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