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The Elephant Man Hardcover – September 16, 1985


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (September 16, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399212620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399212628
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,632,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up Joseph Merrick, who lived in England from 1862 to 1890, was afflicted by tumors of fibrous tissue which made him grossly deformed. Reduced to being placed in a dismal workhouse and later in a traveling freak show, Merrick was made to feel like an outcast because of his appearance. Rescued from his destitute state by a surgeon, Frederick Treves, Merrick was able to stay in rooms of the London Hospital. As well as looking after his economic welfare, Treves looked after Merrick's mental health by integrating him to a limited extent into a social life. Writing a successful biography for young people about the horrifying aspects of physical deformity is not an easy task, but Drimmer does it well, pacing the book so that it has interest and drama in every chapter. Drimmer's descriptions of Victorian England are authentic in detail and atmosphere. The drama of goodness and evil in people within a particular society is graphically and concisely conveyed within the framework of the lives of Merrick and Treves. The pain and happiness in Merrick's life are succinctly and dramatically brought out in relevant and emotionally charged scenes. Equally well displayed are Treves' kindness and integrity, so that he becomes as much of a hero as Merrick himself. Drimmer presents his facts superbly in language containing a skillful balance of simplicity and insightful nuances. After reading this book, young people should have a clearer understanding of what a person with a severe deformity faces. Extending such understanding are 14 black-and-white photos and drawings. These visuals aptly underscore the textual revelations of Merrick's terrible infermities. Hope Bridgewater, Halifax City Regional Library, Nova Scotia, Canada
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NMdesapio on October 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Unlike the (brilliant) play and movie of the same name, Frederick Drimmer's "fictional biography" of Joseph Merrick, THE ELEPHANT MAN, aims to tell the subject's true life story, based on accounts of those who knew him. I first read THE ELEPHANT MAN as a teenager in high school. Revisiting the book now as an adult, I find there is little I can add to the apt assessment of the reviewer quoted here on Amazon.com. I'll only repeat that Drimmer, an authority on so-called human oddities and a gifted writer, tells Merrick's sad yet inspiring story tastefully and with drama and interest in every chapter. Merrick's humanity and that of his doctor, Frederick Treves, and his other friends shines through brightly, yet the evils present in British Victorian society are not underplayed. Consequently, THE ELEPHANT MAN reads like both a biography and an entertaining work of fiction, suitable for both young and older adults.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The movie, which I saw when I was 7 was a lie. Tom Norman, his manager in the freak show treated him with great respect and was a portaryed as a monster. He was never stolen from the London Hospital and was not beaten. The movie focused on the bad of his life but not the good. Sir Fredrick Treves (forgiven an misspelling,s, I am only 12) the sugeon that helped him was a great man and help John and brought out the good that most overlooked because of his appearance. He is man i would love to personally meet and this book helped me realize that he was a smart man, a caring man, a loving man....This book would help anyone interested in this subject with it's photos and insight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. McNutt on October 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was very touched by the story of the Elephant man, who was very deformed and endured many hardships in his childhood and young adult life because of his appearance. His life becomes bearable though in his end years thanks to the kindness of Dr. Fredrick Treves and many other people. If you haven't heard of or read about the Elephant man yet, I recommend this book, Joseph Merrick's story (the Elephant man) is something you won't forget. The terrors he went through and then how incredibly grateful he was for the simplest pleasures after being rescued by Dr. Treves make me see life through new eyes: it is hard to take things for granted. The book also includes photographs of Joseph.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hamilla on October 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book for a project but was actually really interested in it. It is non-fiction which makes it seem boring but it's a real story and it's something you will say wow and feel what this character is feeling even if you don't like reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Shepherd on December 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating look at the life of Joseph Carey Merrick, the elephant man..very touching. Saw a wonderful exhibit recently in the Royal London Hospital museum , London England about this man, which sparked my quest to learn more.This book fit the bill.
Highly recommended reading.
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