8. The Elephant Man, Christine Sparks
Sparks based this novel on the life of Joseph Merrick, horribly deformed by disease and humiliated as a side show freak. Beneath the grotesque exterior, however, is an intelligent, soulful man who longs for a love that sees beyond his appearance. Set primarily in the London of the late 1800s, The Elephant Man is a portrait of the lives of both the upper class and the downtrodden.