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Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia Carangi

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01-01-1993 Hardcover Very good in very good dust jacket.

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New York, NY 1993 Hard cover Good. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards.

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Fried, Stephen., Pocket Books, nd (1993), c1993, 1st Edition 1st Printing, boards & cloth w/gilt spine titles, fine w/fine dj, 392 pp w/index & appendix, B & W photographic ... illus., tall 8vo. Read more Show Less

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1993 Hard Cover First Edition Good in Good jacket 392pp Illus "The tragedy of supermodel Gia."

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Thing of Beauty

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Gia'' Marie Carang (1960-1986) hit the fashion world like a storm in the late 1970s, after she was discovered by model agent Wilhelmina Cooper; soon she was pictured on the covers of Vogue and Cosmopolitan , delighting photographers with her androgynous look. Relying on interviews with Gia's family and friends, freelance writer Fried details her meteoric rise and tragic fall into drug addiction and death from AIDS. Although Gia lived an independent life as a teenager, dividing her time between the Pennsylvania homes of her estranged parents and openly conducting love affairs with other young women, she evidently could not cope with the stresses of success. Fried brings to life the drug-drenched milieu of the 1980s fashion industry, but fails to dig beneath the flamboyant, rebellious attitude Gia presented to the world to provide insight into her character--although he does convey her troubled relationship with her mother. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Library Journal
One of the biggest ``whatever happened to . . . ?'' queries in the fashion world gets answered here, as Fried, a writer for Philadelphia magazine, details the rise (cover of Vogue ) and fall (death by AIDS) of Gia Carangi, a sultry young beauty who shot to prominence--and shot heroin--during the 1970s disco heyday. It's also a big ``what if'' story: if Gia had not died, Cindy Crawford (dubbed ``baby Gia'') may not have become the overexposed supermodedel she is today. Fried obviously means Gia's harrowing life to be partly a cautionary tale for all those young girls who wish to be models. However, Gia had many problems (broken home, drug use, confused sexuality) even before she stepped in front of a camera. Fried deridingly describes a 20/20 segment on modeling as ``a report meant to detail `the dark and anxious' side of the modeling business but manages somehow to make the whole enterprise seem extremely glamorous anyway,'' yet his saga, packed with juicy scoops about other models and photographers, has the same effect. In other words, this book will have a tremendous appeal to a general audience. For all public libraries.-- Judy Quinn, formerly with ``Library Journal''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671701048
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1993
  • Pages: 416

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2005

    Thing of Boredom

    I was very excited to read this book because I saw the movie and became highly interested in this young woman. Her life was certainly exciting even before she begain modeling. Unfortunatly many aspects of it were not always positive. The book, I feel failed to show that. Once I started reading it, I felt it was more of a book about modeling featuring Gia rather than her bio. It got better toward the end because the author finally decided to focus on her. I wouldn't recommend it unless you are really interested in the 'mechanics' of the modeling field.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2004

    Wow! what a ride!

    this is a book that tells you what the modeling industry is REALLY like. All of us teenage girls think its glamourous and all but we dont see the dark side. The parts about Gia were really absorbing, but not when they get into the technical parts of modeling. Gia was like a shooting star. She rose up so fast but she came down even faster...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Finally...

    Been waiting years for this sequel. Worth the wait, however, I was sad when the story was over. Very quick read, fast paced. King fans will enjoy the familiar character with a new twist.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    Life, death, energy and peace...beautiful words spoken from a be

    Life, death, energy and peace...beautiful words
    spoken
    from a beautiful woman inside and out. Most of us
    know
    late
    Supermodel Gia Carangi's life was a rollercoaster ride
    full
    of sensuality and beauty. Yet
    it's
    Shocking how it
    ended in such terrible circumstances. Stephen
    Fried clearly
    did his
    homework to put this Autobiography together. He
    takes us not only into the fascinating life of Gia
    Carangi,...but
    the
    lifestyle, people and
    world that surrounded her. The people who knew
    of
    her, other models, makeup artist, hairdressers and
    fashion designers who can recall Gia. We get a
    chance to see things not through Gia's perspective
    but
    through co workers, friends, family
    members in interviews and articles ect. The ones
    who
    witnessed the success of Gia...then her
    downfall, that was simply too painful to watch.
    The
    models who were from her time and also making
    close
    to a million dollars a year... don't like to talk about
    her
    "she was a party girl, that's all I need to say" says
    one
    retired model. They remember Gia and her fast
    rise to
    the top in one of the most shallow, narcissistic and
    cut
    throat industries that exist...fashion modeling.
    Living in an
    era were sex, drugs partying ,
    glamour, rock n roll and disco was at it's prime!
    And
    thanks to Wilhelmina Cooper Gia went from a David
    Bowie
    obsessed street kid. Punk
    rocking it
    out as a tough rebel, switch blade knife in back pocket.
    To a
    sophisticated appearing, drop dead gorgeous girl with
    attitude and
    charisma
    like no other, giving her the title "Supermodel" and
    also the nickname" shooting star"."Once you make
    it, you become a member of an exclusive
    international club, where the sun always shines,
    the
    parties are glowing; a land where there’s no
    ugliness, no sickness, no
    poverty; a land where dreams come true and
    everyone is certified
    beautiful!" .
    Gia could have had it all....and she f*cking blew it!
    The fast
    lane wasn't enough....she loved the Heroin needle
    more. I believe drugs were the substitute for her
    mother's
    love she so deeply craved...but was only given to
    her in
    small amounts throughout her life. Gia's mother
    Kathleen was coldblooded
    and selfish, putting herself before her daughter
    and
    neglected her own children. And what Gia didn't
    know
    about that glittering
    world of the wealthy and trendy she got herself
    into was
    when it came down to it...they didn't care
    about you and what troubles you had or what you
    were going through emotionally. They only loved
    you
    when you
    were smiling.
    Gia was all alone in that world...that was her
    reality. This
    all
    happened in a time when HIV AID's was still an
    unkown
    disease. A time when club studio
    54 was
    more popular than ever and people were partying
    hardcore. And for those unfortunate
    ones who were self destructive and careless, it was
    also a time when the AID's virus ate a lot people
    alive with no mercy. And Gia just
    happened to be one of them. Now rather one feels
    sorry
    for
    her or not she brought most of her own demise
    upon
    herself due to the poor and
    stupidly naive decisions she made. Was Gia just a
    immature irresponsible child, who just happened to
    get
    lucky? Or a lost and misunderstood soul, looking for
    love
    in all of the wrong places and from all of the wrong
    people? Gia went from
    the
    most desired, pampered and briefly one of the top
    successful woman in the world to a penniless
    prostitute
    junkie and dying of AID's like a nobody. Why
    didn't anyone
    try harder to save her? Because all people are
    selfish. And
    most likely were not about to take a trip to Hell on
    earth
    and damage they're own reputations and hard
    earned
    careers while trying to save hers. In the end it didn't
    matter
    how beautiful Gia was, because her beauty was her
    curse.
    Gia's story is a
    Cinderella fairytale that ends in a nightmare. But
    worth the
    read. 5 STARS!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    Good story, poorly written

    Interesting read, but I found the writing style to be difficult.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    Fascinating Life

    So few women belong to the elite "Supermodel" club that just this fact in itself would make an interesting story. The story of Gia's life has so many more elements to it and the way that the tragedy of a hurting little girl falls into the crass world of modeling but earns the money to finance her own destruction is very much like watching an inevitable car wreck. Worth reading even though I skipped over most of the boring details of the modeling industry that the author includes.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2008

    What a yawn........ rent the movie

    Boring, boring, boring. As interesting and fascinating her life was, the author did a great job making it seem dull and boring. This controversial model's life story was poorly executed. Gia's life story had the recipe for a good book, but this book sucks.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2008

    AMAZING LESSON

    This book was amazing it make you think and hopefully open ones eyes on how precious life is and how we shouldnt take things and people for granted

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2003

    A Thing of Beauty at it's best!!

    Mr. Fried's attempt to capature the life and ultimately the death of Gia hit a home run. Being an avid fan and intrigued with Gia's life I couldn't put this book down. By including interviews and quotes from Gia's own diary Mr. Fried brings us into the life of a woman who shot to stardom to fast and to soon. Gia ewas a fall from grace unprepared for what the real world had in store for her. Unsure of herself and lacking the guidance of any female role model Gia can never truly be forgotton. Awesome bok and a truly remarkable author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2003

    Truly a Thing of Beauty

    Knowing little more then Angelina Jolie's portrayal of Gia in the 1998 HBO special I was drawn to this book and this young woman. She had humble beginnings and yet fame and fortune was thrust upon her so fast that she spiraled out of control. Gia was a fall from grace. Mr Fried captured Gis'a essence and her love. Completely uninhibited and unrestrianted Gia was and is not going to be forgotten. This book is a must read for anyone who has ever wondered what if.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2003

    Excellent, objective, well researched account of a life so abruptly taken...

    Very interesting, although I felt that more emphasis should have been placed on Gia throughout the entirety of the book, as sometimes the story veered off into a more general overview of the modeling industry itself. So many points of view are taken into account here...everybody knew Gia in a different way, and this author does a remarkable job of expressing Gia's life through the eyes of each individual that has been enlightened by her. A unique individual with so many faces... The only disturbing part of this book was the picture of Gia suffering in the hospital. This book MORE than illustrates the pain and grief she endured both before and during her battle with AIDS---no pictures necessary---Think about it---If you were her would you want people to see you at your weakest point?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2003

    Thing of Beauty, thing of tragedy

    I personaly loved this book, Thing of Beauty. It touched on everything in Gia's life, and i loved that aspect of it. it's an amazing tragic story of love, drugs, loss, and death. after reading this book, Gia has become one of my biggest idols; not an idol for me to become a super model or drug addict, but for me to be strong, and stand up for what i believe in. also the fact that she was a lesbian is also truly amazing, i idol her for beauty, strenght, and being a proud homosexual. i highly reccomend this book to everyone

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2003

    What we once had was lost...

    I believe that this book is great in telling you the best and worst parts of being a model. Before I read this book i thought that being a model must be the best thing in the world and I wanted to be a model. After reading it i realized that everyone looks at you like you the best person in the world but truely they have no idea what can haunt you deep in side.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2003

    i will always remember the life of our Gia

    after reading this, i felt like i knew Gia. through all her ugliness, there was this true beauty inside her that drew me closer to her. stephen fried did a wonderful job teaching the audience of the world Gia was surrounded by along with giving us a detailed description of her life and all her ups and her many more downs. you'll be touched for years by the story of a girl who will become your own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2002

    Gia is the Best

    the plot was worth the read although fried's writing style was a bit too detailed. a must read for anyone interested in the fashion industry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2002

    The Best Book Ever

    This was the best book that I have ever read. Stephen Fried is THE most talanted writer-if he wrote a dictionary, I would buy it. This is a MUST read, I guarantee that you will not be able to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2001

    Good book about someone who was forgotten as fast as she was known..

    This book's very interesting. It tells about how she became famous and how quickly she became a 'nobody' after doing too much drugs. A book that everyone who aspires to be a supermodel should read. Hah.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2001

    insightful, sad, powerful, provocative

    This is a sad glimpse of what unguided ambition can do to a person. Gia was a sad example of a product of the family values of the 70s. Parents who refused to correct their children's mistakes, who turned the other way when their children cried for help, who mistook being blind to their children's needs to being liberal and open minded parents. It's a book about an era that passed leaving so many scars. When Americans tested the brink of reality and morality- and they lost! What a sad book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2001

    the turbulent life of Gia

    While Stephen Fried tends to go off on a tangent at times, his book gives us a very interesting view into what was the life of Gia. A must read for any Gia Carangi fan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2001

    WOW WOW WOW

    I have never read a book with such pure and raw emotion. Never has a book been able to reach into the heart of a reader and tear at heart strings. Peter Fried did a superb job and telling the tale of Gia who by all standards never fully lived the life she should have. Peter allows us to feel the ups and downs with Gia at the same time getting to know the real her. Scared alone and in desperate need to be loved. If only for a single moment. Thing of Beauty is an understatement. This book should be a must read for anyone considering modelling or even recovering for the hell of drugs. A must read and a must have. This novel finally gives Gia a chance to be a little girl who has finally found her way home. May she rest in peace and may she never be forgotten.

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