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Big Girl in the Middle Paperback – June 16, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (June 16, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609801937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609801932
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,474,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An odd hybrid of a book, Big Girl in the Middle is part model/volleyball player Gabrielle Reece's autobiography and part third-person chronicle of the misadventures of Team Nike across the 1996 professional beach volleyball circuit, for which Reece captained and played middle blocker. At 6'3" and 170 pounds, Reece cuts an imposing figure, as commanding on a magazine or book cover as she is on the court. She has a unique perspective on both of the public arenas in which she's played: as a top-flight athlete and accepted beauty, she smashes several stereotypes; how she's coped with those stereotypes, successfully spiking most of them, makes Reece an admirable role model. Her observations in this area serve up Big Girl's best attributes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The newly established Olympic sport of beach volleyball has an image problem. Although every bit as fierce a game as its indoor version, it is still associated with suntanning and bikini culture. In alternating chapters, athlete, model, and 6'3" "babe for a living" Reece and coauthor Karbo (Trespassers Welcome Here, Putnam, 1989) discuss the balance Reece seeks between aggression and emotion, beauty and brains, masculinity and femininity. Shuffled about as a child, she developed a strong, brash, independent personality ideally suited for the self-promotion needed for both modeling and pitching for a developing sport. Only 26, she finds her greatest rewards in the challenges of volleyball. Her story is an inspiration to tall girls and young female athletes, who may fear looking, sounding, and acting big and strong. Recommended for public libraries. (Photos not seen..
-?Kathryn Ruffle, Coll. of New Caledonia Lib., Prince George,
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Karbo does an excellent job documenting Team Nike's trials and tribulations both on the sand and off. The style of writing is rather straigh-forward making the book hard to put down. I especially like the way Karbo has intermittently slid in chapters in which Reece describes herself, her feelings, emotions, etc. regarding both her abilities as an athlete in an up-and-coming sport and as a model. The most enjoyable parts of the book are the chapters in which Reece is giving the blow-by-blows of herself and her perspectives on life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By seigrist@istethmar.com.hk on September 3, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book I think could definitely serve as inspiration for tall, athletic girls. I bought the book for the girl I'm dating, thinking it might give her some more confidence (she's tall and pretty as well, and is confident in some things). I just ended up reading the book before giving to her, and although the way it is presented is a little in-your-face, I think it could serve as inspiration for women who want to have some confidence in themselves, especially those that came from broken or dysfunctional families.

One great thing about the book is it is full of one-liner philosophy that really hits the mark. These one liners are great because they make you laugh, but at the same time make you think. Quite brilliant in this respect.

It's also sort of interesting, and a fast read, although the writing style is very "glam" in a way... sometimes it seemed as if I was just reading a really long Vogue article about Gabby Reece! Also at times, I felt Karen Karbo tended to fawn a bit too much over Gabby. I actually preferred the sections that Gabby Reece wrote... they were more personal and down to earth.

Oh... and if Gabby Reece reads this review... send me an email! Will you autograph my book?? Just kidding... decent book!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Elia DaRos on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I loved reading BIg Girl in the Middle! I was amazed to find that Gabrielle Reece was more fascinating than I thought she'd be. The girl is witty, beautiful, and she has some pretty deep thoughts on a lot of things-and a great deal of insight to back it all up! I think she should seriously be considered as a good example of a role model for girls, and some people out there would probably be better off if they acted more like her!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eva Simons on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
I had been looking forward to reading this book for some time. I was able to get through 2/3 of the book before I finally gave up. The structure is poorly planned. Gabby and Karen switch off writing every other chapter in this book. But it's as if they are both writing two different stories. Karbo, writes a narrative of what occurred during a year of Gabby's competitive career. Problem is, while I'm sure it was a monumental point in Gabby's life, it ends up reading like a massive failure. That in itself would not be a problem were there proper character development, but there is not. It literally seems like a checklist of information in the guise of a chapter. I have never read so many paragraphs that said absolutely nothing.

I truly admire Gabby as an athlete and business woman, but the chapters that she authors seems like pages torn from her diary. They follow no flow from chapter to chapter. At one point I felt like I was reading a PMS rant rather than a personal oeuvre from a volleyball legend.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jums@ripco.com on August 14, 1997
Format: Hardcover
"People are already pissed off at me because I'm athetic AND beautiful; to be smart in addition to that...it's like, too much." And that quote sums up this book in a nutshell: the breathtakingly beautiful Reece telling us how hard she works and how smart she is. Interspersed througout is co-author Karen Karbo clucking in agreement (for example, detailing a Nike PR session where Gabby makes snappy insults at questioners). For the first half of the book its unabashed unhumbleness is refreshing, but by the end you ask yourself if the world really needs any more athletes/supermodels/intellectuals with "attitude."
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