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Thing of Beauty Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1994
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Trashy celebrity bios are usually diminished by the fact that we've already heard the stories about Lonnie and Burt, or Madonna and Sean, or whoever the current target is. Author Stephen Fried manages to get all the sleaze value plus a lot of surprises by choosing supermodel Gia Carangi as his topic. Although her face is widely recognized, Gia finished her modeling career in a blaze of heroin and disease just before the time when models became celebrities with name recognition. Her life is the perfect fodder for the exploitation market, but Fried goes beyond that with fluid prose and a reporter's nose for tracking down sources. His stories about her teenage years, with their mix of late nights in Philadelphia's gay clubs, manic worship, and glam-style imitation of David Bowie, as well as tales of Gia's ability to seduce her friends, male and female, are the product of a lot of work and make for very interesting reading. Gia's unabashed homosexuality and early death from AIDS make her story a palimpsest of life on the edge in the America of the 1980s.
From Publishers Weekly
Charts international cover girl Gia Carangi's descent from $10,000-a-day modeling jobs to heroin addiction and death from AIDS at age 26. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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It is a brilliant telling of a tragic situation, in which a very beautiful young woman was placed, without the core values or life skills to negotiate it. What woman divorces her husband AND her children? What woman allows her 16 year-old daughter to move to New York City, unchaperoned? There is no excuse for the lack of parenting. The book is an excellent story of how fashion, i.e. advertising, works, and her stellar place within it. She was ill-equipped to utilize her status within the fashion community to create a beautiful life for herself. Her habit became an addiction. Her addiction became a disease. Her disease became a death sentence. It truly is a tragic story. but, still, there remains a sad, melancholy beauty that is still reflected in sensual. elegant images of this young Italian girl.
Her legacy will endure.
The reason I'm giving this 4 stars instead of 5 is due to the typos in the Kindle edition. At first, there are only a few typographic issues, but by the last couple of chapters, the errors are noticeable.
Violent, broken home (check)
Two angry parents who use hard drugs, one addicted (check)
Two selfish parents who shouldn't have had children (check)
An entire family of enablers who should've called CPS but didn't (check)