Harry, a History : The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon

Walmart # 9781400111626

Harry, a History : The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon

Walmart # 9781400111626
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This personal and in-depth look at the dizzying pop-cultural phenomenon surrounding the Harry Potter series is written by the webmistress of the most popular and most trusted Harry Potter fan site on the Internet.

About This Item

Compact Disc, Tantor Media, 2009, ISBN13 9781400111626, ISBN10 1400111625
Customer Reviews
3.9 out of 5 Stars
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1-5 of 25 reviews

If I could give this book

If I could give this book 2 different ratings and reviews I would. To begin with I feel as if the title is a bit misleading. This book is only in partly a history of Harry Potter, the remainder should have been titled "My Experience Running A Well-Known Fansite for HP". The book, as mentioned by a previous reviewer, is full of inside jokes, name dropping and details that would only make sense to someone who was a part of the Leaky Cauldron website. That portion of the book can make for some incomprehensible and frankly boring reading for the rest of us. Little mention is made of other websites that were involved in the HP phenomenon and no real attempt to recount the experience of the "average" fan is made at all. That being said, the portion of the book recounting the history of Harry Potter as it relates to Jo Rowling was fabulous. Melissa is a great writer and an accomplished story teller and she was able to bring a bit of true contentment to this HP deprived reader. And for that i am deeply thankful.

I have wanted to read thi

I have wanted to read this book for a long time. Harry Potter was my life for about ten years, and the characters became my family. While the books were being published, all the other Potter devotees felt like family too. How many hours-days-months did I spend obsessing over every little detail J.K. Rowling let slip, reading MWPP fan-fiction and making fun of the people that actually thought Hermoine would end up with Harry? I'm pretty sure the amount of time I invested in this world is slightly insane - but I'm positive I don't regret a single second. I wanted this book to capture that. For the most part, I think it does. If anyone can understand devoting yourself to Harry Potter, it is Melissa Anelli. She made a career out of it! She accurately captures a lot of great memories from the years when the books were still being released. She had me smiling through a lot of the book. So, while I enjoyed it, I can't imagine a lot of people that don't understand and appreciate the Potter years getting much out of it. In many ways, it tells the story of my generation (it even touches on 9/11!), because no one else will ever read or experience Harry Potter the way we did. We got to be a part of the process - we were told the story a little at a time, so we appreciate each book more than anyone that gets the whole series at once ever could. But at the same time, we can all envy new readers. Melissa Anelli says it well (to set the stage, the following takes place a few days after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows): "I leaned against the metal pole of the subway car as we started chugging into the heart of New York City. If my music hadn't stopped playing I might never have noticed - one, two, three, four at least ten people were holding up their giant orange books. Some were halfway through, some nearly all the way through. Some propped it on their legs, and a few more had taken off the jacket so as not to be inconspicuous. They spanned all ages, and were all engrossed. One young woman, not much younger than me, sat near the end of my eye line; she was reading too, her colorful backpack on her lap and her arms circling it, her book acting as a buckle to hold it in place. I traveled to the next pole down to get a surreptitious closer look; she wasn't reading Deathly Hallows at all. Her book wasn't orange but rose and water and sand, and featured a kid on a broomstick and a white unicorn. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. She didn't notice me staring at her. Oh, I envy you, I thought, but was smiling for her. She had just begun."

This is a really nice his

This is a really nice history of the Harry Potter phenomenon and the fandom. The ending especially is poignant for the Harry Potter fan. It brought back so many memories of what we've shared with other fans, especially while Deathly Hallows was coming out. It was a bit sad to realize that that part of the Harry Potter phenomenon is over, but I'm sure the books will live on, especially as long as we still have fan conferences! I also really enjoyed the section on Laura Mallory and the controversy concerning the books. Her reaction still seems so unreasonable. My one criticism would be the chronology of the book. She jumped around a bit between events, backwards and forwards in time, and I found myself confused more than once as to where we were on the timeline. Perhaps there are things that would not make sense to a non-HP fan, but I think any Harry Potter fan could make sense of all the different parts of fandom she talked about, especially considering the good job she did explaining it.

I confess, I'm a Harry Po

I confess, I'm a Harry Potter addict. I love J K Rowling's books. And now, after reading Harry, a History by Melissa Anelli, I finally know that Rowling rhymes with bowling. I know a lot of other things too that I scarcely guessed before, and while I was slightly reluctant to read a real-world Harry tale, I'm very glad I finally did so. Melissa Anelli became web-mistress of the Leaky Cauldron partway through the Harry Potter phenomenon. I remember visiting her site, enjoying her snippets, checking up on release dates, and delighting in her "no spoilers" policy. As I dream more and more of one day being an author, I look to her website as an example of how advertising "should" be done. And then I find myself wondering, how did it all come about. So, at last, I've read Melissa's story and taken an inside look at the selling and advertising, and even the writing, of a wonderfully successful series of books. I've learned how Ms Rowling knew and kept her characters' secrets. I've met the film actors and enjoyed their conversation. I've seen the workspace, and even, eventually, the home. I've imagined that moment when J K Rowling shakes hands and Melissa shakes in her shoes, all words and poise flown like magical spells into nowhere. I've shared, and I've enjoyed, every turn of the page, and now I'm just waiting for the next film. Like I said, I'm an addict.

Having read several negat

Having read several negative reviews here and elsewhere, I was prepared for a long, boring saga of Harry Potter sites and frequent quotations from message board postings, liberally laced with minutia only a true insider could love. Instead, I got a history - personalized in the very best way - of a series loved by millions of readers around the world, including me. As a librarian I have been touched by the excitement that the release of the later books brought; I occasionally read some of the more famous Harry Potter sites (including Melissa's own Leaky Cauldron). I listened to a few podcasts and knew fanfic existed, but after reading Harry, a History, I realize I had seen only the tip of the HP phenomenon iceberg. First, a caveat: Melissa's book concentrates on the meaning of Harry Potter to youth. Oh, it isn't that she doesn't mention the adult fan, but the theme of this book is Kid Power, and the unique confluence of the series and the rise of the Internet which gave young people an opportunity to create, interact, and have control over their lives in a way that is generally denied the young. I'm sure there's another book waiting about how Harry brightened the lives of those of us stuck in our adult ruts of commutes, car payments, and families to support, and I hope some day Melissa will write it. But this book is about growing up with Harry, and how he changed lives. Beyond Kid Power, Melissa gives an in-depth look at many other facets of Harry: the fan sites and the people (in many cases, kids) who ran them; the artistic tributes to Harry in art, (fan)fiction, and music; the anti-Potter movement featuring Laura Mallory who campaigned against the series because she felt it promoted witchcraft; and finally, that rarified world of JK Rowling herself, as Melissa's interviews (including a famous - or infamous one - with Mugglenet's owner Emerson Spartz) and interactions with Rowling and her associates gave the reader a glimpse of what was happening to our beloved author. I had one quibble with the book - one that was minor, but awfully annoying by the end. Melissa has a tendency to re-write phrases almost verbatim, for example, repeating her description of how she squinted to avoid spoilers twice just a few pages apart. If you listened to the audio version as I did, you started to think your player was frequently skipping backwards. This was nothing a good editor couldn't have fixed, but it was distracting. Overall, Melissa's book is charming, moves along well, and is well worth the time of any Harry Potter fan. I'd especially recommend it to those who only read the books, so they can finally be aware of the magical world that existed around them. How could we have missed it? I guess that's why they call us Muggles.
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