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Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy…

Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life… (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Melissa Anelli, J.K. Rowling (Introduction)

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7133913,224 (3.9)1 / 48
Title:Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon
Authors:Melissa Anelli
Other authors:J.K. Rowling (Introduction)
Info:Pocket Books (2008), Paperback, 356 pages
Collections:Your library

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Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli (2008)



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English (39)  Italian (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Does what it says on the tin and does it well. Anelli ran the website The Leaky Cauldron for years (she might still do, I don't know), so is able to write from an inside perspective (she was given press access to aspects of the films and developed professional and sometimes personal relationships with members of the publishing team and Rowling herself) as well as from the perspective of a fan. Her writing is very engaging, and she does a great job exploring many different aspects of the HP phenomenon, including fan fiction, wizard rock, massive release day parties, and book burnings in protest of HP-ian witchcraft. The book uses the countdown to the release of Deathly Hallows as a kind of framework for the story of the whole phenomenon, and we get a really good sense of what the HP craze was all about. I have two quibbles--one is that chapters sometimes forget that they're in a book instead of standing on their own (events summarized again, sometimes in the same language as last time), though this was only a minor annoyance. The other is that Anelli doesn't do much to situate the HP craze within the context of what else was going on at the time. There's no doubt that as a publishing phenomenon Harry Potter did things no other books had ever done before (and in spades) and that Harry Potter fandom was (is) enormous and in many ways a new thing, but it didn't spring up out of nothing. Anelli doesn't suggest that it did, but a little context about how HP fandom fits into the greater picture (other things (Star Trek and Star Wars, just for instance) laid the foundations, and there was at least one other pretty significant fandom (The Lord of the Rings films) traipsing along during much of the HP years) might have been nice. But, the book was a joy, and I highly recommend it to HP fans and anyone interested in fandom. ( )
  lycomayflower | Jul 23, 2014 |
Might try again at another time.
  mrso822 | Sep 21, 2013 |
Let's start with a fact: I hate false advertising.

This book therefore started off on a very bad footing, since it called itself "Harry: A History." An evocation of "Hogwarts: A History," I'm sure -- but it's not an accurate title. This is not a history of the Harry Potter phenomenon. It is mostly a story of Melissa Anelli's interaction with the Potter phenomenon. As well as of her absolute lack of critical skills in dealing with the books.

It's a constant breathless pangyric, and one that ignores all the minor inconsistencies in the books. That's merely irritating; what is obnoxious is there is too much Melissa and too little Harry for that title. Call it "My Life with Harry" and I'd give it probably another star. Because I wanted to like it. A good history of how the Potter books came to be published would be welcome by both fanatics and general readers. This... is only for the fanatics. And not all of those. I was constantly skipping chapters to try to find some real content.

Please, change the title for the next edition. ( )
  waltzmn | Sep 1, 2013 |
An analysis of the pop-culture phenomenon surrounding the Harry Potter series, written by the founder of "The Leaky Cauldron" website, evaluates how the books inspired international camaraderie and a generation of new readers.
  bongobuzz | Aug 5, 2013 |
I enjoyed learning more about the Harry Potter hype. At first, I was suprised by how devoted many of the HP fans where, but by the end of the book, I understood it better. Insightful book! ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anelli, Melissaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wurster, GabyTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowling, J.K.Forewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For my fellow Harry Potter fans, who know that a good story never dies
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Within twenty-four hours, everyone would know.
I have one last question: What does she [J.K. Rowling] hope people will take with them about this time?

She pauses, but then the answer is right on her tongue.

'When all the fuss and hoopla dies away, and when all the press commentary dies away, I think it will be seen that the phenomenon was generated, in the first instance, bu kids loving a book. A book went on shelves, and a few people loved it. When all of the smoke and lights die away, that's what you'll be left with.

'And that's the most wonderful thought for an author.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A history of the Harry Potter phenomenon.

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