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Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy…
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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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7494312,418 (3.91)1 / 48
Member:yanksgirl313
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 (43)  Italian (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
This is just crazy from every aspect! Very interesting details. I really had no idea that there was that much vicarious living through Potter, boy do I feel dumb. Mandatory reading for anyone interested in the publishing industry, literature in general, or even in understanding how to communicate with the wifi generation (whatever they are called) -- or Harry Potter. Reading is just no longer about the books anymore. I had never put two and two together about how Harry Potter books and movies were so related to the growth and explosion of the internet and all it had to offer (as well as its vices), but my eyes and brain are now definitely opened. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
This tells the story of Pottermania and Anelli’s role as webmaster of The Leaky Cauldron – the # 1 website for fans of Harry. I like the Harry Potter books. I enjoy Rowling’s writing, and I’ve enjoyed a couple of the movies. But I’m not obsessed with the phenomenon. By Anelli’s own account, she first heard of Potter when she was buying her college text books. Her mother suggested “something light” to provide some entertainment and escape from all the heavy college texts. Anelli was hooked from the beginning. She quickly was spending virtually every spare moment reading, thinking, talking Harry Potter. In fairness, the book does go beyond Harry Potter to explore the world of children’s-book publishing. And she also talks about how the web-friends joined together to support and inform each other in the aftermath of the Sept 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. She nearly lost me entirely in the section devoted to Harry and the Potters and other bands that formed using various themes / characters from the books. Boring. But that was enjoyable compared to the section concerning those who would ban the books because “they teach witchcraft to children.” The most interesting part is the way in which Harry Potter changed the publishing world, the marketing world, the sale of intellectual property to the movies, etc. The best testament to the “power of Potter” is that this book debuted at #18 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Audio book narrated by Renee Raudman, whose reading of this work is perfectly fine. She sounds appropriately young and enthused when describing the phenomenon, distressed and frantic as she reacts to the Sept 11 attacks, and doesn’t completely put us to sleep when reciting statistics or history. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 2, 2016 |
Harry, A History was an engrossing read. Immediately sucked in to Melissa's world, I was hooked. Since I started my journey into Harry Potter after the initial buzz (years, in fact) I felt like I was finally privy to the knowledge and fun that I missed out on in those early years. It was like I got to see what happened when I was living under my Harry Potter-less rock. Melissa weaves her experiences with Harry Potter (and what was happening in her life) with what was happening in the Harry Potter world at large. She highlights the news and general public reactions, as well as indulging us with many of the details outlining her success in the Harry Potter world and her involvement in the fandom. While reading Harry, A History, we get to meet loads of interesting characters along the way. I felt like I got to peer into the lives of some very cool adult Potterheads. Knowing how Melissa met these people and how she paved the way was super inspiring too... she took two things she loved (journalism and Harry Potter) and made a career out of it. How awesome is that?! It was also humbling to know that there were moments of struggle for her and that not everything always went perfect... it reminded me that we need to work for the things we want in life.
I also really enjoyed all the bits I learned about J.K. Rowling. In the edition I have, there is a forward from J.K. Rowling and Melissa's interview with J.K. Rowling has been published. As Melissa says, "it has been polished and scrubbed up. Off-the-record and personal discussions were deleted." I found it very interesting to read, especially after hearing about how intimate of a setting for an interview that this turned out to be.

Well written and full of information, as well as anecdotes, this book is wonderful. My only complaint would be that it does jump around a bit. There were a few times when I got a bit confused as to where we were or what time it was in the timeline of the Harry Potter world. However, in general this book was every bit as interesting and fulfilling as I had hoped it would be. I loved Harry, A History and would absolutely recommend it to any and all Potterheads. After reading it, I was a bit sad that it took me so long to finally pick it up... and a bit sad that it was over. If you haven't read it and you are in any way a bit of a Potterhead, quit stalling and start reading! ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Harry, A History was an engrossing read. Immediately sucked in to Melissa's world, I was hooked. Since I started my journey into Harry Potter after the initial buzz (years, in fact) I felt like I was finally privy to the knowledge and fun that I missed out on in those early years. It was like I got to see what happened when I was living under my Harry Potter-less rock. Melissa weaves her experiences with Harry Potter (and what was happening in her life) with what was happening in the Harry Potter world at large. She highlights the news and general public reactions, as well as indulging us with many of the details outlining her success in the Harry Potter world and her involvement in the fandom. While reading Harry, A History, we get to meet loads of interesting characters along the way. I felt like I got to peer into the lives of some very cool adult Potterheads. Knowing how Melissa met these people and how she paved the way was super inspiring too... she took two things she loved (journalism and Harry Potter) and made a career out of it. How awesome is that?! It was also humbling to know that there were moments of struggle for her and that not everything always went perfect... it reminded me that we need to work for the things we want in life.
I also really enjoyed all the bits I learned about J.K. Rowling. In the edition I have, there is a forward from J.K. Rowling and Melissa's interview with J.K. Rowling has been published. As Melissa says, "it has been polished and scrubbed up. Off-the-record and personal discussions were deleted." I found it very interesting to read, especially after hearing about how intimate of a setting for an interview that this turned out to be.

Well written and full of information, as well as anecdotes, this book is wonderful. My only complaint would be that it does jump around a bit. There were a few times when I got a bit confused as to where we were or what time it was in the timeline of the Harry Potter world. However, in general this book was every bit as interesting and fulfilling as I had hoped it would be. I loved Harry, A History and would absolutely recommend it to any and all Potterheads. After reading it, I was a bit sad that it took me so long to finally pick it up... and a bit sad that it was over. If you haven't read it and you are in any way a bit of a Potterhead, quit stalling and start reading! ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
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 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anelli, Melissaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wurster, GabyTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowling, J.K.Forewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my fellow Harry Potter fans, who know that a good story never dies
First words
Within twenty-four hours, everyone would know.
Quotations
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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Melissa Anelli is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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