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Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon Paperback – 4 Nov 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (4 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416554955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416554950
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.8 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 193,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Melissa Anelli has been reporting on the Harry Potter phenomenon since 2001. As the webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron (www.leakynews.com), she has written and spoken for Harry Potter fans in media outlets worldwide. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2001 and spent several years as a daily news reporter and features writer in New York City. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her ferocious cat, Moochka. For more visit www.harryahistory.com.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a book about the Harry Potter fandom and phenomenon that is both insightful and heartfelt written as it is by a true insider. It is both a fan's and journalist's dream, crammed with details and facts covering the whole Potter phenomenon from its very beginnings to its ever continuing expansion. It also, uniquely, has the inside track on Jo Rowling's experience as well, with both interviews and a foreword by the extraordinary creator herself. Its pacy, well written, and keenly observed, covering all the bases from fanfic to wizard rock. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This book was almost as eagerly awaited as one of JK Rowling's books about Harry. It is not a synopsis of Harry's story, but rather the story of how "Harry" came about. Of particular interest was how the Internet played a large part in the development of the entire phenomenon, which has never been seen before. It is also Melissa Anelli's story - a true fan who has devoted a large portion of her life to Harry. I enjoyed her anecdotes about her contacts with JK Rowling herself as well as characters who were totally and blindly anti Harry.
I enjoyed this book so much that I read the whole thing in less than 12 hours.
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a history of the Harry Potter phenomenon from the point of view of a fan. Melissa Anelli - a young journalist - enjoyed reading the early Potter books and found herself becoming more involved in the fan website The Leaky Cauldron. Through sheer persistence she got the site recognised as a proper media source and so she was invited to Potter events in America. By that time Harry had taken over her life. This is a very personal history of the rise and rise of the popularity of the boy wizard and how he took over her life. Twice she made the journey to the UK to interview the author and her enthusiasm for the books shines through her own book. There is also a chapter on those people who tried to get the books banned in American schools because, they said, they encouraged children to try witchcraft and the occult. This is a fascinating book even if you are not wholly familiar with the books themselves. It can be read as the history of a global phenomenon the like of which had never been seen before. I found it fascinating.
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Format: Paperback
This book gives you ringside seat to what it's like to live as one of the most famous Potter fans. I received mine from Amazon a few days ahead of the actual publication date (something us Potter fans aren't used to) and read it right away. As J.K. Rowling's foreword says: "So this book is a history of a community, written by an insider...it can be read as warts-and-all expose of fan mentality or as a story of the world's biggest book group..."

Melissa Anelli is a professional writer, and it shows in this book. She opens chapter one with a frenetic pace and grabs readers from the first "Within twenty-four hours" opening line. Ms. Anelli does quite an amiable job of sharing her story throughout the entire book: from all the highs, to the lows, to the death threats received by Emerson.

My favorite chapter was chapter 9 "Banned and Burned." In that chapter, we get to sit in on Anelli's conversation with one of the most famous Harry haters, Laura Mallory. I shared Ms. Anelli's resignation and frustration over that meeting but feel that there was nothing more Ms. Anelli could have done to convince Ms. Mallory otherwise. With the Septology's completion, it's becoming clearer and clearer that Harry Potter is just as moral as Ms. Rowling always said it was, and then some.

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Melissa.

Nancy Solon Villaluz is the author of:
Does Harry Potter Tickle Sleeping Dragons?
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Format: Paperback
As a listener of the Leaky Cauldron's podcast on which Melissa Anelli appears weekly, i had heard many wonderful things about this book and realy looked forward to reading it. I did not disapoint. She recounts a very personal experience which she has had mostly over the last 2 years and in the fandom as a whole, which if like me you have been in the fandom will relate to your own exeriences and bring back many happy memories. The fact that the foreword is written by J.K.Rowling herself should tell you all you need to know as to how well written and moving this book is and i would thoroughly reccomend this book not just to lovers of the novels and fandom, but also to those who have never experienced it to allow them to understand what the fandom means to so many millions worldwide.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed "Harry, a History"!
The author's the webmistress of the Harry Potter fansite, the Leaky Cauldron; and while I'm a pretty big Harry Potter fan myself, I hadn't really dabbled much in fansites and other serious Potter fandom, feeling a bit of a fraud by comparison with the really keen fans. However, the reviews I'd read sounded promising, so I gave it a go.
Once I started reading, I was hooked - the author's love of Potter poured out from the pages, and re-sparked my own love for it. I liked her style too, clear, journalistic, and well-phrased. And I was fascinated by the story of the rise of the Potter phenomenon, particularly in the U.S. - I never realised just how popular it was there, as well as here. Lots of interesting facts and characters - the tour with the band Harry and the Potters springs to mind - look them up on YouTube if you dare!
Reading this book, it would probably help if you were a Potter fan; but I reckon even a non-fan would be seduced by this passionate and sunny book!
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