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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Potterdom Revealed
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...
Published on 4 Nov. 2008 by Rotfang's Hermione Fan Club

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A front row view of the Harry Potter phenomenon
This is as much memoir as history but I found it entertaining. It has a very detailed account of Harry Potter's road to publication and makes the point that it succeeded against the odds - the first book was thought to be far too long for a children's book and to have a terrible title. I also enjoyed Melissa Anelli's account of the rise of Harry Potter fandom, in which...
Published on 13 May 2010 by Miss Moppet


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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Potterdom Revealed, 4 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon (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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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry; A History, 3 Feb. 2009
By 
Sharon Maggott "bookworm" (Durban, South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon (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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Harry Potter experience, 23 Nov. 2008
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Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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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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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insider's look into Harry's frenetic fandom, 19 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Phenomenon revealed, 16 Dec. 2008
By 
Mr. J. Amos (U.K) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly interesting, 19 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unexpected pleasure, 23 April 2011
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I have to admit that when I first flicked through this book I wasn't sure I would like it - normally books written about something I love but from the perspective of one person can be a bit of a let down - however as it was about Harry Potter I decided to read it, and I'm really glad that I did. I've read some of the reviews which criticise it for being too 'me me me' by Melissa but I think that's unfair. She, like me, came late to the whole Harry phenomenon and I loved reading her descriptions of how she felt, it reminded me of those days when I was (whisper it) a bit cynical about Harry Potter's success. However this book is so much more than Melissa's personal recollections, although they are interesting (and very envy-generating), as it tells the story of how HP came to be such a hit. Reading this book made me want to re-read the whole series but I'm saving that for my summer holidays as a treat, lol. I definitely recommend this book, and admire Melissa's style of writing and her honesty throughout.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new angle on Harry Potter, 28 Jun. 2010
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This review is from: Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon (Paperback)
Harry: A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon

A thoroughly enjoyable book written by a dedicated fan.
Melissa gives a very personal take on the Harry Potter books but in doing so she explores all aspects of the books and how they affected people and what happened after each was published and the changes they brought about in her life.
Especially fascinating are the arguments which took place in fandom about so many aspects of the HP books, including his love-life.

My favourite part is when she also explores the opponents of the Harry Potter creations and writes with real passion about their campaigns and the people in them. The "Banned and Burned" chapter is a fascinating eye-opener.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A front row view of the Harry Potter phenomenon, 13 May 2010
This is as much memoir as history but I found it entertaining. It has a very detailed account of Harry Potter's road to publication and makes the point that it succeeded against the odds - the first book was thought to be far too long for a children's book and to have a terrible title. I also enjoyed Melissa Anelli's account of the rise of Harry Potter fandom, in which she came to play such a prominent role (as webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron fan site) that fans started writing fan fiction about HER. On the downside, the writing is occasionally clunky and the timeline jumps about far too much, but there's plenty here for Potter fans and those interested in popular culture generally.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed - it's not worth your time!, 31 May 2013
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This review is from: Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon (Paperback)
Being a huge Harry Potter fan myself I expected a book as captivating and interesting as the actual Harry Potter novel series itself - I was immensly disappointed.

It is a book filled with trivia and weak rethorical devices, trying to be funny and not really achieving it. The author tries to build up tension by purposely leaving out relevant information until the end of chapters and by employing a frantic first-person narrative. The result is not - as clearly intended - an exciting, fast-paced and flowing text. Instead, it leads to much impatience and annoyance with the writing style and lack of coherence.
Anyone who has - like me - known the feeling of waiting for the next HP book to come out, will be sad because this book draws the magic out of that time and out of Harry Potter.

Harry, A History does not reach the heart of a true Harry Potter fan because it lacks all the wit and depth a reader of J. K. Rowling comes to expect. It fails to capture the spell-binding capacity of the books and the magic of the waiting periods so many readers experienced between 1997 and 2007.
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