Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli

June 29, 2017     erinthebooknut     Book review

Harry, A History by Melissa AnelliHarry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli, J.K. Rowling
Published by Gallery Books on November 4th 2008
Pages: 356


During the brief span of just one decade, hundreds of millions of perfectly ordinary people made history: they became the only ones who would remember what it was like when the Harry Potter saga was still unfinished. What is was like to seek out friends, families, online forums, fan fiction, and podcasts to get a fix between novels. When the potential death of a character was a hotter bet than the World Series. When the unfolding story of a boy wizard changed the way books are read for all time.

And a webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron, one of the most popular Harry Potter sites on the Internet, Melissa Anelli had a front row seat to it all. Whether it was helping Scholastic stop leaks and track down counterfeiters, hosting live PotterCasts at bookstores across the country, touring with the wizard rock band Harry and the Potters, or traveling to Edinburgh to interview J.K. Rowling personally, Melissa was at the center of the Harry Potter tornado, and nothing about her life would ever be the same.

The Harry Potter books are a triumph of the imagination that did far more than break sales records for all time. They restored the world's sense of wonder and took on a magical life of their own. Now the series has ended, but the story is not over. With remembrances from J.K. Rowling's editors, agents, publicists, fans and Rowling herself, Melissa Anelli takes us on a personal journey through every aspect of the Harry Potter phenomenon--from his very first spell to his lasting impact on the way we live the dream.

4.5 Nuts

Back in the early 2000s everything was Harry Potter. For me it was my world. I wrote fanfiction, wrote on message boards, listened to podcasts and had every Potter related book I could find. One of the podcasts I listened to was called PotterCast and one of its hosts announces that she, Melissa Anelli, was writing a book about the Potter fandom. Naturally I bought it and read the whole thing in one sitting.

Here’s the thing about the Potter fandom, it was explosive in a way no one had seen before. And so big that no one had been able  to tell its story yet. Truthfully no one else could tell it the way Melissa did. No one else was in the thick of it like she was.

Melissa was Webmistress of the Harry Potter fan news site The Leaky Cauldron, one of the three hosts of the popular Potter podcast PotterCast, had interviewed Ms Rowling herself at least twice, and had her fingerprints on several other pieces of the Potter fandom. She knew what she was talking about.

These days going back and reading Harry, A History is nostalgic. Like many adults my age, Harry was a major part of our childhood and with that came the fandom. While it remains semi active it will never be what it used to be and Melissa captures that crazy moment in time perfectly in her book.

Melissa’s writing was frank and took me back ten years in the blink of an eye. I saw myself as a teenager with each new book in my hand or sitting at my computer bonding with other anons over a book we all loved. In a way Potter was my gateway into blogging.

I recommend HARRY, A HISTORY to anyone who loves Harry Potter, anyone active in the fandom at that time, or who is fascinated my pop culture history.

Where you a Potter fan at its height? Share your Potter experience in the comments.

From my shelf to yours,


One response to “Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli

  1. I got into Harry Potter in 2001 and just like you, was obsessed with podcasts, message boards, fan fiction, fan art and etc. To this day, Harry Potter impacts my life every day. Harry Potter meet ups and conventions are my favorite things to attend but I do love a good Wrock show . I was able to meet Melissa this year at MISTI-Con 2017.

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