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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon » User review

A fascinating history

  • Jul 20, 2010
I confess, I'm a Harry Potter addict. I love J K Rowling's books. And now, after reading Harry, a History by Melissa Anelli, I finally know that Rowling rhymes with bowling. I know a lot of other things too that I scarcely guessed before, and while I was slightly reluctant to read a real-world Harry tale, I'm very glad I finally did so.

Melissa Anelli became web-mistress of the Leaky Cauldron partway through the Harry Potter phenomenon. I remember visiting her site, enjoying her snippets, checking up on release dates, and delighting in her "no spoilers" policy. As I dream more and more of one day being an author, I look to her website as an example of how advertising "should" be done. And then I find myself wondering, how did it all come about.

So, at last, I've read Melissa's story and taken an inside look at the selling and advertising, and even the writing, of a wonderfully successful series of books. I've learned how Ms Rowling knew and kept her characters' secrets. I've met the film actors and enjoyed their conversation. I've seen the workspace, and even, eventually, the home. I've imagined that moment when J K Rowling shakes hands and Melissa shakes in her shoes, all words and poise flown like magical spells into nowhere. I've shared, and I've enjoyed, every turn of the page, and now I'm just waiting for the next film. Like I said, I'm an addict.

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Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #42
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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About this book


With infectious, at times frenetic, excitement, Anelli presents two narratives in this hip report on how a boy wizard became a rock star. The first is a love letter to the fans of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter: a smart, creative, multinational, generation-spanning and technology-driven community. In the second, Anelli gives readers an exhaustive, if often jumbled, time line of Harry Potter's popularity. Appropriately for the webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron Web site, the author pays attention to the power of the Internet and its symbiotic relationship with fan communities, known as fandoms. Anelli attributes the evolution of fandoms principally to Harry Potter—an error that ignores other fandom phenomena likeStar TrekorThe X-Files. As she details her work with the Leaky Cauldron, readers get a view into the publishing world and the impressive tale of Harry Potter's ascension. Anelli also shares sweet scenes of meeting Rowling and the actors who portray the characters in the films. Fans will recognize themselves in these pages, and the curious might finally understand their friends.(Nov. 4)
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ISBN-10: 1416554955
Author: Melissa Anelli
Genre: Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books

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"A fascinating history"
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