Thursday, February 2, 2012
Review: Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon
Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A wonderful, insightful look at the fandom of Harry Potter from an insider's perspective. Anelli gives parallel histories of the Potter phenomenon: her own personal journey from novice Potter reader to super-fan, webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron as well as the stories of J.K. Rowling, the series' inception, and various big players in the Potter fandom. Covering topics like fan fiction, wizard rock, spoilers, and book challenges, Harry, A History gives an enthralling look into the deep and diverse Muggle world of Harry Potter. This well written guide will give any Potter fan back stage glimpses to the real world of Harry Potter, and the forward from J.K. Rowling doesn't hurt.
On a personal note, this book opened my eyes to the breadth of the Potter phenomenon. I'm what I like to call a periphery fan, not a FAN in the purest sense of the word. I obsess privately, don't own much merchandise, and only geek out once in awhile. This book makes me wish I had taken greater part in the greater phenomenon while it was still fresh and ongoing.
Favorite quote (context - Anelli's private interview with Rowling several months after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
"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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