I didn't like this book nearly as much as I was expecting to, and I'm having trouble articulating why. It is well-written, and well-read in the case o...moreI didn't like this book nearly as much as I was expecting to, and I'm having trouble articulating why. It is well-written, and well-read in the case of the audio edition. It does a good job telling Harry's story, through the eyes of some notable participants of the fandom. It's positive coverage of the fan community, something that is always good. And yet...I didn't like it. Maybe it's because I suspect that if I met the author in person, I wouldn't particularly like her. No, wait: that's too strong. I'm not saying I dislike her or anything, but for two people who are members of the same fandom, I think you would be hard pressed to find two people who have less in common. I was an anti-social teenaged male fan, and she was a 30-something professional female fan during the time the books were released. I was, and still am for that matter, a devoted Harry/Hermione shipper. Not because I have any problem with Ron, but because of how deeply I dislike Ginny (and how much I like Hermione). The anti-Ginny camp hardly gets a mention, putting all of Harry/Hermione down to evil Ron. I had never heard of Harry And The Potters, and didn't like what I heard when I looked them up just now, but I think The Butterbeer Experience and Lauren Fairweather wrote some of the best Harry Potter related music I've found. Yet, they get passed off with a one-line reference as Harry and The Potter clones. I never spent any time at all on The Sugar Quill or Harry Potter for Grownups, and my only involvement with Leaky was as a reader and listener. As an aside, I'd really like to see a source for the claim the author makes that Fiction Alley was only created because Cassandra Clare was banned from fanfiction.net for plagiarism. Even back then, there were lots and lots of perfectly good and ethical reasons not to want to have anything to do with fanfiction.net. All of the fanfics and fanfic authors she mentioned, I either didn't read, or didn't like. Not a single one of the fanfics I absolutely loved, and followed religiously, even got a mention.
I think writing this out has brought me to the reason this book doesn't sit well with me. The subtitle is "The true story of a boy wizard, his fans..." I think it should have been along the lines of "Harry: A History: The True Story Of One girls Life As A Fan". Because as it stands, the book seems to be trying to sell itself as some kind of complete story of the fandom, and it just isn't. My experience, and thus I'm sure the experience of millions of others, is not in any way reflected by this narrative. Honestly, that really doesn't matter all that much. But I guess what turned me off of this book was that I was expecting some kind of unbiased recounting of the history of Harry Potter fandom, and what I got was a biography of Melissa Anelli. I'm much, much more interested in the former. So someone go and write that book, please. (less)