Isis's Reviews > Harry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon

Harry, a History by Melissa Anelli
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's review
Aug 10, 2009

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bookshelves: audiobook, memoir

The parts of this book that are actually a history of the "Harry Potter phenomenon" - how JKR's agent and eventual publishing houses fell in love with the book, how its popularity rewrote the rules for book releases and the NYT bestseller list, how children and young teens used the growing internet to express their interest in the series (and how this confounded the lawyers) - are fascinating, and I enjoyed them greatly. I could have read a whole book about these things, written from a journalistic, documentary perspective. Unfortunately, the history of Harry accounts for only about half of this book.

The rest is Melissa Anelli, a History, and frankly, I could have done without most of that. This is partly because her twenty-something angst about her life and her job makes forty-something me roll her eyes - not to mention all of the "he said I would meet Jo and I laughed and said, No way, that's never going to happen" protesting too much, which seemed to show up predictably every time anything positive happened in her life. And it's partly because the fandom she was part of, the Leaky Cauldron, the Harry and the Potters music, the interminable shipping wars between the Harry/Hermione and Hermione/Ron camps - was not my corner of fandom. She mentions BNFs (protesting, of course, that she seemed to have become one but she has no idea why or how and doesn't think she really is, anyway, but will sign people's books anyway) who I've never heard of. The websites she mentions are ones I didn't visit, and the ones I spent my time on (Fiction Alley, The Restricted Section, the veela-inc mailing list, and of course Livejournal) barely rate a sentence or two if they appear at all. Not to say that hers wasn't a big part of HP fandom - but it wasn't the part I cared about.

(For her part, she sneers at the Snape-fans and rolls her eyes at the slashers, so I guess we're even.)
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Reading Progress

August 10, 2009 – Shelved
August 10, 2009 – Shelved as: audiobook
August 10, 2009 – Shelved as: memoir
August 10, 2009 –
0.0% "chapter 4 of audiobook."
August 18, 2009 –
0.0% "2/3 through audiobook."
Started Reading
August 21, 2009 – Finished Reading

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