In “Harry, A History”, Melissa Anelli tells a story that most Potter fans could’ve told, with the added insight that comes along with her being mastermind webmistress of the popular Harry Potter fan site The Leaky Cauldron. This book is many things. For those who haven’t read Harry Potter and are curious as to why it’s so popular and what exactly goes on in the fandom, it’s a very knowledgeable and good recount for them. For those of us like myself, who are die-hard Harry Potter fans, it serves as a book filled to the brim with nostalgia as well as some things you might not have known before– even if you thought you were an expert — as well as an easy-to-relate-to story.
That story is of Ms. Anelli’s journey participating in the Harry Potter fandom and recounting some of her adventures (i.e… getting to interview J.K. Rowling (x2!), attending premieres, the website) as well as talking about some other ways Potter changed her life, by bringing different people into her life and making friends, gaining inspiration, etc… She also outlines many products of the fandom such as fan sites, fan fiction, wizard rock, the podcasts, release parties, and ‘shipping’; as well as the various and plentiful controversies surrounding the books and between the fans.
It was a very personal book for me to read. So many of the feelings found in the book are ones I’ve also experienced, just as many others I know have. I’m a ‘super-fan’ and even I didn’t know about all of the things in the book. For example, I didn’t know that Cassandra Clare wrote a popular, novel-length trilogy of HP fan fiction about Draco Malfoy (must’ve missed that somewhere). But, you know, it’s not as if I used to spend hours pouring over fan sites or anything *shifty eyes* (although I admit I’ve been more of a Mugglenet girl). As a fan, everything seemed very spot-on in the book. It’s one I’d recommend to anyone who seeks insight of the fandom or any fan who wishes to experience nostalgia and such. In light of the new movie I found it particular insightful. 🙂