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Publisher's Summary

During the brief span of just one decade, hundreds of millions of perfectly ordinary people made history: they became the only ones who would remember what it was like when the Harry Potter saga was still unfinished. What it was like to seek out friends, families, online forums, fan fiction, and podcasts to get a fix between novels. When the death of a character was a hotter bet than the World Series. When the unfolding story of a boy wizard changed the way books are read for all time. And as webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron, one of the most popular Harry Potter sites on the Internet, Melissa Anelli had a front row seat to it all. Whether it was helping Scholastic stop leaks and track down counterfeiters, hosting live PotterCasts at bookstores across the country, touring with the wizard rock band Harry and the Potters, or traveling to Edinburgh to interview J. K. Rowling personally, Melissa was at the center of the Harry Potter tornado, and nothing about her life would ever be the same.The Harry Potter books are a triumph of the imagination that did far more than break sales records for all time. They restored the world's sense of wonder and took on a magical life of their own. Now the series has ended, but the story is not over.

With remembrances from J. K. Rowling's editors, agents, publicists, fans, and Rowling herself, Melissa Anelli takes us on a personal journey through every aspect of the Harry Potter phenomenon - from his very first spell to his lasting impact on the way we live and dream.

©2008 Melissa Anelli; (P)2009 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Chronicling 10 years of Pottermania, Anelli dishes up a revealing, delicious insider's view." (Kirkus Starred Review)
"Infectious, at times frenetic, excitement." (Publishers Weekly)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

Immersion

This book took me deep into a world of Harry Potter that I didn't know existed. As a reader of Harry Potter who didn't start until after the final book had been written, I missed all of the excitement of speculation and guessing. Learning about the music, websites, interviews, conferences, etc was truly amazing and I'm thrilled this book was written. Thank you Melissa!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Heather
  • Myrtle Beach, SC, United States
  • 03-19-09

Relive the magic!

Wow, this is an amazing book. I love Harry Potter and the fandom. Melissa Anelli takes us on a nostalgic journey to those moments most important to Harry Potter fans. We go back to that happy and sad day when we learn the release date of the last Harry Potter book. We find out what it's like to tour with the Wizard Rock band, Harry and the Potters. We get reminded of the shipping wars and the Half Blood Prince interview with J K Rowling. But the book is so much more than that. When being taken back in time, Melissa doesn't just give us the fun stuff. We remember September 11, 2001 and our brave author comes face to face with someone trying so desperately hard to take away our books. You will cry and you will laugh. If you experienced any of this, then this is the book for you. And for the many us who've met her, whether online or in person, we know, she is awesome.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An Amazing Trip Back!

If you could sum up Harry, a History in three words, what would they be?

So very emotional.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Reliving the experiences of the HP Phenomenon and learning stuff I did not know to complete the journey.

Which scene was your favorite?

The experience of preparing for the last book and an end of an era.

Any additional comments?

This book is great for those of us whom love HP and are geeks about it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting Historical Insight

If your a Potter fan, this will give you some insight into how the series became such a phenom. Can drag on in some places, but all in all, the historical insight it worth the listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Valarie
  • Davison, MI, United States
  • 05-06-12

I pretty much hated this book

Harry,A History holds a unique place in my library. It is the first audiobook I did not finish. Generally if I have difficulty getting through a book it's because of the narration. Not so with this book. It was egotistical, poorly written and had very little to do about the actual "phenomenon" and more to do with the author's work as a webmaster. The author continuously tried to create suspenseful situations by dragging out the point of a story or situation. I couldn't handle it any more. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan but my interest in the books was not enough to keep me going with this book. I have no complaints with the narration, I just really disliked the story.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An entertaining walk down memory lane

Normally I'm rather nerdy in the audiobooks I read with most being science or non-fiction history books so this was a different kind of book for me. I really enjoyed the growth of the author and how "she found her people" in the online Harry Potter universe. While the book was fun, and easy, to read what I came away with is what happens when you follow your passion. Most of us become unstoppable which is why I will listen again with my kids so they can see someone who did just that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Spectacular. Very insightful, a tear-jerker and g

spectacular. Very insightful, a tear-jerker and a good extention of the Harry Potter world. Also gave stories to those who were behind the scenes of the whole thing and how they felt about the Harry Potter world. I loved that it told the whole story from start to finish from multiple points of view.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

For true Harry Potter fans

I really liked this book for the story it told, it was heartfelt and touching and made my love for Harry Potter grow.

The only thing I disliked was the narration- narrator hardly tried to do different voices for the many characters so it made listening to this book confusing a lot of the time. I would recommend actually reading it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Couldn't Finish

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I thought this was going to be more about how Harry affected individuals and groups around the world. Instead, it was one woman's perspective as a fangirl. If the author's lens had been wider, I might have finished it.

Has Harry, a History turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I'll just know I should listen to a sample before I buy.

Which character – as performed by Renée Raudman – was your favorite?

N/A

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was disappointed.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Exactly right

Reading this brought me back to reading the Harry Potter books. The magic is still alive.