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Harry, A History - Enhanced with Videos and Exclusive J.K. Rowling Interview

The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A new enhanced e-book edition, featuring an extended transcript from Melissa Anelli's exclusive interview with J. K. Rowling; a new, updated chapter; and special videos made just for this edition!

Melissa Anelli wears a ring that was a gift to her from J.K. Rowling, given as a measure of appreciation for the work she does on The Leaky Cauldron, where her job entails being a fan, reporter, guardian, and spokesperson for the Harry Potter series.

For ten years, millions of fans have lived inside literary history, the only fans to know what it was like when Harry Potter was unfinished. When anticipation for a book was just as likely to cause a charity drive as a pistol shootout. When millions of rabid fans looked to friends, families, neighbors, forums, discussion groups, fan fiction and podcasts to get their fix between novels. When the death of a character was a hotter bet than who'd win the World Series. When one series of books had the power to change the way books are read.

This has been a time when a book was more popular than movies, television, and video games. The series has spawned a generation of critical thinkers and new readers. The New York Times changed the way it reported book sales just to avoid a continual overpowering of its bestseller list.

These events must be given their proper context, and this moment must be preserved.  The series will remain important to literature and pop culture, but the experience will change. Harry's fate will be as commonly known as the identity of Luke Skywalker's father, and readers who never had to wait for a Harry Potter book will have no idea what transpired when the series had hundreds of millions of people waiting desperately for the next volume.

We are the first wave of Harry Potter fans, the ones that are living in the time that shapes how Harry Potter will be remembered for all time. But when this era is over, fans will need some way to remember this strange, wonderful, dizzying experience. Future fans, too, will want to know what they missed. Harry Potter will exist as a seven-book series, but without the indivisible story of the cultural, literary and emotional impact the series has made, the story is incomplete. How can a fan understand Harry Potter without hearing about the midnight book parties, the scams, the theories, the burglaries, the bets, the bannings, and most importantly, the worldwide camaraderie spurred on by mutual love of a boy wizard? How can they know how Harry Potter changed and touched the lives of so many without hearing it first hand?

Harry, A History tells this story.  It tells the personal story of Melissa Anelli's journey through the very heart of Harry Potter fandom.  And wraps this phenomenon up into one narrative, factual volume – one book that tells what happened when Harry Potter met the world.

Publishers Weekly Review

Nov 03, 2008 – With infectious, at times frenetic, excitement, Anelli presents two narratives in this hip report on how a boy wizard became a rock star. The first is a love letter to the fans of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter: a smart, creative, multinational, generation-spanning and technology-driven community. In the second, Anelli gives readers an exhaustive, if often jumbled, time line of Harry Potter's popularity. Appropriately for the webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron Web site, the author pays attention to the power of the Internet and its symbiotic relationship with fan communities, known as \x93fandoms.\x94 Anelli attributes the evolution of fandoms principally to Harry Potter\x97an error that ignores other fandom phenomena like Star Trek or The X-Files. As she details her work with the Leaky Cauldron, readers get a view into the publishing world and the impressive tale of Harry Potter's ascension. Anelli also shares sweet scenes of meeting Rowling and the actors who portray the characters in the films. Fans will recognize themselves in these pages, and the curious might finally understand their friends.

Customer Reviews

I love this book!

Reading this book is a wonderful tale for a fan, the fears of being ridiculed, but also the joy in meeting others who were understanding what has been in the white space of the Harry Potter books. The videos are also wonderful, a brief look into what it was like during the frenzy of the release of a Harry Potter book.


This book was very good.I would rather read this book than any other one.


This book was not good at all.I would rather read any other book than this one.

Harry, A History - Enhanced with Videos and Exclusive J.K. Rowling Interview
View In iTunes
  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Jul 05, 2011
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 560 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings