From Publishers Weekly
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 fandoms. Anelli attributes the evolution of fandoms principally to Harry Potter—an 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. (Nov. 4)
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The words Harry Potter conjure up not only images of a successful seven-book series about a boy wizard but also the epic economic and cultural phenomenon it inspired. Author Anelli was front and center for much of this evolution and, as webmistress of the popular fan site the Leaky Cauldron, may even have contributed to it. Her painstakingly detailed account of the phenomenon’s many aspects—fan sites, fan fiction, movies, promotional tours, podcasts, rock bands, and more—will be of interest primarily to hardcore devotees (and possibly, someday, to cultural anthropologists). Meanwhile, admirers of the books themselves will find less of interest here but will still enjoy the insider’s glimpses Anelli offers of Harry’s creator, J. K. Rowling, and of the series’ publishing history, though there is little analysis of how the books changed people’s attitudes toward reading and children’s literature. Although she’s not a particularly graceful writer, Anelli is a true believer, and her passionate devotion to all things Harry is often endearing and undeniably infectious. --Michael Cart