Lucky me, Santa gave me Harry, A History for Christmas. Exactly what I asked for… from my mom. Anyways, I wanted the book because I listen to PotterCast and of course I’ve been hearing about the book since Melissa, one of the hosts, wrote it. The book is basically about Melissa’s experience with the fandom and she’s been right front and center being the webmistress of, like, the biggest Harry Potter fan site, The Leaky Cauldron.
The stories and experiences that Melissa writes about are really insightful. It tells you a lot about what it’s like to be a fan of such a huge series,although I doubt the amount of people who don’t know what it’s like will actually pick it up to find out. There are a lot of moments in the book where, I could imagine, every fan wished he or she was Melissa. Lemme think… well, she’s friends with the Jamie Waylett aka Crabbe, she’s held an original copy of Beedle, she’s been on tour with Harry and the Potters, she’s interviewd Laura Mallory (you all know you wish you could at least meet the woman), she’s sat in Dumbledore’s chair, she’s met JK Rowling, she’s interviewed JK Rowling, she’s been inside Jo’s house, she’s just so essential to the community in so many ways.
One of my favorite chapters was when Melissa interviewed Laura Mallory. I can’t imagine having to talk to the lady who went so far to ban the Harry Potter books from libraries without even reading the book because God told her not too. She’s so firm in her faith it’s almost frustrating. I mean, you have to at least try to hear the other side out sometimes. And I think this is one of those times. But, I admired how Melissa seems to have handled the encounter and she wrote about it without making Laura Mallory out as a terrible fiend. I have no idea if I could even manage that much.
The only problem with the book I had was the actual writing. The style just didn’t sit well with me personally. Some of the metaphors Melissa uses and the way she explains things and describes events seems confusing to me, or at leasy a little wordy at times. But, that’s just my opnion and Harry, A History just goes against my general writing preferences.
But, other than that, I would certainly reccommend this book to all Harry Potter fans whether or nor you are an extremely obsessed one or a casual movie-goer. It really gives you a sense of what you’re contributing to. And for those people who aren’t into Harry Potter, the book might give you some insight on why we fans are so crazed.
One last thing, there is a website for Harry, A History that has a bunch of fun extra tidbits. Vault 27 has some extra pieces from Melissa’s interviews that didn’t make it into the book which is worth a visit.