Books: Everything you need to know about the Potter phenomenon

Share this article

Harry Potter, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli is published as a paperback original, priced £8.99. Available now.

FOR some people it is a chance meeting on a train, crossing paths with an inspiring teacher or even reading an amazing book.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a road to Damascus moment which changes the direction of our life.

But for Melissa Anelli just such a time came when, as an unemployed undergraduate in the late 1990s, she read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

The story of how JK Rowling's creation took hold of her life and turned it in a completely different direction is charted in her book, which also chronicles the magical effect it has had on others around the world.

Unlike most other devotees, Anelli's fascination with the boy wizard led to her meeting the Edinburgh author and the stars of the Potter films.

In her vivid and illuminating book, Anelli unravels what lies beneath the Harry Potter phenomenon and how it feels to be so wrapped up in the mystical world.

Crammed with details and facts, from Harry Potter's struggles with Voldemort through to Rowling's personal life as she developed her adored characters, this is a heartfelt, well-written book by a true insider.

The tongue-in-cheek title Harry, A History is slightly misleading, as it is the subtitle which really tells you what the book is about – part autobiography, part introduction to the virtual universe which has sprung up around Potter.

It tries, and largely succeeds, to explain just what it is about the boy wizard which inspires such deep-seated devotion.

9/10 Review by Ernie Waters

Back to the top of the page