Retrospective look at Potter enjoyable

Scott Viau


Although it’s been nearly a year and a half since J.K. Rowling’s final “Potter” book, fans are still clamoring for more. Melissa Anelli, webmaster of the fan site The Leaky Cauldron, has sated their urges with a book detailing not only the history of Harry, but of her experiences with the boy wizard. The result is nearly as moving and touching as the “Potter” novels themselves.

“Harry, A History” tackles more than just the oft-told story of how “Potter” was born. Anelli details her experiences with Harry, beginning from the moment she fell in love with the boy wizard. As Anelli’s love for the books grew, so did her desire to become involved with the growing online community. Anelli’s small, non-paying job at the Leaky Cauldron would lead her to some of the most exciting and opportune chances of her burgeoning journalistic career.

Anelli writes with a clear and entertaining voice that makes her quite enjoyable to read. Her encounters with Rowling are humorous, and Anelli provides a great deal of interesting information about her life with Harry, which includes touring with a Potter-themed rock band. These stories show the reader there’s a large fan base out there. There are people who celebrate the series not just by reading it, but by singing and writing about it.

What makes “Harry” such a pleasure is that most readers can identify with Anelli. We all remember our first midnight release and each one after that, as well as the spoilers that plagued each release. Although I couldn’t help but search for these spoilers, I learned, just like Anelli, that it’s not the outcome that affects the reader as much as the journey.

The ending of “Harry” is almost as sad as the ending of the series itself. In short paragraphs, Anelli explains where fellow Potter fans were on the day of the release and shortly thereafter. It’s unlikely that there will ever be anything else in our lifetime that can unite both young and old in the simple pleasure of reading a great story.

Though for all the pleasure and charm this book brings, it’s not without faults. For chronicling 10 years of Anelli’s life, the book seems somewhat short. An additional 50 to 100 pages – or a transcript from her most recent interview with Rowling – doesn’t seem unreasonable.

Those suffering from post-Potter depression will find “Harry, A History” to be an excellent trip down memory lane. It’s filled with funny and clever anecdotes, while being properly sentimental about the loss of something that has meant so much to people everywhere. Harry Potter has not truly left us, though. Not as long as we continue to read and remember him.