How 'The Boy Next Door' Inspired People to Search For a Non-Existent Book

Hey, at least the poorly-received thriller inspired something.

How 'The Boy Next Door' Inspired People to Search For a Non-Existent Book
Universal Pictures

If you've seen Jennifer Lopez's latest thriller, The Boy Next Door, you are probably familiar with the scene that has critics, moviegoers, and literature buffs up in arms — well, at least on the Internet. In the film, Noah (played by hunky Ryan Guzman) gifts his neighbor/love interest Claire (Lopez) a first edition copy of The Iliad. As Noah reveals, he bought the hardbound version of Homer's epic poem for only a "buck at a garage sale.”

But wait, how could that be if the "first edition" of The Iliad does not exist? (Remember: the poem was composed at least 2,000 years before the printing press was invented.) Despite this glaring historical error, that hasn't stopped some curious folks from trying to get their hands on a copy of the book.

According to The Guardian"The Iliad, first edition" has been a top search term on the AbeBooks website since the movie's release in January. “It appears people who have watched the film are trying to identify the actual edition handed to Lopez, which has dark yellow and blue boards. I cannot match the book seen in the movie to anything currently for sale on AbeBooks. It could be a movie prop and not even be a real book. It certainly appears to be an attractive book,” said AbeBooks spokesman Richard Davies.

Well, if there's a positive side to the existence of this poorly-rated film, it's that ancient Greek poetry is finally having a moment. We approve. 

I'm the editorial director of Zimbio. Instagram: @anela_bella Twitter: @laniconway