Shortly before high-school teacher Claire Peterson, Jennifer Lopez’s character in the just-released thriller The Boy Next Door, hops into bed with her 19-year-old neighbor and soon-to-be stalker, Noah (Ryan Guzman), the seductive youngster presents her with a gift.
And it is quite a find, to say the least:
No one knows precisely when the Iliad was first written down (the earliest surviving manuscripts date from the third century B.C., though the poem is thought to have been first transcribed by the mid-sixth century B.C., and at least a century earlier still), but we can safely assume that the original print run was not a hardcover with gilded pages. Slate has generously suggested that perhaps the audience is supposed to think the book is a first-edition English translation — perhaps Arthur Hall’s 1581 translation — but, again, the binding looks rather tight for a volume four centuries old.
“The Iliad, first edition” has been the top search term on AbeBooks, the American online book store that specialises in rare editions, since Lopez’s film, The Boy Next Door, was released in the US on January 23.
To be fair, “Richard Davies of AbeBooks said that he thought fans of the film were trying to identify the edition given to Lopez,” and one Twitter user purports to have found it: an edition published by Belford, Clarke of Chicago in the 1880s.
Still, why do we suspect that at least a few moviegoers heard “Homer” and thought they meant this guy?: