In The Boy Next Door, Noah (Ryan Guzman) gives Claire (Jennifer Lopez) what he says is the first edition of The Iliad. Claire teaches English literature, so this gesture is especially romantic—even though Noah claims he got the book for just “a buck at a garage sale.” And now, fans of the film are looking for their own first edition of The Iliad. Sadly for them, it doesn’t exist.
According to The Guardian, “The Iliad, first edition” has been the top search term on the AbeBooks website since the movie came out in January. But The Iliad was probably written in the eighth century B.C.—and the printing press wasn’t invented until hundreds of years later, in 1440 A.D.
To give the movie the benefit of the doubt, Noah could be giving Claire a first edition of one of multiple editions of The Iliad—but judging by her excitement, it seems he’s referring to the “true” first edition from 700 B.C. The one that doesn’t exist.
But there is an upside to all this: The Boy Next Door—The Boy Next Door!—inspired something, no matter how misguided that something is. Anything is possible.