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'First Edition' Of The 'Iliad'? Sure, Right Next To That 'FIrst Edition' Bible

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'First Edition' Of The 'Iliad'? Sure, Right Next To That 'FIrst Edition' Bible

Book News & Features

'First Edition' Of The 'Iliad'? Sure, Right Next To That 'FIrst Edition' Bible

'First Edition' Of The 'Iliad'? Sure, Right Next To That 'FIrst Edition' Bible

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An online used bookstore reports that demand for a "first edition" of Homer's Iliad has soared, thanks to a new thriller starring Jennifer Lopez.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's a movie out right now that you may or may not have heard of. It's a thriller called "The Boy Next Door" starring Jennifer Lopez. And there's a scene in this film that has caused a bit of a literary kerfuffle. In it, this high-school-student-slash-stalker gives his classics teacher, played by Lopez, a gift - a book. But not just any book - "The Iliad" - and not just any "Iliad."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BOY NEXT DOOR")

JENNIFER LOPEZ: (As Claire Peterson) This is a first edition? I can't accept this. This must have cost a fortune.

RYAN GUZMAN: (As Noah Sandborn) It was a buck at a garage sale. One man's trash...

MARTIN: OK. So sharp-eared listeners will know that a first edition of "The Iliad" is even rarer than a classics professor who looks like Jennifer Lopez. Homer's "Iliad" is 3,000 years old and wasn't actually put down on papyrus, let alone paper, until the 10th century. But it appears that the movie has launched 1,000 searches - at least on the online used bookstore AbeBooks which reports that "The Iliad: First Edition" has been the top search term since the film opened. Sure, sure, you can get a first edition of, say, the 18th century Alexander Pope translation. But if you found it at a garage sale, well, you definitely want to keep looking. I mean, who knows? You might find an original copy of Genesis.

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