13 June 2007

A "Ghost" -- a priceless book / Lost in the Wilds

This is a book I do not possess and never will. Sounds useful if you are lost in the jungle after your light aircraft has had to make a forced landing.

D. Croyle. LOST IN THE WILDS. No place. No date. (1997)

Current Selling Prices
$0000 / £0000

A much wanted book that doesn't actually exist. There are about 40 people waiting to be quoted it at abebooks.com and several elsewhere. The book is seen being read by billionaire magazine publicist billionaire Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) at the beginning of the 1997 movie 'The Edge.' It appears to be a book about survival in the wilderness but was mocked up by the props department (the director's assistant was a chap called Darragh Croyle.) The book is never seen after Morse's plain crashes in the woods and would have been kind of useful. Google reveals one bloke who wants the book for his son's school work. The book is what is known in the trade as a 'ghost.' This is usually a work announced as a forthcoming book that never gets published. In the case of the faked up book 'Flyfishing' by J R Hartley, featured in a UK Yellow Pages ad, it became so famous that someone actually wrote and published the book.

VALUE? Priceless. For everything else there is Visa. The curious thing is that one site says it is a small yellow book that costs $75 and BibliOz lists it but with no details. The book has as a sort of half life-- as befits a ghost. No ISBN as yet. BTW if you are lost in the wilds, especially the bush there is a book by one Alan Fry (Toronto 1981) that covers most eventualities: ' Survival in the wilderness : a practical, all-season guide to traditional woodlore and survival techniques for hikers, skiers, backpackers, canoeists, travellers in light aircraft, and anyone stranded in the bush.'

Trivia. The working title of the movie was 'The Bookworm' and the film begins with Morse being presented with a 'beautiful' book (I think it's this Croyle ghost) and as someone says at the Stanford student discussion site:
' Our friend the billionaire happens to love books; moreover, his knowledge of things (he really knows EVERYTHING) comes only from books and, although theoretical, his knowledge will probably save them (no, I will not tell you the end).'

Must see this movie, it sounds anti-book, which is very much the spirit of our times. Don't be fooled however - everything is in books (except this one.)


Anonymous said...

The "ghost book" I'd most like to find is the "Handbook for the Newly Deceased", from the movie BEETLEJUICE -- the book that's handed to the main characters of the movie shortly after their death, when they show up in the rather bureaucratic Afterlife. The mock-up used in the movie is particularly nice, with that grungy look I've seen a million times in bottom-of-the-barrel thrift-shop books.

Anonymous said...

You're right that is a wonderful looking book and could be useful in the world beyond. I have seen a similar sort of book - a sort of handbook to the after life that also has that cheesy look you mention and will try to dig it out

Beetlejuice, great movie, esp the beautiful young goth played by Winona Ryder... Nigel

Norrin2 said...

The ghost book I'd most love to find is "The Junior Woodchuck Guide". Anybody who has ever read any of Carl Barks's classic duck comic books knows why. Anything you need to know is in that book.
And I think "for everything else" there's MasterCard.

Anonymous said...

I'm lost, what is a ghost? Didnt HP Lovecraft write (or not write) a ghost?

VDOVault said...

Chances are both of these books are prop books...if you wanted copies you would have to do some research on imdb.com and the online search engines to find copies

Anonymous said...

The book seen in the edge is not a real book in the sense that there's not a book with this title by this author, D.Croyle. This was an inside joke as D.Croyle was an assistant to the director of the movie. There are books out there with this title, but by different authors. The "fictional" book in the movie was created most likely to prevent paying royalties.

Anonymous said...

Buy this one.


dan said...

That is awesome. I have been searching for this book for years. I guess I can stop now, I do have a reproduction of the oar. I love this movie and am currently in Big Bear CA watching it.