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The book Spike is reading in As You Were

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  • The book Spike is reading in As You Were

    I have seen several discussions on this and a few serious and not so serious suggestions for the title of the book Spike is reading in As You Were.

    You know, the scene where he sits on the sarcophagus and Buffy storms in to demand a declaration of love and carnal desire...

    This scene:



    Among the suggestions I've heard so far were:

    - La Nausea
    - A Puffin Book of Verse
    - Understanding Vampire Slayers for Idiots
    - How to Store Demon Eggs for Idiots
    - The Homeowners DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring

    But now someone came up on Facebook with an explanation that fits perfectly. Sadly I can't credit because I don't know their fandom name. I just want to say this is NOT my idea.

    This is the clue that - I believe - solves the mystery once and for all:

    It's a pic from The Freshman and it's Eddie's favorite book:



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  • #2
    It looks like it is definitely from the same set, but the one he's holding looks to have two short words above a longer one for the title to me. You probably find the props peeps got a collection of them, it definitely looks the same style. Not that I think he wouldn't read on human bondage, I just don't think the titles look like they match.

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    • #3
      Okay, you opened the search again. Now, all we have to do is find out, by whom, and when the Maugham novel was published with that specific layout on the cover. Then we have to find out what other titles were published in the same way and then we can make a new guess.

      Let's get to work, Sherlocks!

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      • #4
        Gotta agree with Stoney. If you look at the author byline, on Eddie's book it takes up two lines. On Spike's it appears to be only 1.

        ETA: Looking harder at it, I think it could be the book. It's not a very good quality cap and the second word in the title does indeed look to be HUMAN. Plus it would make sense. It's a book laying around in the props somewhere from S4.

        Close enough for fans to think up headcanons. Did he rescue it from the dump or did Buffy keep it in S4 and he got it from her?

        ETA 2: Eddie's edition is printed by Pocket Books (NY) 1965. A cursory look doesn't show any similar covers in that year's catalogue...
        Last edited by HardlyThere; 24-08-20, 03:06 PM.

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        • #5
          Ha, I just tracked down the publication to Pocket Books New York (but 1966 according to my searches), but I couldn't so far find any other similar covers, like there was a set produced. So it is looking like a prop reuse at the moment.

          I'm going to see if I can get a closer view of the book cover.

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          • #6
            According to this one, it's 1969. https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Boo...?bi=6064433923 Same story, though. No other covers look like that that I can see.

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            • #7
              How did you two find out it was printed by Pocket Book?

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              • Stoney
                Stoney commented
                Editing a comment
                I found the edition at a rare book store by searching with the pic, I think it was available for sale through Abebooks (without checking back).

            • #8
              Right next to each other, it looks like it might just be the same? The top is blurred but the second word does look like human, I just can't detect the 'Of' above it. I'll try to see if it's clearer on HD at some point.



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              • #9
                I assume it was a reissue to coincide with the Kim Novak and Laurence Harvey movie version Of Human Bondage.

                It's no doubt a prop reuse, but I'm sure someone thought the title was funny because of the relationship between Buffy and Spike. It's also kind of apt considering their relationship.

                The title actually comes from Spinoza's ethics and refers to his theory of emotions or 'affect' regarding the human predilection to seek out pleasure and avoid pain. Love and hate, desire and disgust, actually stem from a biological imperative for self-preservation. So humans are in "bondage" to their emotions despite themselves. Just as the lead character in the novel, Phillip, is sexually obsessed with the trashy Mildred to the point of personal disaster, so Buffy and Spike are driven to continue their secret toxic relationship through different emotional needs.

                Maugham based the novel on his own life and the secretive relationship he had with another man while trying to conceal his homosexuality and a lot of the masochism and self-loathing of his lead in the book reflects the horrors of the closet, I think. Maugham is one of my favorite writers (my fave is Razor's Edge) because he writes so well about the instability and emotional violence of a crush. I really love how the novel shows in detail the self-loathing and agony a person goes through for an unrequited love even as it feeds their ego.

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                • Double Dutchess
                  Double Dutchess commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks for the summary! I read the book not that long ago (maybe 3-4 years?) but I hardly remembered anything about it...

              • #10
                I think the 'gap' I was seeing breaking up the top into two words is actually caused by the upward stroke of the 'u' being so thin. And I think you can just see the large end points of the horizontal lines of the 'e' of bondage, right close to the edge of the oval too. So I'm leaning to agreeing it is the same book. And yes, as American Aurora says, such a prop would be seen as an amusing tie in with the relationship between Buffy and Spike. It sounds like an interesting read.

                I'm going to check the HD, but I've definitely swung to thinking it is it.

                Comment


                • TimeTravellingBunny
                  TimeTravellingBunny commented
                  Editing a comment
                  or a not very amusing tie, when you know what the book is about. I saw another version of it on TV once, the 1946 one with the guy from Casablanca.

                • TimeTravellingBunny
                  TimeTravellingBunny commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Paul Henreid, that's his name

                • Stoney
                  Stoney commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yes, the actual book topic doesn't sound amusing from what's been said. Interesting though.

              • #11


                Applying adjustments, contrasts etc., didn't really gain details or clarity. I do feel like you might be able to see the angled darker line of the 'n' though. I've been staring at it too long now.

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                • #12
                  I really doubt the prop dept put all that much thought into it. In the very same episode they get Buffy's address completely wrong on her rejection letter from USD.

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                  • American Aurora
                    American Aurora commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Possible, although I'd still say that they looked at the title, smirked, and grabbed it from the pile of prop books. I know many prop people and they like inside jokes.

                • #13
                  Yeah, in my experience busy productions (which Buffy was of course) have very little time to dwell on minor elements such as this. Yes, I'm sure It's the same book, but I'm also sure that had more to do with It was just hanging around and they thought, "Hell, that will do".

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                  • American Aurora
                    American Aurora commented
                    Editing a comment
                    From what I understand, the crew was amused by all the Spuffy antics and I'm guessing they chortled at the word "bondage" on the cover and grabbed it.

                  • Stoney
                    Stoney commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I can't imagine it was the only book they could find, each choice is made over other options and there is an appropriateness to the title. It also visually fits with it being vintage, like Spike.

                • #14
                  Somehow to me a prop of Spike reading that book in particular (having seen a movie version on YouTube now) — even if they never actually counted on anyone noticing, works too well as an inside joke to pass up. The novel probably wasn't a random choice in The Freshman, but it works so much better for As You Were


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                  • #15
                    I don't know, it might have been the only book like that in the bin. I can't think of any other pulp style books on the show. It's all tomes and school books.

                    Maybe there should be a thread about this stuff. Could be fun. Things revealed thanks to the HD remaster or AI upscaling from Topaz.

                    Buffy's address in S4 is 3659 Crestview (the letter Faith holds up in W.A.Y.). Then it's 1630 Revello in the Body. Then 1630 Crestview in S6. In S4 and S6, the zip is 95037. Thus we have two instances of Sunnydale being in Santa Clara although it seems much more like Santa Barbara.

                    Buffy and Riley used flavoured condoms. You'll never get it out of your brain now.

                    Comment


                    • Stoney
                      Stoney commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks for that! Definitely a nice thread idea, even if such horrors would be unleashed.
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