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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – June 29, 2021

4.6 out of 5 stars 8,520 ratings

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From the Publisher


Editorial Reviews


“Quentin Tarantino’s first novel is, to borrow a phrase from his oeuvre, a tasty beverage…He’s here to tell a story, in take-it-or-leave-it Elmore Leonard fashion, and to make room along the way to talk about some of the things he cares about — old movies, male camaraderie, revenge and redemption, music and style…In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino makes telling a page-turning story look easy, which is the hardest trick of all.”  — Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Classic, sparks-flying Tarantino…Tarantino’s explosive dialogue, with its blend of streetwise and formal cadences, is almost as effective written down as read aloud…Far from being the throwaway artifact it sometimes pretends to be, Tarantino’s first novel may even, as he’s hinted, herald the start of a new direction for this relentlessly inventive director.”  — The Washington Post

“Tarantino, celebrated for his screenplays, truly is a literary force, stepping forward as a novelist adept at using an omniscient point of view to powerful effect in a novel driven by its characters’ inner lives and smart, witty, and salty dialogue of propulsion and nuance, hilarity and heartbreak….It will also offer a stereoscopic experience for most readers as they envision the characters as played by the movie’s cast…a doubling that will inspire fanatic comparisons between film and page. But this is a work of literary art in its own right, a novel that, if the movie didn’t exist, would captivate readers with its own knowing vision and zestful power.”  — Donna Seaman, Booklist 

About the Author

Quentin Tarantino was born in 1963 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  He is the writer-director of nine feature films, the winner of two Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay, and the author of the novel Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Cinema Speculation is his first work of nonfiction.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Perennial (June 29, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0063112523
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063112520
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.19 x 1.04 x 6.62 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 8,520 ratings

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With his vibrant imagination and dedication to richly layered storytelling QUENTIN TARANTINO is one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his generation. He made his directorial debut in 1992 with RESERVOIR DOGS, and then co-wrote, directed and starred in one of his most beloved films, PULP FICTION, which won his first Oscar® for Best Screenplay. Followed by the highly acclaimed films JACKIE BROWN, KILL BILL VOL. 1 and VOL. 2, and DEATH PROOF, Tarantino then released his World War II epic, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, DJANGO UNCHAINED (which won his second Oscar® for Best Screenplay), and the HATEFUL EIGHT. Tarantino’s most recent film, ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD, was nominated for five Golden Globes, ten BAFTAS, and ten Academy Award nominations.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
8,520 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 20, 2021
17 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 15, 2022
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino
By Rob on October 15, 2022
For half price I could not resist this. This review is for the extras I found entertaining at the back of the book. First, the Mad magazine parody was spot on. These movie and tv parodies, especially drawn by Mort Drucker, were my favorite part of Mad back in the Sixties. Lousy Law is spot on nailing this genre. As for the posters, there are some mistakes that like the dreams in Inception, details fail to capture the illusion of recreating the past.
Comanche Uprising stars Robert Taylor. Even if this is an alternate poster, his image would be dominantly displayed, but it is not (whereas Glenn Ford is). Operation Dyn-O- Mite mixes Jimmy JJ Walker improperly with a European action flick. Even with renaming it for the US market-I’m not buying it. But the real kicker is placing Michael Rennie’s name at the bottom-no, thats not the problem. But, if a significant actor is placed low in the credits, it would have a BOX around it! I’m still jarred by this omission.
Red Blood, Red Sky is great art, but the credits are all wrong in location. No Sixties poster would be that sloppy in presentation.
The TV guide covers were well done. The lunchbox ok, but made the series look like a comedy, not drama. I had a beloved Zorro lunchbox and its depiction of the show was anything but cartoon caricatures. The Dell comic book is good and so is the paperback cover (accurately priced).
So on the whole, an uneven attempt to capture the era, but a decent attempt.
“Bring me the Head…” will continue after I have read the book. For more insight into the conundrum of Tarantino, see my review of Deathproof in a previous episode of…
“Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino”
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2 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 19, 2021
4 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Kid Ferrous 🔴🟡🟢
4.0 out of 5 stars The most pulp that Tarantino’s fiction has ever got
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 28, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars The most pulp that Tarantino’s fiction has ever got
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 28, 2021
The first work of written fiction by Quentin Tarantino is, to all intents and purposes, a novelisation of his movie “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”. And, thank the Gods, it is exactly what you would expect a Tarantino movie to be like…but in word form.
The physical appearance of the book is important - it is meant to resemble a 1970s-era mass-market paperback, the sort of cheap book you used to find in an American supermarket (and possibly still do for all I know). It looks and feels like a cheap book - which is what it’s meant to be. Pulp fiction, to coin a phrase.
For those who have seen it, the book version of a washed-up TV star differs from the film in several ways, which I won’t spoil, but there is a new, terrifying scene involving one of Charles Manson’s cronies. Elsewhere, QT digs deep into Manson’s failed but weirdly promising music career and stuntman Cliff Booth’s backstory is filled in. Also, Tarantino indulges himself with excellent passages about acting, B movies, sex scenes in films, foreign movies etc. You can tell he enjoyed writing this book.
Tarantino is not out to impress us with the intricacy of his sentences or the nuance of his psychological insights - he is not out to endear himself to Guardian readers. This is grossly funny and often violent book, and Tarantino writes (and films) some of the best/worst violence out there. It is sophisticated but rough. If he’d written it better, he’d have written it worse. It’s a mass-market paperback that reeks of mass-market paperbacks, and is all the better for it.
Better than the film? Possibly. It certainly doesn’t defame it by existing. It expands the story in a way that does it visceral justice. Tarantino has defied expectations (mine included) by writing a page-turner that is brutally titillating, shockingly salacious and quite, quite brilliant.
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85 people found this helpful
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1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get on with it, at all.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 30, 2021
43 people found this helpful
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Big Al
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 10, 2021
12 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 22, 2021
5 people found this helpful
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G Hope
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarantino Made for novelision!!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 2, 2021
7 people found this helpful
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