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Once upon a time in hollywood (novel)

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: A Novel is the debut novel by Quentin Tarantino. It is a novelization of his 2019 film of the same name.

It debuted at number one on The New York Times' fiction best-seller list.

According to Tarantino, the novel is "a complete rethinking of the entire story" and adds details to various sequences and characters, including multiple chapters dedicated to the backstory of Cliff Booth.[1] The novel also departs from the film; the film's finale occurs towards the beginning of the novel, and its aftermath includes Rick Dalton earning newfound fame as a regular on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.[2] It also focuses on Charles Manson's pursuit of a music career[2] and the "inner worlds" of Sharon Tate and Trudi Frazer.[3]

There is a chapter dedicated to the Manson Family's "creepy crawls". In it, Manson instructs "Pussycat" to break into a wealthy, elderly couple's house while they are sleeping.[4]: pages80-97  Manson encouraged going into wealthy unvacated homes, which the Manson girls would enter and steal valuables. He taught them to wear dark clothing and "crawl" through the house. The term "creepy crawl" was invented by the Manson girls.[5]: 163 

Tarantino explains the inner thoughts of the controversial Bruce Lee-Cliff Booth fight, saying that Booth tricks Lee into the fight and Booth is fighting his own instinct to murder Lee more than Lee himself.[6] Booth is a "ringer," a stuntman brought in and paid on the side to hurt actors who "tag" (hit for real) stuntmen. Lee does this and Booth believes Lee's kung fu is all for show and screen, and that judo is a superior martial art. Booth is brought in as a ringer to the sets of Hurry Sundown and The Wild Wild West, where he hits Otto Preminger and Robert Conrad in the face, knocking them on their asses.[4]: pages202-215  "Pussycat" refers to Booth as "Mr. Blond," the alias of Vic Vega (Michael Madsen) in Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.[7]

The novel includes an entire chapter on the career of Lancer lead, James Stacy.[8] It also contains a chapter detailing how Booth came to own his pit bull, Brandy,[9]: stated at:59:00–1:00:00  and another chapter focused on Booth living in France after escaping from a Filipino jungle as a POW.[4]: pages259-269  Tarantino based the Brandy and POW chapters on true stories.[9]: stated at:1:00:00–1:01:00 

Critique is given on a large amount of mid-century films and filmmakers through the minds of Tate, Dalton, and Booth.[8] The latter is a movie buff, who believes Michelangelo Antonioni is a fraud and has given up on the films of Federico Fellini. However, he is a fan of Akira Kurosawa, Alan Ladd, and erotic films, some of which he views at the (now Tarantino-owned) New Beverly Cinema. When he goes to see I Am Curious (Yellow), "Cliff wanted to lick the screen."[8][2] The character's appreciation of pop music is expressed in the novel as well. While Roman Polanski hates Bubblegum music, Tate silently likes it. She notably enjoys Ohio Express's "Yummy Yummy Yummy" and "Chewy Chewy," Bobby Sherman and his song "Julie, Do Ya Love Me," and The Royal Guardsmen's "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron". "She liked The Monkees more than The Beatles." Booth is an avid Tom Jones fan, and especially of the song, "Delilah," because as Tarantino states, "Cliff is partial to songs about guys who kill their women."[8]

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