Quentin Tarantino Thinks These Four Books Belong on Your Shelf

Quentin Tarantino wants you to take a break and read a book. 

As Quentin Tarantino makes the rounds promoting his new novelization of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, he's been quite chatty on talk shows, the radio, and the odd podcast or two (dozen). Tarantino has always had a flair for pushing the undiscovered, with his movie picks ranging from the classics to little-seen exploitation films. But now that he has a book to promote, he's taking those recommendations to the literary world. 

During an interview with The Bigger Picture podcast, Tarantino picked the four books he loves the most. Let's take a look at them below. 

Quentin Tarantino Thinks These Four Books Belong on Your Shelf

1. 9/30/55 (The world was forever changed the day James Dean died (Based on a screenplay by James Bridges)) by John Minahan  

Think you know what it was like before James Dean died? Well, this paperback helps put the whole world into context through the eyes of a student whose world is rocked when his hero is lost forever.

This is Tarantino's favorite book and one that's been out of print for quite some time. If you want a copy, I would suggest checking out a used copy on eBay or a library search. 

2. Eyewitness by John Minahan

Minahan is Tarantino's favorite author and someone who worked a lot on film adaptations and novelizations. You can almost see Tarantino diving back into these books as he prepared to write the novelization for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

This book was adapted from the screenplay written by Steve Tesich for the 1981 same-titled neo-noir directed by Peter Yates. It's the story of a janitor that witnesses a murder and then falls for a local reporter that covers the story. 

3. The Moviegoer: A Novel by Walker Percy

This one is not a novelization, but a novel. Terence Malick was once attached to translate it to the screen.

It's set in the 1950s and follows a New Orleans stockbroker, movie fanatic, and Korean War veteran, who is searching for the meaning of life. I wonder if this has any clues into Tarantino's next and final movie, or how it reflects on some of the characters we've seen in his past films. 

4. The Omen by David Seltzer

We end on another novelization. This one Tarantino heralded as better than the movie. On several podcasts, he mentions that he thought the book came first, that's how good it is. It's the story of two people who become the parents of a child sent to earth on a mission from the devil. Don't read this one too late at night! 

What's next? Check out our best screenwriting books

There are so many books on screenwriting out there, and so few of them actually matter. If you want to read about the industry and the way to craft stories, you want to read the best advice out there. Check these out today!      

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1 Comment

I have read almost all the books that the director advised. They are really interesting and helpful. I recently read an essay on Death Of A Salesman at https://studymoose.com/death-of-a-salesman and I think this book deserves to be on this list. I would definitely recommend it to all those who are very passionate about this genre.

September 30, 2021 at 1:22AM, Edited September 30, 1:25AM

David Chapman