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Quentin Tarantino's favourite books of all time


Ever since the release of his most recent film, Once Upon a Time in America, in 2019, director Quentin Tarantino has seemed preoccupied with maintaining the relevance of the film that focuses on the downfall of Hollywood’s golden age.

Having already released a novelisation of his aforementioned movie in 2021, Quentin Tarantino has revealed the news that he is also working on a theatrical screenplay for the film whilst discussing the matter on The Big Picture podcast.

Whilst promoting his novel, Tarantino discussed his love of literature, noting his desire to adapt his debut film Reservoir Dogs into a novel sometime in the future. “I can definitely see the idea of a Reservoir Dogs novel,” he said, “That could be really cool” before going on to discuss a brand new original book he has been working on. Revealing the original novel, Tarantino comments: “It’s kinda pulpy. I’ve got a western idea, and I’ve written about two chapters of an original western novel”. 

A lover of creative media, Quentin Tarantino often publicises his favourite films and top albums, though he has rarely discussed his literary inspirations, announcing his short reading list on the podcast. The short collection includes some searing titles.

In typical Quentin Tarantino fashion, each of his favourite novels has a particular cinematic angle, with 9/30/55 and Eyewitness by John Minahan being novelisations of films September 30, 1955, and 1981s Eyewitness, respectively. The Omen by David Seltzer is a similar case, with the novel being adapted into an iconic horror film of the same name in 1976, whilst The Moviegoer by Walker Percy follows an alienated young man obsessed with cinema. 

Discussing his literary favourites, Quentin Tarantino also stated: “What I’d like to do, though, at some point, is find a movie that’s not mine and do a novelisation.”

Adding: “It has to be something that I could really go my own way, but not completely upend the apple cart”.

The filmmaker also confirmed the news that his second book, a non-fiction novel named Cinema Speculation, is nearing completion, explaining: “I made a two-book deal,” he said. “That’s the next one coming out…I’m almost done with it”. 

The discussion with The Big Picture circled back around to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and, in particular, the theatrical adaptation of the film, where Tarantino notes, “I wanted to write a play, and stuff that’s not in the book…I wanted it to exist as a play. And again, I’m able to explore stuff that’s not in the [movie]. The play deals with Italy”.

Quentin Tarantino’s favourite books:

  • 9/30/55 by John Minahan
  • Eyewitness by John Minahan
  • The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
  • The Omen by David Seltzer

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