Discussion of film/TV series Discussion of writing style Modern fiction Review of modern fiction Review of new book

Now for the book: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, by Quentin Tarantino

A review to suit a modern fairytale

Once upon a time…

Once upon a time, in a big, shiny city called Hollywood, far away in the Magical Land of Los Angeles, there lived a powerful man whose name was Quentin Tarantino - Sir Quentin to mere peasants like you and me. 

He was a movie director, he loved to make movies, and he was a Knight in Shining Armour. 

One day, Sir Quentin decided to go on a Quest to make a cowboy movie about cowboy movies, the kind of movie that he liked and that had made him a lot of money. 

"But Sire", said his humble squire, "would that not be a bit...derivative, so to speak?" 

Sir Quentin continued to sharpen his shield and polish his sword and said, with a frown, "You are merely a stupid squire. I am an Important and Respected Knight Film-maker. Even my least important idea is More Significant than, well, anything really. So keep your silly thoughts to yourself."

To get his movie made, Sir Quentin had to pass three tests. First, he had to battle the Dragon of the Moneymen, a huge, fire-breathing monster, that would only let you into its treasure cave which was filled with gold coins, if you could persuade it that you have a Very Good Idea. (Of course Sir Quentin's idea was very good.)

The second test was to find the Holy Grail of Stars. With the Holy Grail in his hands, Sir Quentin would be able to call up and capture particular stars for his movie. He specifically wanted the stars called Bradnes Pitticusi and Leonardo DiMajor, who both shone as bright as exploding volcanoes in the sky.

And the third, most trying test, was to battle the army of Frightful Fictions. If you lost the fight, you were forever cursed to write stories that were not very good, and your manuscripts would languish forever in Development Hell.  

So he said goodbye to his weeping princess (who feared he was doomed), and with a clang and a clonk, mounted his noble steed. Then they trotted off down the long road to the mountain wherein lived the Dragon of the Moneymen. 


Ah, dearest, tender Reader, you would like to know, won't you, whether our hero, Sir Quentin, succeeds?
Would he get his hands on the gold coins, would he collect his stars, and would he conquer the Frightful Fictions?
The tension is terrible, the anxiety might be fatal - Oh! my heart! 
I get chilblains and goosebumps just thinking about it.


As the Moon rose over the Hollywood sign on the first night of his greatest Quest, Sir Quentin looked up at it (the moon, not the sign) and asked a rhetorical question, since he was a very self-obsessed Knight: 
"Am I not the luckiest Knight in the whole of Los Angeles, to be able to go on Quests and make my movies here, in this Magical Land?" 
Of course he was. 

So on he went, and won! Well, won all but one. He failed only the third test, that of fighting the Frightful Fictions, and therefore was doomed to write a novel about his movie that was not all that novels should be. 

"I told him so," said his Squire, ruefully, while checking the broadsides for another job.
"Being derivative does not work as well in fiction as it does in film."
But the squire was a smart-ass whose opinion nobody appreciated, so who cares.

Sir Quentin's movie about cowboys and about films about cowboys, called "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" made him more famous than ever before, 
and everyone who mattered 
Lived Happily Ever After.


Next post: The real review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – A Novel, by Quentin Tarantino (Publisher: ‎ Harper Perennial; June 29, 2021; paperback, 416 pages)

%d bloggers like this: