Once upon a Time in Hollywood: A Novel by Quentin Tarantino

There is perhaps no form of literature quite as relegated to obscurity and ridicule as the movie tie-in novelization. Hell, writing erotic fan fiction probably invites less derision (and can certainly be more lucrative, as evidenced by Fifty Shades of Grey). The dubious gig of authoring a novelization generally involves roughly tripling the word count of an early draft of someone else’s screenplay and reshaping it into prose under a ludicrously tight deadline imposed by a studio ahead of a film’s opening—sometimes less than two weeks before.

The first examples of these reverse-adapted novels appeared during the silent era, but prior to the advent of VHS they maintained relevance as the dominant pre-home-video medium to relive the experience of a movie (when the only alternatives were catching an airing on TV or a potential theatrical re-release).