Greetings reader!

Today is a very good day for you if you’ve just randomly stumbled upon our site Four Senses- Touch Smell Taste Sound! As you’ll lose yourself in hours and hours of reading, and leave with a long list of things to try, be that restaurants, recipes, products, or stuff to hear or do. Please feel free to click on the different category tags to read all the different posts we’ve accumulated over time.

The majority of posts aren’t time sensitive, so don’t limit yourself to only reading the most recent posts, but check out the vast archive of Restaurant Reviews we’ve compiled (which we’ll keep adding to on a weekly basis).

We’ll keep adding more recipes for you to try, when we can certify that they have been tried and tested by us, and proven not to give us (or you) the runs. Haaha.

Check out our Kombucha journal where we’ve documented our steps to success, and will journal our future batches as we experiment with different flavours and ingredients. Our journal is detailed enough so you can replicate and produce a brew which will rival a store-bought beverage.   

And each time we come across some good products which we think you might also like, we’ll post these things under ‘Product Recommendations’ so you’ll have all the details if you want to check them out.

We’re also known for being eclectic in our listening tastes, which include music albums, podcasts, audio books and rando stuff from Netflix, so we’ll post recommendations as we come across some good stuff which you might like to see and hear.

And there’s just so many things to see and do in Ol’ Sydney Town, so we’ll post up monthly lists of what festivals and activities you can partake in; we have a Live Gig guide which we’ll update on a regular basis; and we’ll explore a Sydney suburb each month and we’ll document each step of the way so you can replicate our travels if you like.

So in short, if you’ve just randomly stumbled upon our site! Happy days! As you’ve just uncovered a whole entire avenue of cool stuff to read, interact with and try! So don’t be a stranger, bookmark our site and check back often as we’ll be uploading posts several times a week. We guarantee that each time you visit there will always be something new for you to Touch Smell Taste and Hear!    

Netflix recommendations- Selling Sunset (Season 5

Selling Sunset? More like Beverly Hills 90210! Or Melrose Place! Whichever was more drama filled!

I can’t lie to you; I love Selling Sunset! It’s the high-flying lifestyle, it’s these outrageous listings, it’s the fashion, and it’s the drama! O-so-much drama! And as cringe worthy as some of the drama may be? But it’s this drama which brings viewers back for more!

Sure, the show could perhaps focus more on the selling sunset side of things……..  But take ‘Million Dollar Beach House’ as an example- another Netflix reality TV show about Realters. But this time an office made-up mostly of men who get the job done, with a fraction of the office drama. But where are they now after season one? **Disclaimer: Season 2 was picked up by the Discovery channel after being cancelled by Netflix and renamed ‘Selling the Hamptons’. But, but, but here is my point………

After 5 seasons (that’s four years), Selling Sunset is still going strong and we’re not tired of the drama and the conflict, and the amazing thing is this! If it was me, after seeing myself on TV for the first time. I’d be in horror, seeing all my personal conversations captured on film and then aired to an international audience? If it was me, the next time the camera crew is around, I’d be more guarded and I’d keep my private conversations private. But no! After 5 goes at this, the ladies from the Oppenheim group are still as unguarded and themselves as they were in season one! The good, the bad, and the ugly. And frankly, that’s why we love them, as they’re living out their truth. They’re not acting like someone that they’re not.

And in season 5 we have a new Realter Chelsea who definitely doesn’t hold back, who basically elbowed her own way onto the show. Can you say, ‘Obsessed fan’? Like she literally made herself into an instant celebrity by appearing on the show, and I personally think that was the soul reason why she befriended Christine in the first place. Seeing a way to instant stardom. So, with Chelsea’s introduction, it has added an additional spice, to an already spicy dish!    

In Season 5 we also have office romance. We see a more human side to the Oppenheim brothers. We see ‘The Return of the Jedi’, as in the down-trodden rise up, and stand-up to the evil villain. We see more developing romance from the remaining singles in the office. And for the first time, Selling Sunset incorporated a reunion episode- which was refreshing as to date, we never hear the girls talk-about or acknowledge the show, and we see some unseen footage and updates on what’s been happening after the cameras stopped rolling. And I must admit, the reunion episode almost brought a tear to my eye. And I’m not all that much of an emotional person when it comes to these things.

But there are winds of change! To date, there are no promises that there’s going to be a season 6 of Selling Sunset (at the time of this writing). And if there is, there might not be Christine (the shows villain). And how can you not have Christine!? As much as we hate those types in the office place, but once they’re gone. We miss them! Right? As having a toxic colleague in the office, it bands everyone else  together. As they are a central point for everyone’s energy and gossip. So, if she’s gone! What are we left with? Just selling property? Now that thought scares me. Haaha. And as the LA office can no longer accommodate so many Realters, as where would the office puppy settle then? So, I’m sure there’s going to be some turnover of Realters, if and only if Selling Sunset season 6 returns to Netflix in late 2022? Early 2023? Sure, Netflix has already released the Trailor for Selling the OC. But hearing those voices, it seemed like a much younger cast! Like inexperienced children, when compared to the elegant ladies of the LA office! But I guess we’ll see if I’ll enjoy the spin-off. As God knows I’ll be watching that as well, as soon as it drops!

So, if you haven’t already watched it! Season 5 is ready for your consumption, just click HERE to start! In a hot market, with hot Realters? What more can you ask for!?     

Netflix recommendation- Get Organised with The Home Edit (Season 2

Sometimes you just need to make that hard decision, to chuck something out!

We loved the first season of ‘Get Organised with The Home Edit’, first released in 2020, so we were very pleased to see the return of Clea and Joanna to Netflix- the founders of The Home Edit.

For those who are unfamiliar with their work, they’re friends and business partners who first found prominence on Instagram as they promoted their efforts in helping others tidy up their spaces. But after gaining the attention of celebrities and having their own Netflix show, the ladies have further grown their business on the back of their successes from season 1.

In season 2 we see firsthand the fruits of their labour, they now have a residential property which has been transformed into an office space for their business. They’re flying around the US, working on projects (which inevitably takes them away from their families). They have their own line of products and merchandise which joins them in a vehicle, so they always have their trusty storage containers when they need it. And the Clients they help out, they’re all huge fans of Clea and Joanna, Clients ranging from your average US family to a growing list of celebrities! And guess what? No matter who their Clients are, or who you (reader) may be, we all have the same problem! We have too much stuff to be stored in our limited spaces! And the main problem is, we accumulate stuff, stuff which might be sentimental in value, or perhaps it just cost us a bit of coin to acquire, but now we’re stuck with all this stuff which weighs us down. And what Clea and Joanna help with, is to help their Clients make those difficult decisions to keep, trash, or donate! And once those difficult decisions have been made, they use their experience, clever use of storage containers, and their creative flair to transform tired spaces into spaces people want to hang-out in (or at least use again).

And the spaces up for transformation, can be as simple as a kitchen pantry, a child’s bedroom, right to a musician’s mobile home!

Although I personally enjoyed season 1 a whole lot more than season 2 (S2 felt more like 8 episodes I had to endure). However, The Home Edit occupies a special place in my heart. Because it was after watching season 1, back in 2020- when we were inspired to edit our own place.

And the key for us was to say good-bye to a very nice and  very expensive racing chair. We had to break it all down, before we could build it all back up again.

So, when we first got married and were planning to move into our new apartment. We scheduled 3 consecutive trips to purchase all our furniture to furnish our new place. I remember so clearly that one of those trips we purchased all of our white goods, all our electronics, and all the furniture for the bedroom and the study- all in this mega 6 hour spending spree! And although I had a clear idea what I wanted, but I had a moment of weakness and was talked into buying an expensive office chair which I hadn’t planned for. I’m a motorsport fan, and this office chair is literally a racing bucket seat on wheels! It was super comfortable, looked the bomb, and it was so me! However, I’ve always hated chairs with arms, as it feels too constricting but because it was an entire package, I went through with it- putting up with the good and the bad.

But what happened after we moved into our apartment, was that we found that the internet signal into the study was hopeless; I didn’t enjoy sitting in the racing chair (due to said armrests); and the study ended up being a dumping ground for all of our crap! My desk became a showroom for the over 20 1:18 diecast model cars I had collected, so much so that I couldn’t even place my laptop onto the skinniest of ledges. My wife’s desk was stacked with boxes both under and on top of, so she couldn’t even get near it, let alone work from ( this was after she inherited all of her mum’s stuff after her mum sadly passed away in 2017). And one entire corner of the study was a no-go zone, with things on the floor, piled up, balancing precariously on-top of each other. So, our study became an unused space, which was a shame as we only live in a 2-bedroom apartment.

But after watching the first season of The Home Edit, we decided that we needed to reclaim the study (as this was 6 months into the COVID pandemic and we were spending so much more time at home). The first decision was to get rid of the racing chair (we gave it to my dad). It was occupying a space against the wall like an armchair, and once we freed up that space it allowed us to bring in an extra shelving unit. With the vertical storage we were able to clear up 60% of the boxes which occupied my wife’s desk, and stowed the things which were previously piled up haphazardly, now with it’s own spot on the shelf or placed into a container. We also sorted through my wife’s mum’s stuff, keeping the most sentimental items, while editing out the rest. And I placed half of the model cars onto the top tier of the shelving unit, which allowed me to move back into the study and use that space as my WFH home office. Not to mention, we purchased a Google Nest WIFI router, which now gives us stable internet in the study. And no joke, 2 years on I still look back fondly at what we’ve done to the study. How we’ve transformed it from the ‘Room of requirement’, to a multi-purpose space which my wife and I both love using, it’s both a home office, and a home music studio- with all of our guitars and Roland musical instruments. And all of this was made possible, because of Clea and Joanna, as we were inspired by their Netflix show to finally take back control over our space.

So, if you can relate to my re-count of how we re-claimed a space in our home, and you’re looking to turn talk into action? Check out ‘Get Organised with The Home Edit’, as you’ll learn so many tips and hints in how you can turn your home back into a treasured space! To watch The Home Edit now, just click HERE! Ah, home sweet home!  

Audiobook recommendation- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone

If you haven’t listened to it before, you should really give it a go!

I’m going to start by saying I’ve caught COVID! I know! After 2 years of the pandemic, COVID finally caught-up with me and my wife, so this week we were both down with the virus. But it wasn’t all bad, I think the worse of the pandemic had been the anxiety and not knowing. Like, “How might it be?” “How severe could it get?” “Would I be that rare case…..?”

But, catching it, and now 5 days on and the worse is behind me, I’m glad to say that things honestly look more positive now! I have a more positive outlook in life, as we’re probably going to be dealing with COVID for years to come, and this wouldn’t be the first and last time I’m going to catch it. So, at least within myself, I know I’ve beaten it once, and I’ll beat it again! So, moving forwards like the 90s skate brand so eloquently put it, ‘No Fear!’

Thus unexpectantly my wife and I found ourselves in 7 days of home isolation- thankfully we both came down with the virus at the same time, so at least we could keep each other company. Passing time and the ability to entertain ourselves in the middle of the night was the biggest struggle- due to being unable to remain asleep because of the chills, the sweats, the difficulty breathing when lying down etc. So, after the first full day of COVID, we had to find something to pass the time, as I’ve realised, that being off work and having nothing to do, sucks!

So, finding 15 minutes to burn before our Wednesday Bible study session (which had moved back on-line as half of the group had COVID), we just wanted to watch something on Youtube, like some quick 5–10-minute clip which just passes the time. And the other week my wife was watching the Harry Potter 20-year anniversary show while I was in the other room, and I heard sound bites and was curious so I asked if we could find some clips from that program. But instead, we found some hour-long documentary about the making of the first film, it was probably a 10-year anniversary type program when they were wrapping up the movie series. So, it got us thinking, ‘what if we re-live the entire Harry Potter series again, but this time on audiobook?’

I only met my wife in 2008, so we had our own separate Harry Potter experiences. For me, I only started in my mid-twenties and all I knew of the series were through the audiobooks. As by that time I was already blind. For my wife, she had started to read the books while she was in High school, and by book 4, she was reading them as soon as they were released in hardcover. While I, I only listened to my first when book 6 was released, so there was a period where I was listening to them back-to-back as I had so much catching-up to do!

So, to re-listen or to listen to the audiobooks for the very first time, it seemed like a brilliant idea to pass time while recovering from COVID, as what helps time pass faster? Then with a good book!?

And there isn’t real need for me to review the book right? But what I’m going to say is this, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, a fan since a kid, and you’ve read all the books (multiple times), and you’ve watched all the films (multiple times), but you’ve never listened to the books? I’d say you must try it!

Stephen Fry, the narrator of the books really brings the book to life! So, listening to it, is like experiencing a director’s cut version of the film! Which is now 3 times as long! So, 3 times the enjoyment! And we all can admit that the acting in the earlier films were a bit rubbish, but the performances by Harry, Ron, and Hermione right from the get-go is outstanding! Utterly first rate! Because….. They’re voiced by Stephen Fry, who has a real gift for voice acting and making you think that they’re 50 different people acting alongside him. And once you listen to the audiobook, and if you think to yourself “Hey, the voices in the book sound exactly like the voices in the movie?” Like right down to the various accents and timbre? Well, it’s because the original audiobook version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, was recorded in 1999, two years after the original release of the novel. While the first movie was filmed and released in 2001. So, it’s no far stretch of the imagination, to assume that the Producers and the Director probably had heard the audiobooks first and based their actor’s accents and speech cadences on what they had heard in the audiobooks. And this is super important! Because the last thing you want in this late stage in your Harry Potter fandom, is to hear a version of Hagrid or Dumbledore which doesn’t gel with your memories of them from your childhood and create this weird disconnect for you. You know what I mean? Right? So yeah, don’t worry about that, the audiobooks and the movies go hand in hand! Just like Dudley and his Smelting stick. Hehehe.  

So, like I said, listening to the books is just like an extended version of the movie. So, you can re-enjoy the series again, over hours and hours. And I know it doesn’t need to take illness to get you back into Harry Potter as an adult. My sister is re-living the Harry Potter audiobooks with her kids, as they’re 7 and 9 years old now and my sister has deemed them old enough to experience the books for the first time. And I’m sure my sister’s enjoying the books in a whole new way now as well, considering that she had read the Harry Potter books for the first and only time in French (her attempts to maintain her High school French). So yeah, there’s so many reasons for you, an adult to re-live the joys of Harry Potter all over again!

To start listening to the Harry Potter series on Audible, just click HERE! It’s time to return to Hogwart!      

Netflix recommendations- Old enough

This could only happen in Japan!

When I first read the blurb of the show ‘Old enough’ now airing on Netflix, I thought this was for real! As I’d heard of Japanese kids as soon as they’re of school age, they’d walk on their own to school- none of this drop-off in-front of the school in a luxury SUV thing.

But when we started watching, we better understood the premiss. So, these families and their kids, they’re chosen by the Producers to go on their first errand for their parents. So, this wasn’t a common occurrence for these kids but were fully scripted scenarios (some of which were only 2 and a half).

And I must say, the kids are super cute, the fact that they speak to themselves when their alone, not knowing that they are secretly recorded by a camera crew. Super cute! And one thing which stood out to me, was the fact that Japanese adults, speak to kids like adults as well. None of this talking down to kids or speaking motherese to them. And thus, the kids act in kind, responding back and acting more mature for their age.

After watching an entire week of Old enough, I couldn’t help but compare Aussie kids to the Japanese. We were in a restaurant and there were two kids on the other table losing their sh*t! Perhaps they were just fed up with sitting still. And I asked my wife “Do you think they’re candidates for Old enough?” And of course, they weren’t, as they showed no self-discipline, not like  the cute Japanese kiddies.

So, if I haven’t sold you on Old enough yet. Here is my hard sell……

Each episode is only 9-15 minutes long, and there’s only 20 episodes in the series. So, you can easily smash through 3 eps in one sitting. The show always starts by setting the scene, capturing the scenic locations these families live in (mostly small towns and rural areas). Then we meet the family (usually mum and the child). Then the mother gets the child ready for the errand, making up an elaborate back-story to ‘trick’ the kid in believing that they (the parent) cannot do this task themselves, and then insists in how important this task was and must be done immediately. Then the parent gives them a bunch of verbal instructions, and it’s always funny watching the kid take in the information. And when ready i.e., dressed, and hidden microphone placed around their neck (sold to them as a good luck charm), off the kid goes to perform their first errand! Do Re Mi Fa Daijobu!

Sometimes the funniest part                                                  of the episode is watching the camera crew try to keep up with the kids or try their best to remain hidden in plain sight. It’s like a nature documentary, but the subjects are under 4-year-old humans, who just might spot the incongruous camera man, who they see multiple times throughout the day. So, with the camera crew surrounding the child from a distance, the kids are never really at any risk of harm. But it’s incredible that they allow them to cross the road by themselves! These little 3-year-old crossing semi busy streets, a few times the child has a flag which they raise so the cars can better see them. Super risky hey?

In the first few episodes, before I truly understood the set-up of the show, I was muttering “Where are their parents? This is so irresponsible of them!” And in some scenes the parent is watching on, while the kid struggles and I’m shouting out “go help them! You irresponsible parent!” But later I better understood, it was all apart of the show’s rules. The parents were to allow the child to complete their tasks on their own, even though the parent wanted to help them or run to their aid, but they had to control their natural parental urges and allow their kids to complete the task.

And the tasks included going grocery shopping, delivering items to dad (who is always so forgetful and leaves for work without a critical element of their profession), physically calling on people and bringing them home (like as if the telephone hadn’t been invented yet), and many other variations on similar tasks. But no matter how mundane the tasks might sound, but because these tasks are performed by tiny cute Japanese kids- it just makes it so entertaining! As kids will do kid things. Like take directions too literally, so if a barber store was closed and they were meant to use that shop as a point of reference, they were completely confused and went home without completing the task. Or kids being too shy to ask shop assistants, so after they couldn’t find a product themselves, they left without buying said item (which sounds a bit like me). Or kids being too shy to speak-up or call-out, thus they stand there for 20 minutes deliberating on what to do, which causes the camera crew to also stand around for 20 mins waiting for their eventual response. It’s super cute.

And I guess the big lesson here is, that the parents make them complete the task, no matter how the child might struggle or doesn’t want to do it. The adult remains firm and allows the child to complete the task they were set, and that does say something about their society. That is why Japanese produce products and services at a completely different level of proficiency and quality. As it seems there is no such thing as doing things half-assed, but everything must be done perfectly, at the highest level every time.

So, if you want to watch Japanese kids do the most mundane things, but because they’re 3 years old and super cute which equates to must watch TV? Then check it out on Netflix, just click HERE! We want more! We want more!      

Product Recommendation- Fender Mustang LT25

A unique two-in-one guitar amplifier.

Now, how can I ever pass on an amp which shares the exact same name as my beloved bass guitar? The Fender Mustang FT25 is a practice amp, loud enough in any indoor/enclosed setting which gives voice to your electric guitar. We were in the market for a second amp, as my wife has an electric guitar and I have an electric bass guitar and we want to jam together, but we only have one amp between the two of us. So, what to do!?

As the amp which we do have is an electric guitar amp which I had procured from my sister (as she doesn’t use it anymore), so the logical way forward was to buy a bass guitar amp as our second, for its ability to go low and deep. But seeing prices around the $500 mark and its bulkier size, we decided to just get a second electric guitar amp- as I’ve been surviving with my sister’s amp for almost 10 months and in my opinion, it’s deep and bassy enough, if you turn treble right down and max bass!

So, we were drawn to Fender’s amps because they do something which not all amps do. They also include built in effects! Yeah, built in effects! So instead of needing to purchase effect peddles and other gear which equates to more money, more clutter and more cables, the Fender Mustang comes with 30 pre-set guitar effects, sounds which have come right from Fender’s archive of iconic guitar sounds! And not only do you have access to their 30 pre-installed sounds, but there are also 20 extra spots where you can upload your own custom effects, giving you a choice of up to 50 sounds at your fingertips, or should I say at the twist of a nob!

The other things which made the Fender Mustang LT25 so appealing, was its multitude of inputs and output ports! There are your usual 6.3mm jacks in and out, in for your instrument and out for your headphones or into a DI box. And then there are your 3.5mm jacks for standard headphone buds and stereo auxiliary in, which means you can plug in your iPhone with Spotify and be jamming with your fav tracks in an instant! And there’s also an USB-C port so you can record your own music creations and up-date the Firmware when it becomes available.

There are the typical nob controls on all amps to adjust gain, bass, and treble. A larger nob which enables you to cycle through your effects library, and each twist of the nob ends with a tactile click, so you don’t spin-out of control and miss the sound effect you’re looking for in pressure situations! And the postage stamp sized colour screen also shows you which effect (naming it by name) you’ve landed on. There is also a series of buttons to allow you to save settings, depress a button multiple times to install the BPM count which you want the metronome to tap at. And it even has CHROMATIC tuner (whatever that is!).

So, from a features packed point of view, it has everything you want and more! A modern technologically advanced amp for the modern age and modern player! But the most important thing, how does it sound? I hear you ask.

Um,…… Unfortunately, I must admit, the sound isn’t as pure as I like it to be, put simply it doesn’t sound as good as my sister’s amp. And my sister’s amp is from the 00s, year 2001 to be precise, and my sister being a uni student at the time, methinks she didn’t spend all that much on it? But the sound which comes out of her amp just sounds more real, a sound which you can almost touch, and old-school analogue sound which I prefer. You know?

Don’t get me wrong, the Fender Mustang is good, heaps of fun guitar sounds you can spend hours mucking around with, so that you find yourself sitting on the floor beside this thing, as you play a bar and twist the nob to test if another iconic guitar sound fits better with that track you’re playing to. But to tell you the truth, I don’t think I’ve ever played an entire song with the same guitar sound. Like a kid, I’ve been too distracted with all the shiny bells and whistles, I just keep playing around with the choices, so-much-so that I’m not actually focusing on properly playing my guitar.

And then, if I keep the amp on it’s clean setting, completely stripped of any effects, the clean sound which ought to be simply amplifying the digital signals from your guitar, it sounds a bit meh. Or in some cases, it makes me sound crap! The amplification of the guitar’s pick-up is so sensitive that if my instrument is slightly out of tune, it sounds very out of tune through the amp. And each time you slide along your strings, those unwanted sounds are picked-up and broadcasted as well. So, it highlights all the imperfections of your playing, so it feels like the amp is trying its best to make you sound bad. And for someone who is still learning and has a fragile self-confidence in their playing? It just makes me turn back to my sister’s old amp, where I sound like a freakin’ rock-star! Without any need to tune my guitar or alter my playing style.

So, in summary, the Fender Mustang LT25 is not a bad buy, at under $300 Aussie dollars, it’s a lot of bang for your buck. As it is so much more than ‘just an amp’. But to the core, absolute core purpose of its existence, um, I’m safe to say that there are better amps out there. If you want it to perform the simple task of giving your guitar voice, and to make you look and sound good in the process?

But if you want to read more about the Fender Mustang LT25 amp, and perhaps go to a nearby guitar store to test it out for yourself, click HERE! To find out more!  

And for those who have been following my bass guitar journey, and as I use this blog platform to record my life like a journal- through what I consume and the material products which I buy…… If you’re interested to know, the last Sunday I played for the church band for the first time! Woohoo! And to put it simply, it was awesome! No, not my playing, but the experience! I never knew the camaraderie that comes from working with others to create a joint product, a single sound. So that was so cool! And I vow to get better! So, after 10 months, I’ve achieved what I originally set-out to achieve, and it’s full-steam ahead from here! Power to the bass players! 

Audiobook recommendation- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

I kept asking myself “where is this book going?” But it’s such a page turner!

For the past 4 years, I’ve been experiencing Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ vicariously through the NFL Podcaster Marc Sessler. More than just talking about football, the boys from ‘Around the NFL’ also share what popular culture they’re obsessing over, and Marc had been first obsessing over the film, and then gushed about Tarantino’s first foray into writing a novel. So, finding ourselves with too many Audible credits, I spent one of our credits on the ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ audiobook, but I never got around to listening to it until I noticed that Netflix was now streaming the 2019 film.

The interesting thing is this, I started to consume the book knowing some things, while not knowing a whole lot. For example, I knew the film starred Leonardo and Brad, and I’d heard enough True Crime podcasts over the years to be familiar with all the notable American mass murderers, so I recognised the name Charles Manson. However, I started the book not knowing how their stories might converge or how the movie might unfold either.

And at the get go, within the first 20 minutes of the book, you just know it’s a product of Tarantino’s work. As the dialogue and the mundane nature of the conversations between characters were so pointless, yet so riveting and humorous. Just think back to the Royale with Cheese scene from Pulp Fiction, and you’ll know exactly what I mean. And much, I mean much of the book is like this, mundane conversations, seemingly irrelevant backstories and flashbacks, which leave you thinking “What’s going on?” “This seems all so pointless!” But tell you what, it got me binging this thing, I was listening to it when brushing my teeth, I tore through 2 hours while cleaning the apartment, I was listening to it before bed, and I was literally carrying my phone around listening to it through the tinny phone speakers- as I wanted to get through the book so badly, wanting to know why! Why, would someone write an almost 13-hour long audiobook? What story was he trying to tell here!?

And with only 20 minutes remaining in the book, I had to admit to my wife “I still don’t know where this book is going!” And when it ended, I was just left thinking. “What just happened!?” I’d binged this 12 hrs 42 min audiobook over 4 days, and absolutely nothing happened! Like nothing happened! The book literally documented the lives of a handful of characters across a span of a day and a half in late 60s LA. What was the point and purpose?

Then I forced my wife to watch the film with me, now that I had read the book, I wanted to see for myself why Marc Sessler was so drawn to the film- that he had to re-watch the film in cinema more than once! Like whom does that these days? And throughout the film I was going to my wife, “Yep, that was in the book, and yes, so was that scene, and yes, so was that.” But when it came to the final minutes of the film, I was shocked! I was left saying “That was not in the book!” And after watching the film, now I know why the film had received so much attention at the time. As my wife put it aptly, “Now that’s a typical Tarantino scene.” Referring to the attempted massacre by the Manson Family. Which then led my wife to pull an all-nighter, reading all she could about the Tate murders, the film, and the novel. And I’m here to say, although people thought the film was pointless, and I must admit the book was seemingly pointless as well. But both the book and the film exhibited Tarantino’s brilliance. Yes, the man’s brilliance!

As what Tarantino had done to us, was that he fooled us! He fooled all of us! And he refers to this manipulative power in the actual novel when he describes how Roman Polanski achieved the same affect in his film, when he made a room full of cinema goers to all lean to their left, in a vain attempt to see around the edge of a door frame. And that my friends, is what Tarantino did to us!

That is what he did to us first in the film, the Tate Murders were well known enough in the States (although not by us), that I’d say 99% of cinema goers thought they knew exactly how the film was going to end- as the timer ticked down on 8-9 August 1969. But Tarantino flipped the seemingly ‘true story’ on its head when the Manson Family hit the neighbouring home instead. Wow! Mind blown!

And for those who had watched the film, and then proceeded to read his novel. Tarantino did it to them again! As the book followed the film 99% of the way, it just seemed like a movie book, one of those novels which re-tells a motion picture in text- along with colour pics from the film which inevitably appear in the centre pages of the paperback book. But instead of just re-telling the same movie storyline, Tarantino flips the script again! I’m sure 99% of those who reached the final 20 minutes of the audiobook, they too thought they knew how the book was going to end. End in a rapid gush of guts and gore! But nooooo! Tarantino ends the novel with a freakin happy ending. Leaving me utterly confused. And then in complete denial when watching the film for the first time, leaving me in a state of shock, going “No, no, no!” This is not how the novel ends!

So, no matter what order you consume Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, either the film first and then the novel or vice versa, he’ll leave you utterly mind blown! Bravo Quentin, bravo!

So, if you’d like to listen to the novel for yourself, which spends more time fleshing-out parts of the story which were breezed over in the film, check it out! Just click HERE to start listening to ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’!