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Chasing the Light

How I Fought My Way into Hollywood - from the 1960s to Platoon
Narrated by: Oliver Stone
Length: 14 hrs and 24 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this powerful and evocative memoir, Oscar-winning Director and Screenwriter Oliver Stone takes us right to the heart of what it's like to make movies on the edge.

In Chasing the Light he talks about his rarefied New York childhood, volunteering for combat and his struggles and triumphs making such films as Platoon, Midnight Express and Scarface.

Before the international success of Platoon in 1986, Oliver Stone had been wounded as an infantryman in Vietnam and spent years writing unproduced scripts while taking miscellaneous jobs and driving taxis in New York, finally venturing westward to Los Angeles and a new life.

Stone, now 73, recounts those formative years with vivid details of the high and low moments: we sit at the table in meetings with Al Pacino over Stone's scripts for Scarface, Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, relive the harrowing demon of cocaine addiction following the failure of his first feature, The Hand (starring Michael Caine), experience his risky on-the-ground research of Miami drug cartels for Scarface and see his stormy relationship with The Deer Hunter Director Michael Cimino. We also learn of the breathless hustles to finance the acclaimed and divisive Salvador and witness tensions behind the scenes of his first Academy Award winning film, Midnight Express.

The culmination of the audiobook is the extraordinarily vivid recreation of filming Platoon in the depths of the Philippine jungle with Kevin Dillon, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp et al, pushing himself, the crew and the young cast almost beyond breaking point.

Written fearlessly, with intense detail and colour, Chasing the Light is a true insider's story of Hollywood's years of upheaval in the 1970s and '80s, and Stone brings this period alive as only someone at the centre of the action truly can.

©2020 Oliver Stone (P)2020 Octopus Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"Oliver Stone's narrative, his life story about the heartbreaks, the near misses, and finally the triumphs is a Hollywood movie in itself." (Spike Lee)

"He provokes outrage. He stirs up controversy. He has no respect for safe places. Oliver Stone is larger than life. Chasing the Light says it all." (Sir Anthony Hopkins)

"Riveting." - (The New York Times)  

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  • Lord Peridot
  • 07-08-2020

Film buff heaven

Stone reads his own book with great skill. Natural, emotional & in no way OTT. For the general public, like myself, the most interesting part of the book is the first 1/3 when he is describing his early life before entering the movie business. But for film buffs ... its probably the details of casting, editing, financing & hollywood gossip that largely constitutes the rest of the book. Stone is an interesting & important character in modern American times. So we should look forward to the possibility of the next installment of his autobiography. And hope that he will place greater emphasis on the significance of his films & the artistic, political & moral issues he has faced when making them. As opposed, that is, to the day to day irritations & happenings of the film set. For most people its the meaning & artistry of the films thats interesting, not the details of making the film. Yes its hot in the jungle, people are tired & end up arguing. Got it. Anyway, enough of my rant but I did struggle to finish the book. OTOH Stone is a skilled script writer & his way with words shines through & throughout. And its great to have him reading the book himself.

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  • colin campbell
  • 07-08-2020

Truly inspiring

Oliver Stone . From this take, he is a man still deeply haunted by his past but from his supreme talent and perseverance, was able to construct two films in El Salvador and in particular Platoon, that had a huge effect on millions around the world.

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  • Asmodeous
  • 01-08-2020

What a great read - well narrated and fascinating

If you have an interest in Oliver Stone , his films or emerging political views then this autobiography will prove to be a rewarding read. Written with honesty (he doesn’t always put himself in the best light) and the kind of detail you rarely find in an autobiography about film making and working with famous stars. Loved hearing about the behind scenes shenanigans for films like Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, Platoon and others. Great to hear Oliver narrate his own work and as you would expect from a Professional writer the story that unfolds is a literary delight with a resemblance to a Hemingway story. Loved the fascinating references to the Odyssey also - a project I feel he should focus on next...but maybe after he has written part two to his amazing life story!

5/5.