Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £24.99

Buy Now for £24.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

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 writes 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 book 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)  

What listeners say about Chasing the Light

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    297
  • 4 Stars
    75
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    273
  • 4 Stars
    52
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    266
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enthralling autobiography from a Hollywood great

I've followed Oliver Stone's career and his films ever since I saw Salvador and Platoon at the cinema in the mid '80s, and being deeply moved by both. This book - beautifully read by the man himself - covers his life and work up to the release of Platoon, including his voluntary service as an infantry grunt in Vietnam.

If you're a film buff who's interested in the process of film-making, you're in for a treat: Stone lifts the lid on how movies were made back then, when rules were laxer, the industry more free-wheeling, and when cinema wasn't just about banging out the next episode in some mega-franchise. On the way he takes us through the heartbreak and perils of a young writer and director finding his feet in Hollywood, and then the sudden rush into fame and critical recognition that came with Salvador and Platoon.

I do hope that Mr Stone is considering Volume 2; he teases us with mentions of The Doors, JFK, Wall Street, Born on the 4th of July, and Nixon (to mention but a few), and I for one would eagerly welcome his recollections of the making of those landmark films. Many thanks to Louis Theroux, from whose excellent 'Grounded' podcast interview with Stone I learned about this book.

Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A fascinating account by a fascinating filmmaker

Oliver Stones career is astounding, he made the films he wanted to make, the way he wanted to make them. No compromise. A true artist.
This book - Brilliantly written and expertly read by Mr Stone himself - covers his childhood through to the release of Platoon, and just leaves you wanting now. I was relieved when at then end Oliver finishes with ‘The End - for now’.
Heres hoping he’s sat there right now writing part 2.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Can’t wait for the sequel

Remarkable and amazing a must listen to. It made me sad when it ended. IC

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Biography both well read and told.

14.5 hours flew by listening to the story of Oliver Stone. Well told with honesty and clarity. No inflated ego or BS

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful and Fascinating

Everything I had hoped this book would cover, Vietnam; making of Salvador; the background to The Hand; was written and read so well that I was disappointed when it ended, for now. Hoping the next volume is released in the near future.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good depiction of directiors early movie history

Good depiction of directiors early movie history. Discussing his early life and history of his movies up to platoon (but touching on jfk and wall street)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Stones narration is brilliant, bringing to life his own words.
I’ve enjoyed reliving his movies and the struggles to make them, through his words. If you choose to get this book, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book is a Masterpiece for film fans!

Incredible story behind the early career of the legendary filmmaker. Honest, captivating, and well read by Oliver Stone himself

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking, honest & completely absorbing

Highly recommend this audible book; even more so as I thought Stone's narration was flawless. He gave the book it's justice, providing heart without distracting from its clarity. A truly interesting insight into the world of film.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting honest and a great listen

Chasing the light is a riveting and fascinating read about Oliver Stone struggles getting into the film business. You will not be able to stop listening until the end.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anthony Lennon
  • Anthony Lennon
  • 13-08-20

Excellent

They say, you shouldn't meet your heroes. Well, listening to this memoir is a meeting of sorts and it has been a very happy one.

Thank you Oliver, yet again...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joe van Rensburg
  • Joe van Rensburg
  • 03-12-21

Interpreter of American Nightmares

Almost without exception, Oliver Stones' films depict American blunders; wars, assasinations, political deceit. Most of which follows is true, could have been a sub title for this book, but it is a brutally honest account of the director's cut, with many intriguing encounters, with Hollywood stardom - James Woods, Al Pacino, a conversation with Marlon Brando. Stones' low key, somnambulant voice is a little off putting, but the story remains intriguing and a must read for any cinephile worth his salt