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Twilight Man: Love and Ruin in the Shadows of Hollywood and the Clark Empire

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The unbelievable true story of Harrison Post--the enigmatic lover of one of the richest men in 1920s Hollywood--and the battle for a family fortune. In the booming 1920s, William Andrews Clark Jr. was one of the richest, most respected men in Los Angeles. The son of the mining tycoon known as The Copper King of Montana, Clark had launched the LA Philharmonic and helped esta The unbelievable true story of Harrison Post--the enigmatic lover of one of the richest men in 1920s Hollywood--and the battle for a family fortune. In the booming 1920s, William Andrews Clark Jr. was one of the richest, most respected men in Los Angeles. The son of the mining tycoon known as The Copper King of Montana, Clark had launched the LA Philharmonic and helped establish the Hollywood Bowl. He was also a man with secrets, including a lover named Harrison Post. A former salesclerk, Post enjoyed a lavish existence among Hollywood elites, but the men's money--and their homosexuality--also made them targets, for the district attorney, their own employees and, in Post's case, his own family. When Clark died suddenly, Post inherited a substantial fortune--and a wealth of trouble. In a story that transports readers from the glamour of Prohibition-era Hollywood to Nazi prison camps to Mexico City nightclubs, Twilight Man tells the story of an illicit love and the battle over a family estate that would destroy one man's life. Harrison Post was forgotten for decades, but after a chance encounter with his portrait, Liz Brown, Clark's great-grandniece, set out to learn his story. Twilight Man is more than just a biography. It is an exploration of how families shape their own legacies, and the lengths they will go to in order to do so.


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The unbelievable true story of Harrison Post--the enigmatic lover of one of the richest men in 1920s Hollywood--and the battle for a family fortune. In the booming 1920s, William Andrews Clark Jr. was one of the richest, most respected men in Los Angeles. The son of the mining tycoon known as The Copper King of Montana, Clark had launched the LA Philharmonic and helped esta The unbelievable true story of Harrison Post--the enigmatic lover of one of the richest men in 1920s Hollywood--and the battle for a family fortune. In the booming 1920s, William Andrews Clark Jr. was one of the richest, most respected men in Los Angeles. The son of the mining tycoon known as The Copper King of Montana, Clark had launched the LA Philharmonic and helped establish the Hollywood Bowl. He was also a man with secrets, including a lover named Harrison Post. A former salesclerk, Post enjoyed a lavish existence among Hollywood elites, but the men's money--and their homosexuality--also made them targets, for the district attorney, their own employees and, in Post's case, his own family. When Clark died suddenly, Post inherited a substantial fortune--and a wealth of trouble. In a story that transports readers from the glamour of Prohibition-era Hollywood to Nazi prison camps to Mexico City nightclubs, Twilight Man tells the story of an illicit love and the battle over a family estate that would destroy one man's life. Harrison Post was forgotten for decades, but after a chance encounter with his portrait, Liz Brown, Clark's great-grandniece, set out to learn his story. Twilight Man is more than just a biography. It is an exploration of how families shape their own legacies, and the lengths they will go to in order to do so.

30 review for Twilight Man: Love and Ruin in the Shadows of Hollywood and the Clark Empire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    An amazing real life biography of a young gay man who gets swept up with the rich and famous in the 20th Century because of his beauty. Harrison Post will be remembered now because of this wonderful book. I love stories about everyday people who end up involved with the rich and famous. Excellent read and perfect suggestion for Pride month.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ricky Schneider

    A moving and memorable account of a forgotten figure from Hollywood's past, Twilight Man is the author's deeply-researched love letter to a distant relative she never knew and the man that he loved. As a gay woman herself, Liz Brown clearly identifies with her ancestor (by marriage) but the real star is his lover, a mysterious man called Harrison Post. Around the middle portion of this meticulously detailed non-fiction book I struggled a bit to see where it was going and overcome the tangents th A moving and memorable account of a forgotten figure from Hollywood's past, Twilight Man is the author's deeply-researched love letter to a distant relative she never knew and the man that he loved. As a gay woman herself, Liz Brown clearly identifies with her ancestor (by marriage) but the real star is his lover, a mysterious man called Harrison Post. Around the middle portion of this meticulously detailed non-fiction book I struggled a bit to see where it was going and overcome the tangents that the writing often derailed into but the latter half engrossed me in an incredible story of resilience and survival against astounding odds. I came to truly care for Harrison and felt intensely connected to him and his cinematically epic yet tragically real life. Brown takes you all over the world to bear witness to this extraordinary life and the many struggles and conflicts that Harrison faced. At times she gets bogged down in attempting to give historical context and interjects anecdotes and facts that seem superfluous to the overall point of the book. Just because the Clark family made their money in copper does not mean we need to know in detail how the tectonic plates create the metal in the earth. The research is still impressive and certainly informative and the human elements here shine through brilliantly. The lives documented are certainly noteworthy and the people are flawed but wonderfully complex. I am so glad I got the chance to know Harrison Post and I now feel deeply connected to his story. Twilight Man is full of the bittersweet grit of reality but also radiates with the glamorous glitz of Gatsby and Old Hollywood.

  3. 4 out of 5

    willowdog

    I'm fascinated with the serendipity of chance. When Liz Brown finds a photograph of Harrison Post in her deceased grandmother's drawer, it leads her down an engrossing journey in discovering her family history and it's secret 'twilight' gay member, and this wonderful sidebar into the world of the fabulously wealthy Montana copper mining Clark family. This book is fascinating. It shows what great archival research and purpose can discover about a seemingly forgotten man who lived on the fringes of I'm fascinated with the serendipity of chance. When Liz Brown finds a photograph of Harrison Post in her deceased grandmother's drawer, it leads her down an engrossing journey in discovering her family history and it's secret 'twilight' gay member, and this wonderful sidebar into the world of the fabulously wealthy Montana copper mining Clark family. This book is fascinating. It shows what great archival research and purpose can discover about a seemingly forgotten man who lived on the fringes of wealth as a 'copain' of Will Clark, Jr. As background, the book traces the history of the Clark fortune and the powerful men that built it. By using the journals, diaries, notebooks and scrapbooks provided by a family member and extensive research and interviews, Harrison Post, the man and his fascinating life come boldly into focus. And a riveting life it is! The work throws light on the 'twilight' gay world of the 20's through 40's in California and beyond. This is a wonderful read. Thanks to Edelweiss/Above the Treeline for this free electronic copy in exchange for a unbiased review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael Ritchie

    I was furiously disappointed in this book. I appreciate all the research the author did, and she tells us that there isn't a lot of material out there about the man at the center of the book, Harrison Post, the lover of the wealthy Will Clark. But if all the historical context and outright speculation ("probably" this happened, "possibly" he thought this, "Would she have...?, etc.) was taken out of this 350 page book, there would be about 150 pages left. For the first half of Post's life, there I was furiously disappointed in this book. I appreciate all the research the author did, and she tells us that there isn't a lot of material out there about the man at the center of the book, Harrison Post, the lover of the wealthy Will Clark. But if all the historical context and outright speculation ("probably" this happened, "possibly" he thought this, "Would she have...?, etc.) was taken out of this 350 page book, there would be about 150 pages left. For the first half of Post's life, there is very little documentation. Brown turns one sentence from an associate of Clark's (who, by her own admission was unreliable) about outrageous orgies in Post's home into proof that these things happened. At some point, Post was ordered to leave his neighborhood, but no reason was given, so Brown assumes the "orgies" are the reason. So many of the incidents in the lives of Clark and Post are related so vaguely as to cry out for more documentation. The last quarter of the book has the opposite problem; the author draws on the journals of Post, and so relates seemingly every thing that Post thought and did in his last couple of years on earth, no matter how trivial. Buried in all this is an interesting, if slim, narrative, and the author's own story behind delving into Post's life makes for good reading. She is also, mostly, a good stylist and the book is easy to read. But ultimately, I'm not sure it was worth plowing through all the excess for the kernels of a hidden gay romance and its aftermath.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Secrets and lies pervade this biography of two men who met in 1920s Los Angeles- the wealthy and powerful Andrew Clark and Albert Harrison, who transformed himself into Harrison Post when he became Clark's secret lover. Post eventually moved into Clark's home and, at his death, inherited a small fortune from him. However, his life was so much more tragic than positive that it's amazing he lived as long aa he did. Brown does a nice job tracing how the Clark family fortune was built and how the fa Secrets and lies pervade this biography of two men who met in 1920s Los Angeles- the wealthy and powerful Andrew Clark and Albert Harrison, who transformed himself into Harrison Post when he became Clark's secret lover. Post eventually moved into Clark's home and, at his death, inherited a small fortune from him. However, his life was so much more tragic than positive that it's amazing he lived as long aa he did. Brown does a nice job tracing how the Clark family fortune was built and how the family did its best to wrest everything from Post. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Interesting read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

    I read this book because Amazon told me that some customers who had bought or browsed my own very recently published book had also read this one. And while there are plenty of similarities -- both are books about rich gay men who become involved with younger men in the 1920s -- there are also lots of big differences. There's a lot more scandal and unhappiness in this book. Brown can't answer all the questions she has about Harrison Post and Will Clark, but that's not her fault; there are limits I read this book because Amazon told me that some customers who had bought or browsed my own very recently published book had also read this one. And while there are plenty of similarities -- both are books about rich gay men who become involved with younger men in the 1920s -- there are also lots of big differences. There's a lot more scandal and unhappiness in this book. Brown can't answer all the questions she has about Harrison Post and Will Clark, but that's not her fault; there are limits to the evidence. I found it riveting and finished it in about 24 hours. Bonus: if you loved Empty Mansions, this is the story of Huguette's older half-brother and his lover.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mam

    I actually borrowed an audio book from my library, but the edition is not listed. SO, it was an interesting, if sad, story. The most interesting part of this for me was the author's description of how she found a photograph of an unknown young man in her late grandmother's home. I actually borrowed an audio book from my library, but the edition is not listed. SO, it was an interesting, if sad, story. The most interesting part of this for me was the author's description of how she found a photograph of an unknown young man in her late grandmother's home.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Clark

    What an enthralling story! Brown follows a mysterious photo into her family’s past and finds much more than she ever expected. The facts around her long lost relative are fascinating, and the text is so well written that I was swept into the world she describes. If some of these twists and turns happened in a novel, I’d think it was a bit too much to believe, which makes it even more amazing that this incredible story had been lost until Brown started her research. I’m so glad she found the phot What an enthralling story! Brown follows a mysterious photo into her family’s past and finds much more than she ever expected. The facts around her long lost relative are fascinating, and the text is so well written that I was swept into the world she describes. If some of these twists and turns happened in a novel, I’d think it was a bit too much to believe, which makes it even more amazing that this incredible story had been lost until Brown started her research. I’m so glad she found the photo and followed the clues on her way to creating this wonderful book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Glen Helfand

    Finding meaning in family history, particularly the distant, forgotten stuff, can be so eye opening. "Twilight Man" starts with an intriguing photo of a dashing man in a box in grandma's house. It sets Liz Brown on a research quest that unspools a narratively propulsive lineage. Brown's skill at piecing together information has the integrity of an art restorer, fitting together pieces from material that was meant to be buried--this is a story of gay men in power at a time when their identity was Finding meaning in family history, particularly the distant, forgotten stuff, can be so eye opening. "Twilight Man" starts with an intriguing photo of a dashing man in a box in grandma's house. It sets Liz Brown on a research quest that unspools a narratively propulsive lineage. Brown's skill at piecing together information has the integrity of an art restorer, fitting together pieces from material that was meant to be buried--this is a story of gay men in power at a time when their identity was not nearly as accepted as it is today. Part of what makes this book so fascinating is that sense of just how imperiled William Andrews Clark Jr., the heir to a wide ranging Montana dynasty, and his longtime lover Harrison Post were simply because of their queer identities. They lived large, built walls around their palatial homes, developed psychological armor, and perpetually faced the specter of being publicly shamed and financially ruined. This is a family saga that careens through immense wealth, the developing West, Gold Rush, Hollywood's decadent early days, assumed identities, Nazi persecution, despicable siblings, white privilege, gossip columnists and fast friends. While she's a member of this family, and queer herself, Brown tells the story as a kind of biographical historian, though brackets the book with contemporary context-- it's a fitting approach as the story has its own momentum, and functions as a narrative of ambition, capitalism, and a search for happiness --universal stuff.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Powanda

    A fascinating, well-researched Hollywood gay noir, the story of William A. Clark Jr., heir to an enormous Gilded Age fortune, and Harrison Post, Clark's handsome younger "secretary." Brown crafts a wonderful story of Clark's and Post's lives, and she astutely draws connections from the works of Oscar Wilde, Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the movie Gilda, and even Kim Kardashian. The five-part book spans 1882 to 1946, but most of the action takes place during the Thirties. At times, there A fascinating, well-researched Hollywood gay noir, the story of William A. Clark Jr., heir to an enormous Gilded Age fortune, and Harrison Post, Clark's handsome younger "secretary." Brown crafts a wonderful story of Clark's and Post's lives, and she astutely draws connections from the works of Oscar Wilde, Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the movie Gilda, and even Kim Kardashian. The five-part book spans 1882 to 1946, but most of the action takes place during the Thirties. At times, there are surprising gaps due to Clark's and Post's secretiveness and the lack of living witnesses, so Brown frequently resorts to speculation, including her suspicions of Clark's pedophilia. Before Clark's death, Post's story was shaded by rumor and innuendo. Consequently, the second half of this book, in which Post experiences one crisis after another, is much more engaging. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Though Post often seems like an unaccomplished man-child, he endures so much hardship (including imprisonment for 3 years by the Nazis) that I rooted for him to restore his fortune. The story would make a great, although tragic, TV miniseries.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rick Rapp

    Brown's tale is a sad one chronicling the lives of two gay men in a time when "love couldn't speak its name." It especially focuses on the younger and softer Harrison Post, whose name like much in his life was an invention. Truly a story that defies credibility, Harrison's life was "gutter to mansion to the brink of the gutter." His softness did not equip him for the realities of life and he was the target of jealousy, greed, bigotry, and indifference. Despite its sadness, something is lacking t Brown's tale is a sad one chronicling the lives of two gay men in a time when "love couldn't speak its name." It especially focuses on the younger and softer Harrison Post, whose name like much in his life was an invention. Truly a story that defies credibility, Harrison's life was "gutter to mansion to the brink of the gutter." His softness did not equip him for the realities of life and he was the target of jealousy, greed, bigotry, and indifference. Despite its sadness, something is lacking that keeps this from being tragic. Perhaps it's the lack of nobility and stature of the protagonist; perhaps it's his weakness that contributed to his "destruction." Brown's novel is a name-dropper's jewel box. She rarely leaves out anyone with whom Harrison interacted. Annoying on one hand, it does provide a historical context for the life of a troubled young closeted gay man and his older "sugar daddy."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    This book contained some incredible research task to reconstruct the life of a closeted gay man named Harrison Post who was the "Copain"/consort of Will Clark, an extremely rich financier in the 1920s-1940s. Harrison Post had his life take an amazing number of twists and turns. I think the author spent too much time researching and explaining the Clark family, to whom she was a distant relative and all this convoluted genealogy detracted from the actual story of Mr. Post. I think the author did This book contained some incredible research task to reconstruct the life of a closeted gay man named Harrison Post who was the "Copain"/consort of Will Clark, an extremely rich financier in the 1920s-1940s. Harrison Post had his life take an amazing number of twists and turns. I think the author spent too much time researching and explaining the Clark family, to whom she was a distant relative and all this convoluted genealogy detracted from the actual story of Mr. Post. I think the author did as best as she could with this daunting task however, the book seemed to me to be more entertaining when it was dealing with Post rather than than Clark.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beth Morgan

    Amazing story! The author found a photograph in her grandmother's dresser, decided to figure out who it was, and ended up uncovering the deep dark secrets of her wealthy great-uncle and his secret lover, the handsome and charming Harrison Post. And that's only the first part of the book. The story follows Harrison through multiple re-inventions, betrayal, deception, and incredible turns of luck (mostly bad). The writing is lucid and lovely and carries you effortlessly back to another time. Reall Amazing story! The author found a photograph in her grandmother's dresser, decided to figure out who it was, and ended up uncovering the deep dark secrets of her wealthy great-uncle and his secret lover, the handsome and charming Harrison Post. And that's only the first part of the book. The story follows Harrison through multiple re-inventions, betrayal, deception, and incredible turns of luck (mostly bad). The writing is lucid and lovely and carries you effortlessly back to another time. Really fantastic read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Cripps

    In my mind, this book was significantly longer than it needed to be. Having acknowledged that the historical record is very lacking on the life of Harrison Post, I would have accepted a shorter account that felt more focussed and directed and less speculative. Definitely still interesting to hear about these forgotten individuals from the Hollywood of old, but I would lean towards a slimmed down edition in the future.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dmd

    3 1/2 rounded up This was a solid four star book until about 3/4 of the way through when it drifted off the rails and felt padded to the finish. There is a lot of vague information and supposition. which is explained by the nature of the secret lives involved, but Harrison Post remains ephemeral to the end. The most interesting aspects the book are the period details and the descriptions of lives that are better documented as well the social context and commentary.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leila A

    Too much editorializing! Very liberal use of events and dates to create sweeping narratives that could very well be false. The editorializing gets tedious -- and lengthens the book significantly. Still a fascinating look at American history/culture from not too long ago.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cecile

    This is an intriguing story about Harrison Post, the gay lover of philanthropist and copper magnate heir William Clark, Jr. I like stories about old Hollywood, but I felt the bio was dry until Clark died unexpectedly, leaving Post to face dire and strange circumstances.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mason

    A fascinating tale about the poisonous tendrils of Gilded Age extractive wealth.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kurt Anderson

    DNF after 4 chapters.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eve

    Could have used some serious editing down. Repetitive some. But an interesting story and person.

  21. 4 out of 5

    LaVerle McAdams

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Connie

  25. 5 out of 5

    David h schweizer

  26. 5 out of 5

    ned marshall

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew42083

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carol Sandberg

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dan Van

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