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

Penguin. May 2021. 400p. ISBN 9780143132905. pap. $17. BIOG
Following a death in her family, journalist Brown found among her grandmother’s possessions a signed photo of a man she didn’t know. This discovery led her to uncover clues to some old family stories and scandals. With information from journals, newspapers, court records, and an infamous book (family legend says they tried to burn all the copies of the book), Brown’s story moves from Montana mining towns to Hollywood to Nazi-occupied Europe, from mansions to prison camps; each detail unfolds into more family secrets and metaphorical skeletons. Brown carefully traces the life of philanthropist William Andrews Clark Jr., her great-granduncle; his romantic relationship with former salesclerk Harrison Post; and the efforts they took to prevent their Hollywood circle from discovering their relationship. This is a rags-to-riches story, weaving in well-known celebrities and familiar events, that will keep readers wondering what could happen from one page to the next. The author offers plenty of backstory, allowing for a deeper appreciation for the actions of the book’s main figures, and their motivations.
VERDICT This is a definite must-read for fans of early Hollywood, and those interested in LGBTQ history, with plenty of scandals and gossip to grab interest.
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