NEW TOM THOMSON BOOKS OFFERS A GOOD SUMMER READ
Doug Mackey published a favorable review of the book in his column, Heritage
Perspectives, for the weekend Community Voices supplement to the North Bay Nugget
and sister newspapers.
"I read the book with interest recently and throughly enjoyed it in spite of a few minor
flaws," he wrote. "The main thrust of the book is a cold-case analysis of the evidence
from various sources and the harsh analysis of those sources.
"The has an added feature I enjoyed where Lehto introduces several chapter of fiction
interspersed with the scholarly analysis. It is like reading two books at once and as
enjoyable as it is it can be confusing where his fictional intervention is juxtaposed with
the scholarly lawyer approach."
Here is a link to the full review.
LANCETTE JOURNAL PRAISES THE BOOK
Below is a link to a new review of Algonquin Elegy from a Canadian arts journal. The
reviewer is Alidë Kohlhaas of the Lancette - Journal of the Arts, which is dedicated to
the Canadian arts — theatre, music, opera, CDs, books, painting and other art, film,
TV programs, as well as general entertainment news.
"Lehto is the latest in a long line-up of journalists, arts writers, historians and
novelists who have tangled with this tale," Ms. Kohlhaas writes about the book. "His is
most likely one of the most thoroughly researched books of them all; it fits well into
the historic fiction genre in which real events are combined with fictional ones, real
individuals with fictional characters."
" While Thomson made the park famous through his vivid colour depictions of this
huge wilderness park with its many lakes and rivers, waterfalls and white-water runs,
Lehto manages to capture the beauty of the place through his words. One can sense
the love he has for the place, for the sport of canoeing, even for the strenuous
portages that are needed to avoid dangerous rapids, or to get from one lake or river to
Read the full review here: Lancette Journal of the Arts.
BACK COVER BLURPS
The mystery of Canada’s artist Tom Thomson’s drowning in Ontario’s Algonquin
Park in 1917 has never before been so thoroughly investigated, documented and
reported. Here is what two Tom Thomson experts have to say about the book:
"Neil J. Lehto’s Algonquin Elegy Tom Thomson’s Last Spring is both a labor of love
and a labor of gargantuan effort to come to some understanding, nine decades on, of
exactly what happened that summer of 1917. Perhaps no one has ever worked as
hard to know the unknowable and, in doing so, he has contributed invaluably to the
greatest story in all of Canadian art. Neil’s passion for Tom Thomson shines through
as passionately on each page as Thomson’s passion for Algonquin Park shines
though on each painting he left behind that last spring."
—Roy MacGregor, National Columnist for the Globe & Mail and writer of a novel
based on the mystery of painter Tom Thomson’s final days, Canoe Lake.
"This ambitious work refers to Ontario’s huge provincial park, Algonquin Park and to
the death under mysterious circumstances, of one of Canada’s greatest artists, Tom
Thomson (1877–1917). Lehto intertwines his story with fact so that it has the tone of
a memoir but he exuberantly adorns his account, painting in gaps with invented
scenarios and developing bare-bones motifs into well-designed adventures. The
result has rich color and offers a welcome respite from the dryness of art history."
—Joan Murray, Former Executive Director and CEO, McMichael Canadian Art
Collection, Kleinberg, Ontario, distinguished author of numerous books about
Canada’s Group of Seven artists, Tom Thomson’s paintings and his life. She is
working on a catalogue raisonné of Thomson paintings.
SKAGIT RIVER JOURNAL OF HISTORY & FOLKLORE REVIEW
The Skagit River Journal of History & Folklore of Sedro-Wooley, Washington, published
a very positive review of Algonquin Elegy: Tom Thomson's Last Spring,in its September
2006 issue. It said: "Lehto's exploration of Thomson the artist and the outdoorsman will
fascinate anyone who admires Thomson's work and has been curious about his death,
but the book also spends more time on Thomson's relationship with Alice Elinor
Lambert than any Thomson biographer has in the past. He includes two chapters about
Alice, one covering the bare bones of their relationship and the other an imagined
encounter between the two, with speculation about their brief affair and what it meant to
Thomson's life while he lived in Seattle for about four years before returning to his home
area of Leith, Ontario. " Get the full review here.
DECEMBER 2008 REVIEW POSTED ON AMAZON
Norm Goldman of Book Pleasures posted a review of Algoqnuin Elegy: Tom
Thomson's Last Spring on Amazon, giving it 4 out of 5 stars. "Lehto's novel's greatest
strength is that it is an extremely well-researched book depicting and accurate
portrayal of time and place," He said. ". . . . The novel can be appreciated for its insights
and understanding of what made Thomson tick and why he was considered Canada's
greatest artist. In addition, Lehto demonstrates admirable skill with his strong
descriptions of Algonquin Park and its surroundings, which . . . .is an attestation to
Canada's bold and distinctive features."