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Couldn't stand it and quit
on June 22, 2014
I have read many books about the Group of Seven and was eager to read this one, as the cover praises it will mentions of nominations, best of, etc. But what a huge disapointment it has been. It is truely a story told by someone who gathered informations and then made a collage of them, never questionning if they were historically correct, or just assumptions served as truths, told over and over again. Doing so, the writer serves us again all sorts of old and tired clichés that have no reasons to survive in this era.How should I put it. The 'facts', the biographical material, the factual stuff, about the members of the Group of Seven, and Tom Thompson, are great. Unfortunately, the book doesn't just deliver that, it tries to deliver the factual, in a larger view of Canada - late 19th century, early XXth - about the art scene (or supposedly lack of) in Toronto and Montreal in that time. Which tells me that the writer is only serving us stuff already written previously elsewhere, and did not do as thorough a fact checking job on those aspects as he did on the painters themselves. After a while, I just couldn't stand it, The vision of Canada carried in this book, and of the two cultural centers of the time (Toronto and Montreal) is so out of date, I just don't get it. How could this book have gotten such good reviews. I must not be reading the same book as all these other people. In the end, it was so frustrating to have to put up with the botched up job of the writer that the biographical material about the Group of Seven and Tom Thompson wasn't enough to keep me going. Maybe one day I'll have more patience and pick it up again.