Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector and the Search for Happiness
Francois Lelord

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Genre: Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads): “Once upon a time there was a young psychiatrist called Hector who was not very satisfied with himself. . . . ”

Hector is very good at treating patients in need of his help. But he can’t do much for those who are simply dissatisfied with life, and that is beginning to depress him. When a patient tells him he looks in need of a vacation, Hector takes a trip around the world to learn what makes people happy—and sad. As he travels from Paris to China to Africa to the United States, he lists his observations about the people he meets. Is there a secret to happiness, and will Hector find it?

Combining the winsome appeal of The Little Prince with the inspiring philosophy of The Alchemist, Hector’s journey ventures around the globe and into the human soul. Lelord’s writing inspires us to consider life’s great questions. Uplifting, empowering, and optimistic, this is a fable for our times and all time.

Review:  The reviews of this book on Goodreads are really not that great, and I can see why lots of people didn't love this book.  It's written as if the author was writing a children's book, in a very simple style, but the content is clearly designed for adults.  Hector's attitude towards women is morally murky - but hey, he's French!  The author can come across as patronizing with his simplifications of people, their problems, and their definitions of happiness, and he can get annoying when describing the Country of More (just call it the U.S. already).

However, I really enjoyed this book, it was exactly the kind of book I felt like reading when I read it.  As the summary states, it reminded me of The Little Prince, and encouraged me to sit and think about happiness and how happy I am.  It was a really fast and easy read, and I would happily read it again.

I'm not sure I'd recommend it to everyone, though.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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