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Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 Paperback – 1 Apr 2010


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Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 + Hector and the Secrets of Love: Hector's Journeys 2 + Hector Finds Time: Hector's Journeys 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gallic Books (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906040230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906040239
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

François Lelord studied and practiced psychiatry in Paris, and was a consultant for companies interested in reducing stress for their employees. On a trip to Hong Kong, the Hector character popped into his mind. The huge success of 'Hector and the Search for Happiness' led him to spend more time writing and travelling, ending up in Vietnam during the Sars epidemic. There he practiced psychiatry for a French NGO and met his future wife Phuong. Today they live in Thailand. The Hector's Journeys series is available in English from Gallic Books.

Product Description

Review

Provides a dollop of warm, fuzzy, feel-good escapism --Woman

Intelligently naïve --Marie Claire

Even the most aloof, the most detached reader will be won over by this book. --Cosmopolitan

A feel-good gem ... Francois Lelord has created a 21st-Century hero in kind-hearted psychiatrist Hector, who travels the globe to find out what makes people happy. --Good Housekeeping

A series of philosophical bonnes bouches ... their effect is unexpectedly cheering -- --The Independent

Even the most aloof, the most detached reader will be won over by this book. --Cosmopolitan

This book is really quite funny.Dryly funny. It also has a genuine edge to it, with on-the-button observations about human behaviour and the way they think and behave. It is these qualities that make this book so clever and enjoyable. Written in the style of a children's book or fairytale in simple language, this book is quite knowing: the faux naive style contrasting with a plot that sees Hector consorting with prostitutes, cosying up to drug barons and being kidnapped by criminals. I found Hector's journey hugely enjoyable and with just that little cynical edge to make it doubly delicious. --Rosy Barnes

About the Author

François Lelord studied and practiced psychiatry in Paris, and was a consultant for companies interested in reducing stress for their employees. On a trip to Hong Kong, the Hector character popped into his mind. The huge success of 'Hector and the Search for Happiness' led him to spend more time writing and travelling, ending up in Vietnam during the Sars epidemic. There he practiced psychiatry for a French NGO and met his future wife Phuong. Today they live in Thailand. The Hector's Journeys series is available in English from Gallic Books.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Catkin on 12 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I heartily recommend this wonderful little book. It only takes a few hours to read and is written in such a simple style, as if the author was speaking to a child. Yet you soon find yourself reading about prostitution, globalisation and death, as Hector attempts to uncover what makes people happy (or unhappy) around the world. Hector's discoveries about happiness are not new information - you'll find them in any literature on happiness - but the way they are presented, woven into the story, is clever and much more thought-provoking. The penultimate chapter, when Hector meets the professor, is a bit clunky and laboured compared with the rest of the story but I finished the book with a smile on my face and a sense of clarity about what I wanted to do with my career. Not bad for a little book!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Barnes on 29 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Brilliant little novel - a sort of current day 'Sophie's World' (Jostein Gaarder) but much more simplistic in approach and single-minded in ambition - amounting to a deceptively simple exposé of the philosophy of happiness.

Join psychiatrist Hector as he leaves his successful practice and disillusioned clients and journeys around the world in pursuit of the true meaning of happiness. An entanglement of emotions in China, a close shave with a powerful drug lord, interview with a Buddhist monk and a foray into family life in the country of more and plenty all help Hector compile his list of lessons to understand happiness.

I've spent many an idle moment wondering about the modern preoccupation with 'being happy' and 'happiness' and this cleverly-written, witty book narrows my own thoughts in just the right way. It reads so well that I can only assume the translator has done an excellent job, though I like the book so much I'm almost tempted to brush up on my French and have a go at the original (with the aid of my dictionary!). Short and lightweight reading - perfect for holidays, journeys, or just a few spare hours at any time. Fiction, philosophy, self-help? - it doesn't matter how you see it, it's a great book. An unreserved 5 stars - *****.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. Colbert VINE VOICE on 1 April 2010
Format: Paperback
This took me quite a while to get used to the child-like style of writing, and at first I wasn't sure if it was meant for adults or children, but once I'd got further into Hector's story I really, really enjoyed it.

As he travelled round the world from China to the country of MORE (we never actually know the name but would presume it's the USA!) he met many people and as he got to know them and talked to them, he compiled a list of the things that he thought made people happy. I won't list them all here as there's over 20 but I will mention a few :-

Lesson No. 2: Happiness often comes when least expected.

Lesson No. 6: Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains.

Lesson No. 8: Happiness is being with the people you love.

Lesson No. 13: Happiness is feeling useful to others.

This is a lovely simple story told in a way that makes you think about what makes YOU happy. Also, Hector came to realise what really made HIM happy as well, though he didn't know it when he first started his journey.

I thought Hector was a wonderful friendly character who brought out the best in people (probably due to being a psychiatrist), he made me smile more than once, as well as feel sad when we both realised that the beautiful young Chinese woman wasn't just being 'friendly' to him but was just doing her 'job'..... aaahhhh. It was then I also realised that it wasn't a children's book! Not that it was overly graphic or descriptive, some things were left to the imagination.

If you're looking for a light-hearted and easy read then why not give this a try?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 27 Oct 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I decided to read this after seeing the movie trailer, not had chance to see the film but have a feeling it would be better than this book.
Unfortunately I have stopped reading it as I find that the way it is written is not to my taste. I have tried to keep reading now and then but loose interest very quickly.
Disappointed since I was hoping it would be wonderful!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris Morgan on 8 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
This book seems deceptively simple and naive in its style but manages to pull out life lessons in each chapter. Hector's search for happiness is actually about what is really important in life. There is no preaching but gentle questioning and a variety of experiences help Hector and the reader to come to a positive conclusion. It is an easy read that has hidden depths which made me smile and ponder.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CKobrak on 12 July 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book last summer, and it was just fantastic. However as a warning to people who expect a strong story with lots of drama and adventure maybe you should try a different novel as this one is more about searching for happiness and the different people Hector meets. I am about to start reading the next book in the series Hector & the Secrets of Love (Hector's Journeys)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Riane Revah on 4 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a chance purchase, at an airport where the rather unusual cover suggested a closer look. I was not disappointed. The book is an enchanting tale written in an ingenuous simplistic manner, about a psychoanalyst who is facing emotional burn-out, is encouraged to go on holiday, and decides to travel all over the world to find out if there is a magic recipe for happiness. He meets his old friends, drinks, and engages in sexual activity, questioning what it is that makes people happy. The places he visits and the people he meets provide some answers, which he compiles into a list; a list which should be compulsory reading for everybody. Every page had me smiling. Stranded in the Alps because of the volcanic cloud, with a fractious 12 year old,it was a blessing. I read it, and smiled. Then she read it, and smiled. Then I passed it on to our very generous host, Guillaume. I have no doubt he smiled too. On our eventual return, I bought another copy for another daughter, who loved it. So much so that we could hardly wait for the next book!
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