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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, charming and insightful
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...
Published on 12 April 2010 by Catkin

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely irritating
A friend recommended this book. I could barely manage 10% of it. The writing style would patronise a 4 year old. The 'intelligent' pychiatrist Hector goes on a world tour. He arrives first in China and is surprised to find modern office buildings and men in business suits rather than scenes from his childhood Tin Tin book. Through a series of dull, laboriously described...
Published 6 months ago by nickyboy1


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, charming and insightful, 12 April 2010
This review is from: Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars happy reading, 4 Feb. 2011
By 
Ms. Riane Revah "book croc" (london uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 (Paperback)
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is happiness?, 29 July 2010
By 
S. Barnes (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely irritating, 4 Jan. 2015
By 
nickyboy1 (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
A friend recommended this book. I could barely manage 10% of it. The writing style would patronise a 4 year old. The 'intelligent' pychiatrist Hector goes on a world tour. He arrives first in China and is surprised to find modern office buildings and men in business suits rather than scenes from his childhood Tin Tin book. Through a series of dull, laboriously described encounters, Hector discovers a series of banal observations about happiness. I don't know if Hector absent mindedly discovered marmalade on his jacket at some point but it would not surprise me. Trite, condescending and irritating
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, brilliant book., 12 July 2011
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Talk, 10 Sept. 2010
By 
Annabel Gaskell "gaskella2" (Nr Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 (Paperback)
This book has a simple premise. Hector is a young psychiatrist; he loves his job and is good at it, but he's finding that sorting out depressed people every day was beginning to drag him down too. Also his longterm relationship with Clara is stagnating. So he decides to take time off and travel around the world visiting his friends and colleagues to see if he can find out the secrets of happiness. He flies off around the world where he meets and falls for a Chinese callgirl, encounters a very wise old Chinese monk, negotiates with drug barons and gets kidnapped in Africa, and visits a professor of happiness while staying with friends in the land of `More' before returning to work via another visit to the Chinese monk to tell him what he'd found out. All ends are tied then up neatly.

Hector's author is himself a psychiatrist, and in the short Q&A at the back, he tells how he wanted to write a sort-of self-help book as a novel, but it is this epithet of `self-help' that seems to have put peoples' backs up. If you ignore this aspect and read it as a novel, it is great fun, full of great observations about life, and it definitely has a droll sense of humour. The naive fablelistic (is that a word?) style may not be to everyone's liking but suited me fine, although the neat ending was a bit of a copout.

This the fourth title I've read from 'Gallic Books' and I've enjoyed all of them, finding a strong liking for contemporary French literature.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational yet down to earth, 8 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 (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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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Light-Hearted and Easy Read, 1 April 2010
By 
Mrs. C. Colbert (Blackburn, Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 (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
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me :-(, 27 Oct. 2014
By 
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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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has more in common with a self-help guide and is overly sentimental, 12 May 2010
This review is from: Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 (Paperback)
Hector and the Search for Happiness is a short, quirky book about one man's search for happiness.

Hector is a young psychiatrist who decides to travel around the world finding out what makes people in other countries happy. As he learns about their feelings he makes notes, developing a set of rules which he uses to find happiness within himself.

The writing was very simple, almost child-like and the entire book can be read very quickly.

I think my main problem with this book was that it wasn't really a novel. It had much more in common with a self-help guide, a type of book that I avoid. Perhaps I'm just lucky enough to already know that the secret of happiness relies on strong relationships and not material wealth, but I felt I gained nothing from reading this book.

I found the lessons to be patronising and there were several points when I wanted to throw this book across the room.

"Lesson no. 12: It is harder to be happy in a country run by bad people."

and possibly even more annoying:

"Lesson no. 22: Women care more than men about making others happy. "

I think this book will appeal to fans of The Five People You Meet in Heaven and self-help guides, but I found it to be overly sentimental.
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Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1
Hector and the Search for Happiness: Hector's Journeys 1 by Lorenza Garcia (Translator) (Paperback - 1 April 2010)
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