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Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector and the Search for Happiness
Author: Francois Lelord
ISBN 13: 9780143118398
ISBN 10: 143118390
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2010-08-31
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
List Price: $14.00

A charming parable about modern life that has touched the hearts of more than two million readers worldwide.

Following on the success of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and already a worldwide sensation, Hector and the Search for Happiness finally comes to America, where readers will delight in its uplifting humor.

Hector is a young psychiatrist in Paris who does not understand why his patients in this most beautiful of cities are unhappy. So he decides to take a trip around the world—from Paris to China to Africa to the United States—and to keep a list of observations about the people he meets, hoping to find the secret to happiness.

Combining the winsome appeal of The Little Prince with the inspiring philosophy of The Alchemist, Hector's journey around the world and into the human soul is entertaining, empowering, and smile inducing—as winning in its optimism as it is wise in its simplicity.

Publishers Weekly

This trite debut follows a psychiatrist named Hector as he attempts to understand "what made people happy." At a crossroads professionally and personally, Hector resolves to take a trip, first landing in China, where he reconnects with an old friend and encounters Ying Li, with whom he spends a night. He also meets an old monk who offers a bit of happiness-related wisdom. Having suffered disappointment in his relations with Ying Li, Hector next heads to Africa, where he makes the acquaintance of a drug lord with a depressed wife, is kidnapped, and learns that "it's harder to be happy in a country run by bad people." Next up is the "big country where there were more psychiatrists than anywhere else in the world" and a meeting with a professor of "Happiness Studies." Lelord, a psychiatrist, writes in the simple prose you'd find in a children's book, and this stylistic choice quickly becomes irredeemably grating. Though the book is an international bestseller, it is far less a novel than a maudlin self-help guide that substitutes pat aphorisms for development. (Sept.)