60. Hector and the Search for Happiness (Francois Lelord)


Hector and the Search for Happiness is a brief fable about a psychiatrist was he  travels, searching for happiness.  For our December book club choice, our group is tasked with finding a “happy book.” I had never heard of this book (or the movie) but it came up during my internet search.

Hector is a psychiatrist who spends his days treating unhappy people.  He was feeling dissatisfied because he felt unable to make his patients happy.  During his treatment of a well-known psychic who could no longer see the future, she suggested he needed a vacation.  With this encouragement, he decided to take a trip around the world to understand what makes people happy.

During his journey he meets old friends and makes new friends including an elderly monk,  a crime boss, another psychiatrist, a business man, a dying woman and even a prostitute.  As he spends time with these individuals, he begins to formulate a list of lessons.  He has quite a journey to understand happiness and discovers that his lessons help him in his practice, in his relationship and in his own well-being.

I don’t think that I will be recommending this short novel to my book club.  I have discovered that I really don’t appreciate the fable style of writing.  It was trite and predictable.  It did not have enough of a storyline to be a novel yet lacked substance for self help.

If anyone has any suggestions for a happy read, please comment or send me an email.  🙂

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