Hector and the search for happiness by François Lelord

Cover Hectors Reise oder die Suche nach dem Glück von Francois Lelord

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.

In a nutshell:

Short synopsis:

A psychiatrist sets out on a journey to find out what makes people happy.

Language I read the book in: German (Hectors Reise oder die Suche nach dem Glück)

Did I like it? Yes

For people who: like light reading that is more than meets the eye.

My thoughts: 

Starting to read:

The writing style is unpretentious, simple and suitable even for children.

Oh, Hector is adorable. He is a psychiatrist and so wonderfully innocent, it is a pleasure to meet him. However, I am glad to find that Hector is not completely angelic. After his little escapade with the Chinese girl (that he takes for a love match whereas she is a prostitute)  he manages to actually pass the blame for it to his girlfriend in this roundabout way that we all know. Had she come with him (as he asked her to) he would never have met Ying Li, ergo never have slept with her. Makes sense, right?

I just read a few reviews of this book on GR and can’t understand people who criticize the book for not providing new insightful answers how to attain happiness. There are no new and insightful answers. What did they expect? That François Lelord tells them what to do in any given situation and, wham, happiness comes around the corner?

Later on:

Poor Hector, he goes through quite a lot, but there you see how the friendship with even the lowest life forms sometimes can help a great deal.

Towards the end:

I am glad things worked out ok. Ying Li has found a way out (again, never underestimate the positive power of criminals), Edouard has found a new vocation, Hector has found the various keys to happiness and they all lived happily ever after.

All in all:

This is a lovely, uplifting, positive book that just makes you smile from beginning to end. I am looking forward to the sequel which is already waiting for me on my shelf.

Product info and buy link :

Title Hector and the search for happiness
Author François Lelord
Publisher Gallic Books
ISBN 9781906040239
I got this book from I swapped it
Buy link Buy Hector and the search for happiness

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

7 Comments Write a comment

    • I wouldn’t go that far, Caroline. It was a “happy” book but not really Earth shattering. There are two sequels, one about love, which I have got and the third is about time. I saw that one at Netgalley – that’s how I found out about those books in the first place , but I wanted to start with the first one.


  1. This was one of my book club’s choices in its early days! I read the English translation and thought is was quite a sweet book that felt more like fables than a fully fleshed out novel. I do have one of the other books in the series (I think it’s the one about love). They’re nice light reads though.
    Ellie’s last post ..Hollow Pike


    • I agree about the fables, Ellie. Especially because of the writing style and the very vague description of countries and places. He never says (except for China) where exactly Hector goes but always mentions “a country far away where everybody looked ….” etc. as if in a different world.


  2. I have read so much on happiness and death I may even call myself a specialist 🙂 Still, I haven’t read this one, but I can recommend you The Science of Happiness, by Stefan Klein, if you would like to read some more…
    Ally’s last post ..World Book Night


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