“Hector and the Search for Happiness” by François Lelord

Everybody wants to be happy.  Isn’t that a universal truth?  I have been pretty happy lately, so when I was digging around in my “to-read” pile, I thought this would be a good book to read on a long journey to Seattle from Indianapolis.  I didn’t know anything about it, but I was a bit skeptical about it once I began since the writing was elementary and to the point.  I felt like I was in 3rd grade again with a few “big” words sprinkled within the book.  Apparently, this is a psychology book that has a gigantic following.  Overall, I don’t see what the fuss would be about since this book proves that happy men usually cheat on their significant others and get away with it.  Hector is a psychiatrist from France who is at a crossroad in his practice.  None of his patients are happy and none of them really have nothing to be unhappy about since they all seem to have a roof over their heads and a normal life.  Regardless, Hector decides to leave his long-term girlfriend, Clara, behind and visit friends around the world while searching for happiness.  Pretty easy concept, huh?  Well, Hector is a jerk if you ask me.  There’s nothing endearing about him since he visits people to check what makes poor people in China happy compared to the wealthy and neurotic Americans and so forth.  He has dalliances with two women, (one being a Chinese prostitute) on two different continents.  Wow!  I also found it interesting that Hector visited his ex-lover in the United States and watched her husband basically cheat without saying a word.  Yeah, books like this frustrate me.  I understand the goal of the book is more likely “self-help” rather than fiction, but come on.  I guess French psychiatrist men like to write about hookers and their penis and guise it in a “I’m just trying to find happiness” veil.  Whatever.  I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t love it by any means.  I do have the sequel on my shelf, and I am not sure if I will even read it.

Jen’s Rating: **

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