Sunday, 5 July 2015

L: Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hello hello hello, and happy Sunday! :) Today I bring you the next instalment in my A-Z Author Challenge: Lelord's 'Hector and the Search for Happiness'!

Interestingly, as I have just Googled this title to get the cover image, I have found that it was made into a film, released in 2014 and starring Simon Pegg as Hector! Well, that has ruined the sequel for me...I didn't imagine Hector looking anything like Simon Pegg, but I am sure his face is all I will be able to imagine from now on!

Anyway, that isn't Lelord's fault, so back to the point! :) Firstly, I LOVE the cover, don't you?! Very quirky, which is quite a good insight into the story to come! The plot seemed simple...Hector, a disillusioned psychiatrist starts to feel down because he feels he can't make all his patients happy. It's 'easy' enough to treat people with diagnosed disorders, but what can you do for people who are just generally dissatisfied with life? Eventually, Hector gets so bogged down with this, that he decides to take a break, and go travelling. On his travels, he creates a list of 'rules for happiness', based on his observations of people with lives much simpler than those of his home country. Is it just coincidence that the richest countries have the most people in need of psychiatrists?

I was very surprised by the child-like style of writing in this book. I wasn't expecting sex to be referred to as "the thing adults do when they're in love". This got a bit patronising at times, but I guess it did help to make this a very simple, easy read. I hoped that this book would be an uplifting, feel-good story, which it was...I did enjoy it. However the 'rules for happiness' were pretty child-like too, any adult who sat down with a piece of paper and was asked to write a list of these rules would have come up with almost exactly the same thing, so nothing particularly exciting there. This book also suffered a bit with the same ailment as Krauss' 'The History of Love', it was too short! It takes incredible writing skill to cram a great story into less that 200 pages, and unfortunately I felt that this fell a bit short.

Has anyone seen the film based on this book? What did you think?

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