Hector and the Secrets of Love: A Novel

( 2 )

Overview

The irresistible second installment in the beloved series that has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Since his first captivating adventure in Hector and the Search for Happiness, Hector the young French psychiatrist has continued to explore the mysteries of the human soul. Having found that love seems virtually inseparable from happiness, he begins taking notes on this powerful emotion. But unbeknownst to him, Clara, the doctor's beloved, is ...

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Hector and the Secrets of Love: A Novel

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Overview

The irresistible second installment in the beloved series that has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Since his first captivating adventure in Hector and the Search for Happiness, Hector the young French psychiatrist has continued to explore the mysteries of the human soul. Having found that love seems virtually inseparable from happiness, he begins taking notes on this powerful emotion. But unbeknownst to him, Clara, the doctor's beloved, is making her own investigations into love.

As much a love story as a novel about love, Hector and the Secrets of Love is a feel-good life manual wrapped in a globetrotting adventure, told with the blend of a fairy tale's naïve wisdom and a satirist's dry wit that has won Hector fans around the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A smarmy follow-up to Lelord's first effort finds the placid French psychiatrist Hector enlisted in a pharmaceutical experiment that leaves him with romantic troubles of his own. Listening to his unhappy patients, Hector observes that "love, it seemed, was an endless source of suffering," bons mots he has experienced with his own girlfriend, Clara, a salesperson at a big pharmaceutical company. While accompanying Clara on her company retreat, Hector is persuaded by Gunther, the conniving company head, into tracking down a rogue American professor of Happiness Studies who has vanished into an unnamed Asian country with a new drug that allows people to fall in love with whomever they want and, moreover, stay in love. Just as Clara is taking up an affair with her boss, Hector sets out in search of the professor, who drops him notes and delivers some of the love potion by a comely messenger, Vayla. Hector and Vayla fall irretrievably in love, though are unable to speak to each other. Ever aware of the economic inequities between him and those he encounters, Hector exhibits nonetheless some conflicted feelings regarding the beauty and youth of the Asian women-and lovely Vayla's slavish obedience to his every whim. Lelord's saccharine tale delineates a universal, palatable message about attachment and need, self-interest and freedom.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews

To analyze love is to find there is no there there. So it seems to Dr. Hector, a French psychiatrist wearied by the daily litanies of floundering romance.

Hector thinks he loves Clara. In fact, he once wanted to marry her. Now Clara wants marriage, but Hector is unsure. Love's puzzles inspire Hector to begin noting "Seedlings," thoughts on love's joy and pain. Clara works for a giant pharmaceutical company, perhaps Swiss, and thus emblematic of its utilitarian attitude toward love. The company invites Hector to a tropical isle to meet other experts, one a caricature of Dr. Ruth, and discusses the chemistry of love. Hector learns the company has already made progress on a pill to induce and perpetuate love. The formula, however, has been stolen by its creator, Dr. Chester Cormorant. Hector knows Cormorant, and he is persuaded by Gunther, the company's president, to find the missing scientist. That Hector will be half-a-world away will also ease the tension in Gunther and Clara's secret love affair. The search begins in Cambodia where Hector learns Cormorant wants to contact him, and convince him of the pill's effectiveness. In fact, Hector takes one, and gives another to Vayla, a beautiful masseuse to whom he is attracted. The pair promptly begin a sweetly passionate love affair. Hector also meets the mysterious Jean-Marcel, supposedly a sales representative, and two young female Japanese tourists. The action moves to Shanghai where the pills are tested. Pandas are involved, in a thoroughly sardonic fashion. By novel's end, Jean-Marcel, Clara, Gunther, Hector and the Japanese pair end up among the Gna-Doas, a lost Tibetan tribe in the Southeast Asian jungles. At this point, Hector has written 27 "Seedlings," all reminding him that "love is indeed complicated, difficult, and sometimes painful..."

Told in a wry, ironic, self-deprecating voice that sometimes addresses the reader, Lelord's second novel (Hector and the Search for Happiness, 2010) should intrigue readers of his first.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143119470
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 558,280
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

François Lelord studied medicine and psychology. After getting his doctoral degree in 1985, he was a post-doctorate researcher at UCLA. He then worked as an attending physician in Paris for two years. Since 2004, he has been working as a psychiatrist in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Hector and the Search for Happiness is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 26, 2012

    I love Hector and his adventures. In the sequel to "Hector

    I love Hector and his adventures. In the sequel to "Hector and the Search for Happiness," Hector is searching for the secrets of love. This time, he is sent on an adventure to track down a professor that was working on a new drug to help people stay in love. Along the way Hector makes news friends and learns some secrets of love. Meanwhile, Hector's own personal life is giving him insight into the difficulties of love. Just as good as the first novel in the series. I can't wait to read the third!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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