Fran ois Lelord studied and practiced psychiatry in Paris, and was a consultant for companies interested in reducing stress for their employees. The huge success of Hector and the Search for Happiness led him to spend more time writing and travelling, ending up in Vietnam during the Sars epidemic. There he practiced psychiatry for a French NGO and met his future wife Phuong. Today they live in Thailand. Hector and the Search for Happiness was adapted for film in 2015, starring Simon Pegg and Rosamund Pike.
Lelord's internationally best-selling debut novel was first published in France in 2002. It is a parable centering on Hector, a young Parisian psychiatrist who, disheartened by his patients' misery, sets out in search of the secret to happiness, traveling to China, Africa, and, eventually, the United States, i.e., "the country that has more psychiatrists than any other." He returns to Paris wiser and, indeed, happier. The fable is presented in a deliberately simple style recalling Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince. Narrator James Clamp's precise British diction is perfect for the occasionally pedantic text, whose detailed scenes are revealed with often delicious irony and humor. Highly recommended. [A film adaptation of the Penguin pb, which was described as being "charming, clever, humorous, and insightful" (LJ 9/15/10), is currently in development; Lelord's next Hector book has already been signed by Viking.-Ed.]-Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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