Hector’s Journeys is a series by Francois Lelord about a psychiatrist named Hector. First of all, I love this series so hard I may name my hypothetical firstborn son Hector.
The books are a way to explore grand philosophical ideas (happiness, love, and time are pretty much the basis of all philosophy in my opinion). Philosophy based fiction may be encouraging some of you to turn and run as far from these books as possible, but you shouldn’t because these are delightful and simple stories.
Lelord set out to explore these philosophical ideas through a narrative resembling a fable. I think he accomplished this goal quite well. Most books I’ve read that are philosophy based narratives are really dense in plot and language, but this story is refreshingly simple. It sounds like a children’s book when you read it, which I really liked. The simplicity allows the reader some head space to explore the ideas deeper rather than making them focus on just trying to understand the dang thing.
In addition to this unique writing style, the stories are just plain fun.
Hector and the Search for Happiness
I found this book completely by accident. I was searching for Simon Pegg (he’s my favorite) on Netflix and found this film. The plot sounded interesting and unique, and Simon Pegg was the main character. Naturally I turned it on immediately. It was great, and it got even better because it contained the delightful phrase “Based on the book by Francois Lelord.” I jumped right on Amazon and ordered the book immediately. It showed up two days later, and I dove right into it.
As a psychiatrist, Hector deals with patients who are unhappy a lot, and this made him wonder where happiness comes from and what it really is. To figure it out, he decides to set out on a journey that takes him around the world, allows him to meet a diverse number of people, and helps him discover some truths about happiness.
Hector and the Secrets of Love
The second book begins like the first with Hector talking to people about problems with love, and he starts to wonder about the nature of love. Interestingly in this novel, another psychiatrist believes he has created a drug that creates love, and Hector must find him after he disappears. The chase takes him around the world again, and he runs into some characters from the first novel again while meeting some new ones along the way. The second book is just as simply written, complex in thought, and delightful as the first story.
Hector and the Search for Lost Time
The third installment examines the various ways that people deal with the passing of time. Some people try to slow it down while others want it to speed up. Hector must leave again, but this time he is looking for the Old Monk (a character who appears in the first two books) who has mysteriously disappeared. Hector must come to terms with several changes in this novel, and I feel this story is the one where he experiences the most personal growth as a character.
Each book contains a refreshing view of difficult topics, which enables the reader to better understand how they relate to happiness, love, and time and makes it easier to discuss those ideas with other people. This series is truly one of the most unique I’ve ever read, and I will read them many times over. I think it’s a series that can grow with me. Go buy it. You’ll love it!