Saturday, July 23, 2011

233 (2011 #38). Hector and the Secrets of Love

by Francois Lelord,
read by James Clamp

This was an interesting little novel, about a psychiatrist named Hector who is hired by a big drug company to find a missing professor doing research for them.  The professor is studying the chemistry of love and creates a potion that can cause deep desire and attachment.

Hector's adventures take him to Southeast Asia (where author Francois Lelord now lives - there are other parallels between his real life and this story).  There he is torn between a waitress he meets named Vayla, and his love back home, Clara (who works for the drug company).  While jetting and scurrying around, Hector ponders and writes about the five components of heartache, as well as coming up with 27 aphorisms about love that he calls "seedlings."

While the plot was a bit unbelievable, this modern parable does have some things to say about love, and has a vague (plot-wise) yet satisfying (message-wise) conclusion.  It was especially interesting to learn some of the neurotransmitters of love and sex - particularly that dopamine is tied in with desire, while oxytocin promotes attachment.

British voice-over talent James Clamp read the French Lelord's (a psychiatrist in real life, and perhaps the model for psychiatrist Francois in the) book.  Clamp's delivery is choppy, but I understand the book is written in short chapters, so that may be fitting.  He also pronounces Vayla as "Viola," and it wasn't until I read some other reviews that I knew the latter spelling was incorrect.

© Amanda Pape - 2011

[I received this audiobook through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.  It will be donated to my university library.]

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