Monday, September 05, 2011

Hector and The Secrets of Love

I don't think anyone would pick up this little book thinking that it might actually tell them the secrets of love, but it does have some interesting insights about the subject, along with a decent plot.
Hector is a psychiatrist who lives with Clara. She works for a drug company, and her boss, Gunther, asks Hector to find a researcher who went missing with the drug he had been working on -- a drug that makes people fall in love with each other.
While searching for the missing doctor, Hector begins to keep his own notes about love, trying to figure out if there are rules, or as he eventually calls them, components.
When Hector ends up in a small Asian country, he finds the doctor has left him a note and love potion pills for Hector and the Asian waitress. The doctor assures Hector in the note that he will give him an antidote. And that's how Hector falls in love with a woman who doesn't speak a single word in his language.
Gunther and the drug company are not the only ones searching for the love potion though. The Chinese would like the potion to convince young people to make sensible marriages and stop wasting time on hedonistic pleasures. Two Japanese spies are searching for the potion so they can increse the number of marriages in Japan. Gunther and the drug company, of course, want the potion so they can make millions by insuring that people fall in love and stay in love.
My favorite part of the book is when the doctor gives the love potion to two pandas in the zoo who have refused to mate. The potion gets them to mate. Unfortunately, later, one of the pandas eats the other because it is so consumed by wanting to be one with the other panda.
This book got me to thinking about love. It isn't something I think about because I have a husband who loves me. That means, I am probably taking him for granted and not being careful to show him my gratitude for the way he brings out the best of me.
This book is described as philosophy, in the tradition of The Alchemist or The Little Prince. It's a book to take in small bites, but one that definitely will get you thinking about your own love life, or lack of it.


Linda said...

There's a sculpture in the Louvre that when seen from behind looks like a lovely woman. When you walk around the front, you see that it's a man. Then you realize that it's a man and a woman-Hermphradite, the symbol of perfect love as two become one, sort of like those pandas in the book.

Paulita said...

Surprised they didn't have that on the cover of the book!

aguja said...

An interesting concept ... and you describe it well. It is good to have insight into a book prior to buying; for me espedially as I have to send for books through amazon as there is no book shop stocking books in English.
Thak you for your review!

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