The Modern Man

A philosophical divagation of the evil banality of daily acts

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/02/2013
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

“The Modern Man" by Cristiane Serruya is a short story about a man who wakes up to find that the gadgets around him have stopped working – even his clock – and that he is completely lost without all of them. He tries to sleep again because he hopes that everything would be fine again later, but he cannot fall asleep and has to face the situation, his thoughts and his feelings. What is the meaning of his life without time, without technology and without true connections?

This little book is not the kind of book you'd grab if you are looking for a short, entertaining read. It is a book you should read if you want to think and reflect. “The Modern Man" is very short and you wouldn't even need half an hour to read it, but you will need some time to think about it, to ask yourself how relevant the issues raised in the text are for your own life. “The Modern Man” is a powerful, beautifully written text and reflects on the current state of many people and like the man in the story, most people will not be aware of their robot-like existence unless they are forced to think about it. I enjoyed reading this little gem but it also made me sad because there is so much truth in what Cristiane Serruya shows in her book. The story ends with a glimmer of hope, hope for individuals' souls and hope for mankind. It has just the perfect length to get the thoughts across and to leave the reader thinking on his or her own.

Michael McManus

In her book “The Modern Man”, Cristiane Serruya introduces us to a miserable creature who symbolizes mankind, with his exuberance of youth and the paralysis he suffers in middle age. She tells of a sad soul whose senses have been dulled to the extent that they are useless, mere metaphors of what they once had been. Her modern man is a victim of his own intelligence, living in a world protected from the elements and isolated from interaction with others of his kind, in a realm that he created out of fear and egotism, a sterile world of loneliness and over achievement. She then gives us hope when the man is reintroduced to the basic elements of a refreshing breeze.

Cristiane Serruya has written this book poetically, not with rhyme and meter, but with a poetic voice. When the man sweats and loses himself in the dark, we suffer along with him. When he cries and reaches out in the darkness, we want him to find his way. Although this piece is very short, in terms of the number of words she has written, the message you might harvest from this sensitive work will stay with you for a very long time. She also provides a short explanation of what prompted her to write this essay in the way that she did. I found it informative and thought provoking. This essay will get you thinking about what our modern world is leading us toward and the dangers of taking some technologies too far.

Maria Beltran

In “The Modern Man”, Cristiane Serruya explores the nature of contemporary man. She brings together man’s hopes, dreams, failures, excesses, and that thing called human arrogance, as he believes that he is superior among all of nature’s species. The book is divided into two parts, one in Portuguese and the other in English. Awarded with Honors by the Law School, PUC RJ in 1988, this work was originally published in Portuguese and was translated in 2013. In her own words, this book is the author's attempt to “dissect a few hours of a man's thoughts, feelings and life, in his non-functioning world, which is habitually regulated by tic-tacs, and the consequences of his previous acts.”

The theme of man and human nature is a popular topic in literature and philosophy. Understandably, many authors are fascinated with our own kind but few write about it like author Cristiane Serruya. In a language that is both poetic and lyrical, this book is definitely easy to read. There is no lengthy discussion nor is there an attempt to explain man’s nature here, but the effect is perhaps more intriguing. It is as if the book is a mirror of the modern man’s mind and one is forced to confront one’s self upon reading it. Since it is written when the author was eighteen years old, this paper on ethics reveals her sensitivity to what is really going on around her at such a tender age. And perhaps without meaning to, she challenges the reader to find the real meaning of humanity in today’s rapidly changing world. "The Modern Man" poses a lot of questions that will surely titillate the human mind. A very interesting read!

Camilla Allevato

Absolutely mind-blowing. In A such a good way, you have to re and re-read those few pages and re-evalute your life, your word, you way of thinking.
Congratulations, Cristiane Serruya. A wonderful job.