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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 222

Foolish Men: A Riveting Tale of Manhood is a 2002 novel by Ardara Harris. Harris himself is a bit of Renaissance Man; the idea for this novel was conceived during a regular break that he offered during a math class that he taught. The novel is told in the first person by a narrator, Marcus. Specifically, he recounts his first sexual encounter, his experience with an STD, and other activities from his past that seemed well-intentioned, but turned out to be misguided.

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The narrative point of view is varied in this novel; the reader gets anecdotes from several characters re-visiting a single event, revealing vastly different experiences for each of them. Because of these disparate memories of events, the relative value-system whereby events (sex, friendships, etc.) is judged is called into question and destabilized.

Success is another prominent them in Harris' novel. By virtue of having access to a character's (i.e. Marcus') interior thoughts, the reader sees him as human and flawed (in many instances, Marcus actually addresses the reader, ("Now you want to listen and be my friend," Ch. 1). Despite Marcus' idiosyncrasies and misguided appraisals of himself and situations, he is outwardly successful at the time of writing (insofar as he has finished college and has a well-paying job). This invites to reader to question how success ought to be defined.

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