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<strong>Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2011</strong>: Born out of a series that ran in the <i>New York Times Magazine</i> in 2008, Daniel Clowes’s graphic novel <i>Mister Wonderful</i> details one night in the life and in the mind of Marshall, a cynical 40-something divorced shlub presumed familiar to fans of Clowes’s work. Marshall’s pessimism is in direct conflict with the situation in which we first meet our man: sitting in a coffee shop waiting on a blind date. With the mystery woman nearly 30 minutes late, Marshall’s mind runs rampant wondering how he ended up middle-aged and alone, willing to meet a perfect stranger who may not fit the fantasy role he’s imagined for his next partner (someone to eat bagels with on a Sunday morning, eager to read the sections of the paper he doesn’t). Although the downtrodden Marshall may be recognizable to fans of Clowes’s previous forays into contemptuous male reflections, it is also arguably his most sanguine effort yet. Marshall’s date, Natalie, eventually does show, and the events of their evening would test even the strongest of couples. Clowes often shifts to more elementary styling when we get inside Marshall’s head, and when a panel shows an imagined Marshall handing Natalie a "35,000-word treatise on how you’re the greatest human being who ever existed," we know Marshall’s heart has made the leap from snark to saccharine, and that may have been all he needed from this date, anyway. --<i>Alexandra Foster</i></p>
<b>The fan-favorite Eisner Award-winning story, originally serialized in <i>The New York Times Magazine</i>, now collected and with forty pages of new material. </b><br> <br>Meet Marshall. Sitting alone in the local coffee place. He’s been set up by his friend Tim on a blind date with someone named Natalie, and now he’s just feeling set up. She’s nine minutes late and counting. Who was he kidding anyway? Divorced, middle-aged, newly unemployed, with next to no prospects, Marshall isn’t exactly what you’d call a catch. Twenty minutes pass. <br>A half hour. Marshall orders a scotch. (He wasn’t going to drink!) Forty minutes. <br> <br>Then, after nearly an hour, when he’s long since given up hope, Natalie appears—breathless, apologizing profusely that she went to the wrong place. She takes a seat, to Marshall’s utter amazement. <br> <br>She’s too good to be true: attractive, young, intelligent, and she seems to be seriously engaged with what Marshall has to say. There has to be a catch. <br> <br>And, of course, there is. <br> <br>During the extremely long night that follows, Marshall and Natalie are emotionally tested in ways that two people who just met really should not be. Not, at least, if they want the prospect of a second date. <br> <br>A captivating, bittersweet, and hilarious look at the potential for human connection in an increasingly hopeless world, <i>Mister Wonderful</i> more than lives up to its name.