Pedro & Me by Judd Winick

I’m cheating again because I read this book a couple of months ago and I haven’t finished a book this week (I don’t know what’s wrong with me) (actually, I do – it’s the iPad), but I did read it and didn’t blog about it at the time so it still totally counts.

I’d had this book on my wishlist since I started my wishlist – I think I added it in early 2006. God knows why I didn’t buy it sooner – I think maybe I was worried about Feeling All The Things, because I was so obsessed with and in love with The Real World: San Francisco and I was devastated by Pedro Zamora’s death. Honestly, I can remember crying uncontrollably and feeling disbelief – he’d been so vibrant and alive in the show, it was almost unimaginable that he was dead.

Finally I decided it was time to buy it and read it and it’s just brilliant. It’s a graphic memoir (as in it’s in the form of a graphic novel, rather than it has graphic content) by Judd Winick who was a fellow Real World cast member – did you all watch it? Do you know who I’m talking about? – who became best friends with Pedro during their time on the show and remained close to him right up to his death. I say that like it was years after the show ended, but it wasn’t at all. In fact it was appallingly soon. One of the things that so upset me about this book was how young Pedro was – he was 22 when he died – and how he spent what little time he had making a difference. (You can read more about him on Wikipedia.)

But this isn’t a depressing read. It’s incredibly sad, yes – for some reason I was, once again, reading it on a bloody train and I had to stifle myself. If I’d been reading it at home, I would have been sobbing, no question – but it’s also uplifting and inspiring. Plus it’s laugh out loud funny. There’s a brilliant anecdote about Bill Clinton that made me do a laugh-sob. It was a busy train too.

If you remember Pedro and Judd, remember The Real World: San Francisco, this is a must-read.

I got a used copy from Amazon.  I was slightly put out when I realised it was a library copy, but then thrilled when I saw which library it had come from. How cool is this?

(I’ve just discovered that MTV’s Tribute to Pedro Zamora is on YouTube. I’ll have to psych myself up to watch it.)