Yeah, it has been a little while since I've posted a new review. Here's this, and then look for two more within the next week or so ...
Despite the fact that the "end" of the story is generally public knowledge, Judd Winick's Pedro and Me is not only emotional, but surprisingly emotional--more moving than I had expected. Winick shows great understanding and aftersight in his narration of the end of Pedro Zamora's life, showing how a rare medical complication affected not only Pedro's body, but in cruel irony silenced the best parts of Pedro's personality. The result is that the reader suffers along with Pedro, his friends, and his family, hoping against hope not for life, but for just a few more words.
As would be expected, however, there are moments of humor, too. Those who might come for the Real World and stay for Pedro's story will find much to like. There's discussion of Judd's tryout period and the beginning of his time infront of the camera; I found especially interesting the fact that, toward the end, he and now-fiance Pam would hide their suspicions about Pedro's conditions from the Real World cameras, a bit of stories within stories within stories.
I did want to hear more about the gang ejecting Puck from the house; not, perhaps, for prurient information, but for the suggestion that the stress of the arguments helped exacerbate Pedro's conditions--arguments that we never actually get in detail. But that could be because, ultimately, Pedro and Me isn't about the arguments--it's about the jokes and the learning, and ultimately about loss. And it was good, and I recommend it.