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My Pet Virus: 07/26/08

I associate books with places and events. My Pet Virus by Shawn Decker will always remind me of horses. Decker never mentions horses but I read the first half of his memoir while parked at the start of Bort Meadow Staging Area while three horses were being saddled up for a ride.

My Pet Virus is the memoir inspired by the blog of Shawn and later, his wife, Gwen. Take away the virus, HIV, and it's an up beat memoir. For its humor and tone, it reminds me of Alan Alda's first memoir, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed if Alda had written the book when he was forty years younger.

Decker's memoir is also about hemophilia. His life as a "thin blood" as his calls it an his dependency on blood derived products is how at the age of 11 he was infected with HIV. His infection came at a time when HIV was still a new disease with all the paranoia and prejudice that goes along with something unknown. My Pet Virus addresses that prejudice: both Decker's and how he has been judged by others for being infected by the virus.

Blog to book seems to be a popular subgenre now of memoirs. It's the second one I've read and in both cases, I read the book without having heard of the blog. The other one was Blood, Sweat and Tea by Tom Reynolds.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Monday, July, 28, 2008 at 15:15:35

Shawn Decker

hank you for taking the time to review my book, much appreciated!

Fun fact: Alan Alda actually starred in the HIV/hemophilia blood scandal movie from the book of the same title, And The Band Played On.

Hope all is well, and I will do my best to get some horses in the next book. My niece would be a big fan of that move as well."

Comment #2: Monday, July, 28, 2008 at 19:50:53


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!

"I remember hearing about that film but I haven't seen it yet. Off to add it to my queue. "

Comment #3: Wednesday, July, 30, 2008 at 21:10:50


Never read a book that was a blog, before. Haven't read one about a person with HIV, either, and don't know much about hemophilia. So this book sounds all-around interesting to me."

Comment #4: Thursday, July, 31, 2008 at 11:25:05


I really enjoyed the book. I also suggest checking out his blog. The link is at the bottom of the review."

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