September 11, 2008, 3:46 pm
The Most Dangerous Book of Poetry Ever Written
By Gregory Cowles
The Book of Counted Sorrows
Do you dare?

The online used-book collective AbeBooks.com has released a list of its best-selling signed books for August. It includes Michael Phelps’s autobiography, David Wroblewski’s “Story of Edgar Sawtelle” and two volumes from Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series. What stopped me, though, was the book at No. 10: an autographed copy of “Dean Koontz’s 2003 foray into poetry.” (”Believe it or not,” the press release says.) Titled “The Book of Counted Sorrows,” the collection was apparently printed in a limited edition of 1,250 copies by an outfit called Charnel House.

The cheapest copy currently on sale at AbeBooks is listed at $800. Koontz describes his book this way, according to the title page: “Being the mind bending, heart stopping, bowel freezing , spleen tickling history of the most dangerous book of poetry ever written including the text of that cursed book itself, with the prayer that God will protect you from a spontaneous head explosion (and even worse potential fates) if you dare read it.”