The Book of Counted Sorrows

The Book of Counted Sorrows

The Book of Counted Sorrows

Otherwise Known As:

The Book of Counted Sorrows

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.


To all the readers who have written to me over the years, demanding

this book. Without You, it would never have been written. If Hell

exists, perhaps all of you should be worried.

Table of Contents

For the Introduction

The Dark, Peculiar, Mysterious and Ultimately Incomprehensible

History Of the Volume in Question.

Before the Glass of Sherry.

After the Glass of Sherry.

The Hideous Fate of Langford Crispin.

The Hideous Fate of Langford Crispin, Resumed.

The Hideous Fate of Langford Crispin, For Real This Time.

The Curse of Too Much Knowledge and a Trail of Frightful Destruction.

Bruno Kronk, Masseur Extraordinaire and Monkey Mechanic.

Everything Additional That I Know About The Cursed Book.

And Now the Text of the Cursed Book…

The Dark, Peculiar,

Mysterious, And Ultimately

Incomprehensible History Of

The Volume In Question.


Before the Glass of Sherry.

In 1981, I began citing lines of verse from The Book of Counted Sorrows as epigraphs at the beginnings – and occasionally at the part divisions – of some of my novels. Little more than a decade later, mail from readers, specifically inquiring about this exotic volume of poetry, had risen to 3,000 letters a year.

Dealing with these earnest but exhaustingly repetitious inquiries became so annoying to one of my assistants – Basil Keenly – that he gave up his lifelong dream of serving as a novelist’s right-hand man, signed up for a series of university courses toward a new career in body waxing, subsequently worked as a customized-cake salesman (your face or favorite body part realistically rendered in exquisitely subtle shades of icing), briefly returned to personal-assistant work as the right hand to Porky Pig, but was dispirited by the endless jokes about stuttering and ham that came with the job, attempted to hold up a 7-Eleven with a lump of cake cunningly decorated to resemble a handgun, and eventually took a leave from the secular world by joining a tiny and somewhat curious religious community that worships squirrels. Tragically, while working with other cultists in urgent preparation for a hard winter, he was crushed when the community hoard suddenly shifted, burying him under millions of acorns, walnuts, and dried legumes.

I miss him.

We all miss him here at the Koontz manor.

Well, not Mrs. Scuttlesby, whose standards of excellence are so high and whose commitment to her work is so complete and unrelenting that she feels nothing but contempt, and rightly so, for the rest of us engaged in this enterprise. She said good riddance to Basil when he left our employment, as she says good riddance to all, as she says good riddance to me and my wife each time that we depart on a brief holiday, and when she received the news of Basil’s death, she shed not a tear, but said only, “This is precisely the end I expected he would meet.

In the receiving room, on the north wall, which we call the Wall of Honorable Service, dear Basil’s photograph is handsomely framed and hung among the equally handsomely framed photographs of other former members of our staff who have performed their duties with exceptional ability and conducted themselves with moral probity, with great courage, and with no fear whatsoever of the words “Girl Scout Cookie sale,” in even the most difficult times. Some of these much missed employees have moved on to enjoy stellar careers assisting far more luminous literary figures than I: Among the most notable of their new employers have been Nobel-nominated novelist William Shatner, self-help guru Caesar Zedd, and the anonymous copywriter of the Calvin Klein advertisements; indeed, our very special Emily Vlick, who was with us seven years, accepted a position with the late V.C. Andrews, who has produced more novels following her demise than she did during her lifetime. Other beloved employees have left our service due to fork-lift accidents, alien abductions, non-cancerous but weird chin tumors the size of pumpkins, incurable addictions to Spam, and, of course, due to that greatest of all impediments to the maintenance of a full and happy staff – death.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Categories: Koontz, Dean