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The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  11,764 ratings  ·  1,221 reviews
Rainn Wilson’s memoir about growing up geeky and finally finding his place in comedy, faith, and life.
For nine seasons Rainn Wilson played Dwight Schrute, everyone's favorite work nemesis and beet farmer. Viewers of The Office fell in love with the character and grew to love the actor who played him even more. Rainn founded a website and media company, SoulPancake, tha
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published 2015 by Dutton
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  11,764 ratings  ·  1,221 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook

The greatest thing ever in the history of the world and of all of human endeavor from time immemorial is stories.
Rainn Wilson is most famous for his off-the-wall portrayal of Dwight Schrute (The Office) and creation of Soul Pancake (social media company designed to make folks feel good).

In his memoirs, we tackle his personal take on education (his, others and the reasoning behind (overall)):
Teachers can make such a profound impact on our lives and should be honored as heroes, I believe.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars -- needed more beets.
Jason Koivu
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If for nothing else, this should be heralded for being an almost perfectly constructed autobiography.

But wait, there's more! Rainn Wilson, aka Dwight from The Office, has done a bang-up job at creating a very enjoyable read in The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy. His pacing, timing and storytelling are rock solid. Tangents and digressions are kept at reasonable lengths, are labeled as such and even apologized for, which is unnecessary because they're honestly not that long and ge
Feb 19, 2021 rated it liked it
If you’re a fan of The Office, this is a good bit of nostalgia for you. ❤️ Rainn talks about his childhood with candor and humor. I mean, the worm bit had me laughing out loud. 😂 The rest felt like a long ‘thank you’ speech to everyone who he worked with before making it big. It ended with some education on his religion. 😖 So, for me, first half of the book was 4 stars, last half was 2 stars... so 3 it is.
jv poore
I was familiar with Rainn Wilson as an actor that absolutely rocked completely quirky characters in Six Feet Under and The Office, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see Mr. Wilson as an author. Again, he excels. ...more
Whitney Atkinson
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this book!! When I read celebrity memoirs I go into it only expecting some light entertainment and a fun audiobook, but I was pleasantly surprised by how talented Rainn is at writing and fleshing out his backstory. It felt like we were let into his life in a very authentic style without the arms'-length "i'm famous and here's my success story" tone that other celebrity memoirs tend to have. His voice and humor was very genuine and his rags to riches story was charming without being self- ...more
Caidyn (he/him/his)
Edit November 28, 2015:

Honestly, I have to say that I completely love Rainn Wilson in both the roles I've seen him as. Dwight, of course. And that random guy off Juno.

(To be fair, I didn't recognize they were the same guy until a couple years ago.)

The most I know about him is that he has a quirky sense of humor and a very interesting religion. What hooked me about this book was that the forward was written by Dwight Schrute, one of the funniest TV characters I've ever seen in my short life.

Mariah Roze
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars.

This book has been on my To-Read since I realized Rainn wrote a book. I have only seen him in The Office but I loved that show and I loved his acting. His writing skills and story telling is very entertaining. It is similar to a lot of famous people's writing. (Ones that are famous for something besides writing). He jumps around a lot and at times I couldn't tell what happened when. But like I said, I really enjoyed his book. It is light and entertaining. A good, quick book to pick up
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

*3.5 stars*

Rainn Wilson is a very charming and interesting guy and an excellent narrator. I enjoyed The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy a great deal... until I didn't.

I found his life story and move into acting to be very interesting, but (and yes I know it's in the blurb!) I wasn't a fan of his hard sell of his Bahá'í Faith. I have a friend who converted to the Bahá'í Faith for a time, and though it's a lovely religion (as far as religions go), I didn't know that the last few
Mar 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book was quite disappointing, considering that I think highly of Rainn Wilson's acting work, and that this is a genre of book that I often enjoy.
Rainn Wilson is a paradox:
--He seems quite intelligent, yet the writing does not always reflect that. He often relies on "shouting" in all caps to get his point across (and I have seen other authors use this well for comedic effect--this was different). He uses the word "literally" far too often, and in cases where what he is saying is clearly not
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I received a copy of the audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is a book I probably would have bought regardless, since I love The Office and comedic memoir.

The last three audiobooks I have listened to have had strange connections to each other. The first was The First Bad Man by Miranda July, and in Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, Carrie Brownstein mentions Miranda a few times in passing because they are good friends. Carrie grew up in Olympia, which is also where R
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, humor
The Bassoon King is a fun, and at times quite thoughtful book, that fans of The Office will surely enjoy. There were parts I found really engaging - his reflections on the way he grew up, anecdotes on The Office, and his notes on spirituality - while others didn't really grab my attention so much. All in all, though, I enjoyed reading this book and seeing the elements of Dwight Schrute that are present in Wilson's personality as well:-)

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandp
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) talks about his unconventional childhood and his journey to acting in this non-linear memoir. While humorous, he also talks about more serious topics, like his religion(Baha'i) and how he arrived (back) at it, morality, happiness, and the nature of entertainment. He also writes a little bit about his and his wife's work with at-risk girls in Haiti (and notes that "almost all girls in rural Haiti are 'at risk'" (p 281)) and how education of girls is one of th ...more
In "The Bassoon King," Rainn Wilson points out how much easier and more fun it is to write scathing reviews than it is to write thoughtful well-balanced ones, and this is absolutely correct. So I will try to be well-balanced here. I liked parts of this book. I did not like other parts. I changed my mind about my rating every other chapter.

So, here are some things I liked:
-That he read his own audiobook. That was cool.
-The stories about Rainn growing up, especially the parts in Costa Rica and h
Lindsay Wilson
Ugh, it took me FOREVER to get through this book. I was listening to it as an audiobook, which always takes longer than reading the regular book, but still. I also considered blaming the fact that I've been super busy, but that doesn't really account for it either. The fact of the matter is, I just wasn't that into this book.

For starters, my only knowledge of Rainn Wilson is from the Office, and this seems to appeal to people who are more into his Soul Pancake stuff. I'm not so much with the sp
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rainn Wilson is best known for his role as eccentric but likable Dwight Schrute on the American-version of, “The Office”. Wilson is, surprisingly, a lot like Dwight so perhaps his entire life was preparation for the role. Wilson reveals his climb to fame in, “The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy”.

Although “The Bassoon King” is, in its simplest form, a Hollywood memoir attempting to either show how a celebrity is “one of us” or has been through hell and back; Rainn Wilson strays fr
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
"You couldn't handle my undivided attention." - Dwight Shrute in 'The Office'

Rainn Wilson, however - best known for his 'assistant to the regional manager' role on NBC's long-running workplace ensemble sitcom The Office (2005-2013) - succeeded in keeping my attention throughout his lively autobiography. And, true to the subtitle, he talks in-depth about his theater training and experience during his college and pre-stardom years, his deep connection and spirituality with the Baha'i religion, and
I’ve got to stop reading junk like this. Rainn Wilson’s The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy imparts nothing of any real interest to the reader. If you’re a fan of The Office and think there will be cool behind-the-scenes stories, you’re going to be disappointed. Wilson is a mediocre writer and his book reveals him to be one of those “theAHter” snobs. He comes across as incredibly immature and intellectually naïve. His chapters dealing with his faith are the worst because he’s so ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I love Rainn Wilson. He is a hilarious, spiritual, and down to earth individual. I have been quoting The Office and Dwight Shrute since I first starting watching the show in high school. I have, to date, watched every episode over 20 times. Needless to say, I'm a fan.

Rainn uses much of his book to cover the turmoils and delights he experienced trying to find his voice in acting. From high school to college to auditioning for his famous and not so famous roles. While I didn't find these historie
Peter Derk
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The best writer in the world told me that you can tell an interesting story about a boring person or a boring story about an interesting person, but you can't tell a boring story about a boring person.

I'm not a huge fan of celebrity/comedy memoirs. Mostly because they violate that important rule. Many a comedian is hilarious and interesting now, but if they had a fairly typical upbringing, and if the way they write about it is somewhat matter-of-fact, there's not a lot to be interested in.

I surprisingly really enjoyed this book! I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. Rainn is exceedingly candid about his life and it's quite refreshing. I *love* The Office and I also enjoyed Backstrom, for the short time it was on. If you at all squeamish, read this book instead of listening. It's easier to skip nasty parts (butt worm, ear mold, giving birth) that way. But it was a joy to listen to Rainn narrate. And Dwight Kurt Schrute. lol.

Rainn's early childhood was in Nicaragua, how
Kelly Hager
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of The Office and so I would've read this book even without the fact that the introduction is written by one Dwight K. Schrute. (If you love that show as much as I do, I absolutely dare you not to read it and not laugh out loud at least three times on every page. AT LEAST.)

So yeah, come for the parts by Dwight and the Office anecdotes, but you'll stay for the rest of it. It's clever and sweet and just good.

I always forget just how many things Rainn Wilson has done that I've love
Aug 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Won in the First Reads giveaway.

It was a funny and interesting memoir. I feel like certain racial terms could have been tweaked and there were moments of "get off my lawn"-ness. All in all, it was a very readable book.
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
3.5 stars | I had no intention of picking this up, but it was available on OverDrive and I thought 'why not? I love The Office, I love Dwight. Might as well learn more about Rainn Wilson.' I had no expectation and I was pleasantly surprised :)
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Rainn is insightful, funny, witty, and interesting. Also an insecure, elitist, snob. So there's the dilemma. His story has definitely been interesting, but sometimes he a little prone to the name drop. I don't need to hear about every single acting teacher you've ever had and how their brilliance transformed you. I don't care who they are, or what they did (starting to sound a little boy band-ish there oops). Their inclusion turns whole chapters into a really long awards show speech. But then, h ...more
Chris Haak
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm a big Rainn Wilson fan and find him weird but funny. I wasn't crazy about this book - frankly it was kind of a slog to get through it. Though it's occasionally interesting to understand what life events shape a famous person, his life was just kind of weird.

My favorite part was his behind-the-scenes stories from the set of The Office.

At the end of the day, perhaps what disappointed me the most was that an autobiography written by the man who played one of the greatest comedic characters of a
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, audiobooks
(4.5 stars) Maybe because I identify with Rainn Wilson's geek status, but I enjoyed his memoir much more than the other recent Hollywood memoirs out there. His deep, resonant voice soothes you through this recording, and at once you know he is intelligent and deep and has much more substance than you expect from the guy who played Dwight. And I did love the character Dwight. Poor Rainn, having to endure that haircut for 9 seasons. READ THIS BOOK! You won't regret it. ...more
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Rainn toed a weird line between pretentious and self-deprecating. I almost think this book would have been better had it been written later in his life with a longer career under his belt. But I also realize the need to capitalize on what's popular. ...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
I'm not a fan, and didn't have much knowledge about his life and career and I really enjoyed listening to him tell me about himself. ...more
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Rainn Wilson is an American actor. He won an Emmy for his role in the television comedy The Office.

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