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

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  5,852 ratings  ·  780 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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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
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
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.
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; 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
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
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
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
Scott S.
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
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
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
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
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.
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 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, favorites
(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.
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.
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
Brenda Ayala
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: signed
Rainn Wilson is a hardcore offbeat nerd.

Not the mainstream kind that has shows like Big Bang Theory and At Midnight going for it. Rainn Wilson grew up as a perfect figurehead of the latchkey kid with parents who are totally off their rocker and far into far-out movements.

He just kind of glosses over the fun bits, to be honest. He doesn't delve too deeply into the weirdness of his childhood too much, which I was looking forward to. Hippie parents who ran down to central America with a toddler--wh
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked up this book based on my love of Rainn's character, Dwight Schute, from The Office. I knew next to nothing about Wilson and I certainly learned a lot about him through interesting anecdotes from childhood through adulthood as well as his spiritual leanings. I wasn't shocked to learn that he played the bassoon, was a Dungeons and Dragons nerd, or a chess player. But I did learn about his peripatetic childhood, his New York years, and his extensive thoughts about existence.

But this book m
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
The book became unbearable. Wilson just complains a lot. You have to hear all of his gripes in multiple asides (ie a long complaint about tv snobbery, how tv reviews compare unlike pieces of media all the time, etc). It makes whatever story he’s telling lose steam and it’s also like...WHO CARES!!!! Even his chapters about The Office got hard to listen to because he’d pepper it with complaints about something only barely related.

The book was funny sometimes and I really wanted to like it, but the
Lisa Wilkening
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rainn Wilson’s “The Bassoon King” is hilarious and heartbreaking and thought provoking. I found myself laughing and crying and wondering what would happen next in his crazy life as I read on. I absolutely loved him in The Office and that’s why I initially bought this book, but his life story is incredible. His love and hatred of acting, his rocky relationship with his parents, finding his spirituality all over again, and inspiring others as much as he can. Rainn Wilson is hilarious and real in t ...more
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
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
I would give this a 3.5. I am a fan of the show The Office" Rainn Wilson is fantastic as Dwight Schrute.This is his memoir. Rainn was born to Hippies in 1966. His parents divorced when he was two his dad quickly remarried and moved the small family to Nicaragua survived the many bugs came back at five to Washington. Rainn grew up poor but survived. A self admitted science fiction nerd, who in jr high joined band and learned the Bassoon. Rainn has a pretty good sense of humor writing this memoir. ...more
Sep 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Not exactly what I was expecting, but still enjoyable. Since I am a fan of Wilson's work on TV and in film, I naturally found the portions devoted to his experiences trying to find a place within the acting world to be the most engaging, although it was neat to learn about his childhood and personal beliefs to understand him more as a person. There are two chapters that cover his time on The Office, yet the included material feels like it merely skims the surface; I thought there would be much m ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was at times strange, insightful, boring, heartwarming, offputting, and random. Much like the character, Dwight Schrute, that Rainn portrayed for so many years. I enjoyed reading about his exotic upbringing, his time working on The Office, and the organizations he's started (Soul Pancake and Lide). I also found his views on faith, religion and service especially interesting and enlightening. However, I could have done without the random lists of his favorite albums, books, teachers, et ...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
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
I liked this. I enjoy getting to know actors I love beyond their movies and tv shows. This was especially interesting because I, of course, love Rainn Wilson for his portrayal of Dwight Schrute from The Office. As Rainn tells his stories of growing up and getting his start in acting, he explains the parts that impacted his performance in this role. It was phenomenal to hear behind the scenes facts of Hollywood and The Office. I especially enjoyed the tangents he would go on about common courtesy ...more
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Rainn Wilson is an American actor. He won an Emmy for his role in the television comedy The Office.
“We get inundated with so many messages about belief, about what is true and what is not, from both our families and our culture, and it’s crucial that every single one of us come to our own well-excavated understanding.” 11 likes
“There have been numerous studies suggesting that one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty is through the education of women and girls. It’s one of the best returns on investment in the developing world, but sixty-six million girls worldwide are not enrolled in school. Educated women spread what they’ve learned to their families and villages and children. Educated girls get pregnant later, have fewer children, and have a far lower infant mortality rate. Educated women and girls have greater power to determine their own fate; earn more; live a rich, fulfilled life; and give back to their communities at a greater level.” 10 likes
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