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The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy Hardcover – Nov 10 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton (Nov. 10 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525954538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525954538
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Quirky, witty, literate."
Washington Post

"Rainn Wilson's memoir captures essence of his offbeat humor."
Chicago Sun-Times

“Wilson defies the typical tropes of celebrity memoir. At points, Bassoon King’s episodes read with the comparably startling, surreal and yet downright endearing outrageousness of an Augusten Burroughs or even David Sedaris essay… Wilson’s memoir details what it’s like for a regular human, a relatable human, a nerd to become famous after climbing the proverbial ladder of professional acting (whilst keeping your humanity and your grounded perspective intact).”
Paste Magazine, a top 10 book of November

"Filled with genuinely fascinating stories about his unusual upbringing, his entrée into the comedy world and his thoughtfully developed views on life, Wilson’s book is an unsurprisingly funny and surprisingly poignant entry in the cavalcade of celebrity memoirs."

“A breath of fresh air in a genre desperately gasping for some...a deeply personal recollection of Wilson's journey from bassoon player to Emmy-nominated beet farmer…It's outlandish and unexpected, but it reads real.”
Phoenix New Times

You know Rainn Wilson as Dwight from NBC’s The Office, but I’m not sure many are fully prepared for how outrageous and often endearing his life story can be, captured in the pages of The Bassoon King.”
Oakland Press

"Wilson's hilarious book is a brisk, delightful read for his devoted fans."
American Way

"The Office star brings a value-added approach to his new book The Bassoon King: It's a coming-of-age story and a showbiz memoir and a funny read. Wilson also brings a values-added approach: The Bassoon King is a gentle introduction to the Bahá'i Faith, which Wilson re-embraced as an adult, after wrestling with both drugs and the question of meaning in his life."
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

“Wilson’s story is engaging…Readers will relish his experiences as Dwight Schrute (who contributes the book’s foreword) in The Office—snagging the part, the show’s debut, the actors and writers, and behind-the-scenes reminiscences.”
Publishers Weekly

“[Wilson] shares the ups and downs of his journey to fame in this funny and frank memoir… of particular interest to aspiring actors and other creative types, as well as the many fans of the long-running NBC comedy.”

"Certainly for fans of The Office, but the amiable actor also offers thoughtful glimpses into the realities of the TV and film industry and an impassioned rationale for living an openly spiritual life." 
Kirkus Reviews 

About the Author

RAINN WILSON is best known for his Emmy-nominated role as Dwight Schrute on NBC’s The Office, though today he’s equally well-known for his millions of Twitter followers and the philosophy website he founded, SoulPancake, which launched a New York Times bestselling book of the same name.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I got this for Christmas because people who know me, know I like to read autobiography and biography books. I was glad to get this because I have this thing with Rainn Wilson. Is he a phoney celebrity trying to illustrate what he thinks people want to see or is he the real deal? This book helped me understand how he ended up being who he is and I think he comes by his personhood honestly.

I think it must be hard to write an objective autobiography, but at the same time, when someone else writes it for you, they may have their own biases in how they interpret what their research leads them to and in this one, written by Rainn, there seems to be enough self deprecation and self investigation that I think he helps us understand who he actually is.

I was disappointed that he extolled the virtuosity of the SoulPancake experiment where he mentioned the value of the forum, but didn't explain why he shut it down. He does talk about why he and his partners started the site and the focus to support the more controlled video production and distribution, which I think identifies how the forum just didn't contribute to the end goals of delivering positive and happy content that inspires.

Overall, the book is funny, informative, thought provoking and worth the time to read. It helped me determine which way I lean on my opinion of him and the lean is positive.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very well written! Great story that chronicles Rainn's interesting life. A true artist in every sense of the word. It also tackles Rainn's struggles to embrace faith and spriritualty to his B'hain roots. Great foreward by Dwight K. Schrute, it's great to know that Wilson loved Dwight as much as his fans did.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Rain is a deep, intelligent, hilarious man on a human journey... It is a privilege to share these experiences...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x995d19cc) out of 5 stars 106 reviews
35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x995e7564) out of 5 stars Engaging and Hilarious Nov. 10 2015
By Dylan Reid - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A highly entertaining tale of Rainn's creative journey coupled with numerous laugh out loud moments. What stands out the most is his brutal honesty and openness about his life's journey. His voice as an author is very unique and very true to self. It feels like an intimate dinner with Rainn Wilson that you won at a charity auction. MUST READ!
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x995e75b8) out of 5 stars Yep. This is a treasure. Nov. 14 2015
By Ace - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The last thing i needed was ONE MORE BOOK to read. So i just flipped it to a random page to get the gist, and it sucked me in. From the DWIGHT SHRUTE (sp?) intro to the ridiculous ABOUT THIS FONT entry, this book is funny and surprisingly informative and wise. (in a weird way) I love this book for the honesty, fantasy, vulnerability and absurdity all wrapped up in one.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x995e79f0) out of 5 stars I suggest the audiobook! Nov. 15 2015
By J. Dye - Published on
Format: Audio Download
The audiobook was so good that I also purchased the book so I could (those of you that can't stand books being marked STOP READING) highlight, make notes, and insert my own ponderings. I have been taking college courses after being out of school for 12 years... It has been difficult, but when I popped the first disk into my car for the drive to work it turned my mood around. I love this book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x995e7db0) out of 5 stars 'You know Rainn, you have an affinity for playing the bassoon and being an alienated outsider." Dec 15 2015
By Bikerguy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"The Bassoon King" is a mid-career autobiography of the comedic actor, Rainn Wilson, best known for his role as Dwight Schrute in the serial comedy "The Office" than ran for nine seasons on NBC. The book traces his childhood faith as a Ba'hai, loss of that faith as he matured, and then rediscovering meaning in that faith after a difficult early career establishing himself in life and comedic acting. Because he has been asked so many questions about his faith Rainn includes an Addendum at the end of the book about the Baha'i. An early teacher told him "You know Rainn, you have a an affinity for playing the alienated outsider. That early evaluation is so apt, and this alienated outsider sensibility is what infuses his acting so well.

Since my son played the bassoon for so many years and because Rainn grew up in Seattle like me, I was attracted to all the familiar place references and to descriptions of the bassoon's unusual qualities, and how the instrument was a good match for his personality. He describes himself many times as a "bassoonist"!

I like biographies because it can be instructive to hear about how another person chose to live, his accomplishments and difficulties. Indeed, Rainn overcame a very difficult start in his acting career where he had had brushes with cocaine and alcohol. His Baha'i faith had a big part to play in his victory. However, being a comedic actor he has found a way to to tell his life story to this point, approximately age 50, using comedy. It makes the book entertaining to read.

A mid career biography, the book is inspirational. Rainn describes his current Soulpancake project, meant to provide position and happy inspiration for young people. Checkout his YouTube channel, Soulpancake.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x995e7e94) out of 5 stars Making of an Artist and a Man Nov. 13 2015
By Hopeful Reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so much more original - and moving - than the typical mid-career celeb autobio. You expect humor and you get the big laughs, but you also get a fascinating, gritty look at the growth of the artist and the man. "The Bassoon King" reads fast and funny, while embracing the struggle to find meaning in life beyond the superficial and the celebrity. No easy feat, but Wilson pulls it off with grace and worms and bassoons and D&D and sci-fi and NYU and bad day jobs and Polish experimental theatre and pit bulls and "The Office" and the Face of God and LOVE.