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

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

Rainn Wilson. Dutton, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-95453-8

The title of this book notwithstanding, Wilson is better known for his role in TV’s The Office and as the mastermind of the Soul Pancake website and media company than for being a former fledgling bassoonist. This memoir takes readers through his life and acting career, including his early, formative years in Nicaragua with his then recently divorced and remarried father. Wilson was born in 1966, and when he was five, the family moved to Olympia, Wash., and later to a suburb of Seattle, where he grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons as well as the bassoon, and participating in the Model U.N. (his “precursor” to acting). Through his digressions on favorite albums, unremarkable jobs, and his various acting teachers, Wilson’s story is engaging. He eventually attends acting school at NYU during the 1980s. His description of gritty, raucous Manhattan at that time is spot-on, with memories of drug and alcohol escapades, muggings and robberies, bombing on Broadway (in a play, that is), and finally marrying the love of his life, becoming a father, and rediscovering his Baha’i faith (the latter explained in an informative addendum). 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. Agent: Richard Abate, Richard Abate Literary. [em](Nov.) [/em]