The Office
The untold stories behind The Office, one of the most iconic television shows of the twenty-first century, told by its creators, writers, and actorsWhen did you last hang out with Jim, Pam, Dwight, Michael, and the rest of Dunder Mifflin? It might have been back in 2013, when the series finale aired . . . or it might have been last night, when you watched three episodes in a row. But either way, fifteen years after the show first aired, it's more popular than ever, and fans have only one problem--what to watch, or read, next.Fortunately, Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene has that answer. In his brand-new oral history, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, Greene will take readers behind the scenes of their favorite moments and characters. Greene gives us the true inside story behind the entire show, from its origins on the BBC through its impressive nine-season run in America, with in-depth research and exclusive interviews. Fans will get the inside scoop on key episodes from "The Dundies" to "Threat Level Midnight" and "Goodbye, Michael," including behind-the-scenes details like the battle to keep it on the air when NBC wanted to pull the plug after just six episodes and the failed attempt to bring in James Gandolfini as the new boss after Steve Carell left, spotlighting the incredible, genre-redefining show created by the family-like team, who together took a quirky British import with dicey prospects and turned it into a primetime giant with true historical and cultural significance.Hilarious, heartwarming, and revelatory, The Office gives fans and pop culture buffs a front-row seat to the phenomenal sequence of events that launched The Office into wild popularity, changing the face of television and how we all see our office lives for decades to come.

The Office Details

TitleThe Office
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 24th, 2020
PublisherDutton Books
ISBN-139781524744977
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Humor, Culture, Pop Culture, Media Tie In, Tv, Audiobook, History, Comedy, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Biography Memoir

The Office Review

  • Dita
    January 1, 1970
    This book was like getting to sit around with all of the stars of The Office and hearing about their first impressions of the show, their anxieties as they filmed and how they felt about those last two seasons.It was interesting to learn who else auditioned for the show, why certain actors were selected and how decisions were made each season.I loved it as much as I love bears, beets and Battlestar Galactica!Thank you to Andy Green, Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss for giving me this ARC This book was like getting to sit around with all of the stars of The Office and hearing about their first impressions of the show, their anxieties as they filmed and how they felt about those last two seasons.It was interesting to learn who else auditioned for the show, why certain actors were selected and how decisions were made each season.I loved it as much as I love bears, beets and Battlestar Galactica!Thank you to Andy Green, Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.The Office is one of my all time favorite tv shows. I cant even tell you how many times I have binged it (though I often skip those last two dumpster fire seasons after Steve Carell left). When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I was hoping for lots of behind the scenes trivia and maybe some juicy scandal, but it wasnt quite what I expected.The format of the book is mostly excerpts from interviews from people I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.The Office is one of my all time favorite tv shows. I can’t even tell you how many times I have binged it (though I often skip those last two dumpster fire seasons after Steve Carell left). When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I was hoping for lots of behind the scenes trivia and maybe some juicy scandal, but it wasn’t quite what I expected.The format of the book is mostly excerpts from interviews from people involved with the show – ranging anywhere from cast and crew to Scranton Chamber of Commerce employees. The author did a lot of interviews with these people, but he also utilized other published interviews, quotes from dvd commentary, etc. to fill things in. The quotes are arranged in a way that almost feels like a conversation, but there were often times where it was just quote after quote basically saying the same thing (i.e. everyone commenting on what a hard worker Steve Carell is or how Greg Daniels [the man responsible for adapting The Office from the UK] was the best). It didn’t always work for me and there were a few times where I skimmed through it. Most of the quotes were also from writers, producers, or less central cast members, so I wasn’t always hearing from the people I wanted to the most.Here are a few things I learned that stood out to me:I’ve heard it said numerous times that the Chili’s Manager in The Dundies episode that bans Pam from the restaurant for being drunk was an actual Chili’s manager, but that’s not true. He was an actor. They weren’t even filming in an actual Chili’s, they had just worked with the restaurant chain to bring in fixtures, etc.Instead of the big dance number at Jim and Pam’s wedding, the original script had Roy riding in on a white horse to try to stop the wedding. Then Dwight takes the horse to Niagara Falls and it was going to fall down them. Greg Daniels was apparently the only one who liked this idea and there were a lot of fights about it before the idea was finally scrapped.Supposedly, Steve Carell wanted his contract to be renewed after the seventh season, but there was change in leadership at the network that wasn’t a big fan of the show and they didn’t try to make any deals about paying him more money, so he left.There was a big debate about whether to make Andy or Dwight manager in season 8 and most people wanted Dwight, but the network wanted Andy because he was a bigger star at the time, thanks to The Hangover movies.James Spader basically took the job because he was broke.The network really wanted a spin-off and they wanted Parks and Rec to be that spin-off, but the creators wanted it to be it’s own show and casting Rashida Jones as a different character ensured the shows couldn’t be related and kind of came across as a “screw you” to the network. There was also talk of doing a family-centered spin-off and everyone was annoyed when Modern Family came out using their mockumentary style.Most of the cast and crew considered Steve Carell leaving the end of the show. (I 100% agree with this.)There was a plan to kind of reboot the show in season ten with a new cast and that’s why “New Jim and Dwight” were brought on, but then they decided to end after season 9 because the network wanted to work on developing new shows and the writers were pretty burned out.Overall, there were enjoyable things in the book, but I wouldn’t consider it a “must read” for The Office fans. While there was definitely a sense of all the the cast and crew being family and loving the show, there was also a whole lot of negativity and blame coming across and it kind of made me like the show less instead of more. It will still be one of my go-to binge shows, though.Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars
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  • Angela (BlondeBooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital arc of this book. When it comes out I will definitely be purchasing a final copy. If you're a big fan of the office, then you'll love this book. This book is formatted in an interview style, this makes it very easy to read. It was cool to hear from members of the cast, as well as crew members and the writers. The book is laid out by season and then there are chapters on notable episodes within each season. There is so much behind the scenes Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital arc of this book. When it comes out I will definitely be purchasing a final copy. If you're a big fan of the office, then you'll love this book. This book is formatted in an interview style, this makes it very easy to read. It was cool to hear from members of the cast, as well as crew members and the writers. The book is laid out by season and then there are chapters on notable episodes within each season. There is so much behind the scenes information in this book. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to get my hands on the final copy. I wish that someone would do this same book concept but for the Television show Parks and Recreation. I guess if no one else will then I might have to do it.
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  • Amanda Mae
    January 1, 1970
    This was an absolutely delightful read! Like many white women of my age demographic, I'm a big fan of The Office. I followed every episode until Michael left... and was a little intermittent after that. But I loved the show, I loved the characters, and I could feel the love and devotion everyone working on the show had for it. I've watched the episodes with the commentaries and am currently an avid listener of the Office Ladies Podcast, and even with all that random trivia in my head, I learned This was an absolutely delightful read! Like many white women of my age demographic, I'm a big fan of The Office. I followed every episode until Michael left... and was a little intermittent after that. But I loved the show, I loved the characters, and I could feel the love and devotion everyone working on the show had for it. I've watched the episodes with the commentaries and am currently an avid listener of the Office Ladies Podcast, and even with all that random trivia in my head, I learned so many fun facts about the show through this book. So many gems! Well worth reading for any fan of the show. You're going to fall in love with the episodes and actors (in particular Steve Carell!!) and gain a whole new appreciation for the writers and crew. Highly recommended!
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  • Brianne
    January 1, 1970
    This was so interesting and I loved hearing from the cast and crew. I already loved the show so much, and this some how made me love it that much more. Also, Steve Carell sounds like a wonderful gentleman. Be warned, you will want to start another rewatch...jk...who isn't constantly rewatching the Office?! 😝
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  • Yesenia Juarez
    January 1, 1970
    Of course the show is better, still interesting nonetheless.
  • Julia (jaylamm.reads)
    January 1, 1970
    As a big fan of The Office, I couldn't wait to get a peek into how it was created. This is basically told through quotes or interviews of the cast and crew. This really goes in depth into the writing process and how the individual episodes were created. It was really interesting to see the show through the eyes of the crew and creators. The way the book is written, even though it is interview style, with the perspective constantly changing; it is very well organized. They go through things in As a big fan of The Office, I couldn't wait to get a peek into how it was created. This is basically told through quotes or interviews of the cast and crew. This really goes in depth into the writing process and how the individual episodes were created. It was really interesting to see the show through the eyes of the crew and creators. The way the book is written, even though it is interview style, with the perspective constantly changing; it is very well organized. They go through things in chronological order so it is very easy to follow.If you are a fan of the office, this is a must read. Treat yourself to an inside look into this amazing show. This is out March 24th 2020.
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  • Natalyn Houk
    January 1, 1970
    What 20-something college grad doesn't love The Office? I fell in love with The Office my freshman year of college and have been hooked ever since (it may or may not be playing in the background as I write this post). I think The Office does brilliant work in being relatable enough to be comforting, but also quirky enough to be funny and to allow audiences to catch something new every time you watch."The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s" by Andy Greene is an oral What 20-something college grad doesn't love The Office? I fell in love with The Office my freshman year of college and have been hooked ever since (it may or may not be playing in the background as I write this post). I think The Office does brilliant work in being relatable enough to be comforting, but also quirky enough to be funny and to allow audiences to catch something new every time you watch."The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s" by Andy Greene is an oral history of The Office from first concepts to the series finale and everything in-between. Greene had the ability to compile a large series of interviews from almost every person who had some part in The Office.In a time where almost every detail you could want to know about The Office is on the internet, this book is a success because it collects all the information into one place. For fans, this book launches at a great time because we now also have "The Office Ladies" podcast. While we are hearing what Jenna and Angela remember, we also have the perspective of the directors, producers, and crew. I love the full picture this creates. Honestly, I'm surprised there hasn't been a more cohesive book like this before!I loved this book. The writing was mostly interviews, but the chronological order was a great fit for covering a tv series. Office addict, you need to read this book!
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  • Cathy O'Neal
    January 1, 1970
    I love "The Office." Completely, totally, fanatically. I kill at those Office trivia games. I listen to the Jenna Fischer/Angela Kinsey "Office Ladies" podcast. When I need to self-soothe, I watch "The Office." And I loved this book. Andy Greene does an exemplary job of telling the story of "The Office" from its unsure beginning to the finale. He even throws in some opinions of those connected to the show about a reboot or reunion. Mr. Greene structures the book like an oral history. Each I love "The Office." Completely, totally, fanatically. I kill at those Office trivia games. I listen to the Jenna Fischer/Angela Kinsey "Office Ladies" podcast. When I need to self-soothe, I watch "The Office." And I loved this book. Andy Greene does an exemplary job of telling the story of "The Office" from its unsure beginning to the finale. He even throws in some opinions of those connected to the show about a reboot or reunion. Mr. Greene structures the book like an oral history. Each chapter begins with a brief intro paragraph, but the information is delivered in quotes from people -- directors, show runners, writers, actors, the boom operator, the hair and makeup person -- anyone who put their time in on the show. The result is a comprehensive look at the series. I love "behind the scenes" information and stories, and Mr. Greene delivers. There were even a couple of surprises for this fanatic who reads anything and everything she sees about the show. I spent nine long years in corporate America. Granted, the company I worked for was much bigger in scope than Dunder Mifflin, however, my "corner" of it was about the same size. I related, laughed and cringed to so much of "The Office" that it felt like a real documentary to me rather than the "mockumentary" style the show pioneered in television shows. I'm always disappointed when my younger friends and colleagues say they TRIED to watch it, but it's just too uncomfortable and "cringe-y" for them. Then I remind myself that they didn't endure an office atmosphere and people like those with a boss like that trapped in an office together in Scranton, Penn., just trying to make it to 5 p.m.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    A must-read for anyone who enjoyed one of the most original comedies on television! If you like listening to audio books, then I *highly* recommend the audio version, read by more than ten different narrators, each doing the voices of multiple writers, producers, and actors from the show. Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene presents an oral history of this fan-favorite show in a very engaging and hard to put down interview-style format, taking us through the creation of the original BBC version by A must-read for anyone who enjoyed one of the most original comedies on television! If you like listening to audio books, then I *highly* recommend the audio version, read by more than ten different narrators, each doing the voices of multiple writers, producers, and actors from the show. Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene presents an oral history of this fan-favorite show in a very engaging and hard to put down interview-style format, taking us through the creation of the original BBC version by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant to Greg Daniels and a talented team of writers adapting for the U.S.and through each season (yes, even the last two after Steve Carell left), featuring highlights, challenges, and key episodes. The writers definitely provide the most interview content, with less from the actors, especially the big four, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment of this wonderful book one bit!
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  • Dominique
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars, rounded up to 5. If youre a big fan of The Office, then this book is for you. I learned a lot of behind-the-scene facts from this book that I would have otherwise had no clue about, which was so great, especially given the fact that its one of my all-time favorite shows. So much went into this shows 9-season run, its absolutely fascinating. This book definitely serves when it comes to answering all the burning fan questions, and I absolutely loved it because it stuck me right back 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5. If you’re a big fan of “The Office,” then this book is for you. I learned a lot of behind-the-scene facts from this book that I would have otherwise had no clue about, which was so great, especially given the fact that it’s one of my all-time favorite shows. So much went into this show’s 9-season run, it’s absolutely fascinating. This book definitely serves when it comes to answering all the burning fan questions, and I absolutely loved it because it stuck me right back into the world of Dunder Mifflin. Since it’s written as an oral history, it’s an extremely fast read! My favorite chapters, by far, were those on some of the show’s key episodes, such as season 4’s “Dinner Party” (because, duh, best episode ever). Loved all the hilarious trivia! Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Dutton for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • John Lamb
    January 1, 1970
    If you love The Office, you'll love this book. If you're looking for juicy gossip, then this really isn't really for you. It turns out that everyone was nice. However, if you want insight into characters and the creative process, this is definitely for you. I wish it never ended. (That's what she said.)
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  • Muffin
    January 1, 1970
    Good enough! The shows hitting peak reflection, with this book and a podcast and constant threats of reboot - this has some very interesting insights but nothing as dishy as youd want from a Hollywood oral history. Ben Silverman was surprisingly honest, even about things hes clearly wrong about. Worth reading, quickly, for superfans. Good enough! The show’s hitting peak reflection, with this book and a podcast and constant threats of reboot - this has some very interesting insights but nothing as dishy as you’d want from a Hollywood oral history. Ben Silverman was surprisingly honest, even about things he’s clearly wrong about. Worth reading, quickly, for superfans.
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  • Len or Len
    January 1, 1970
    Andy Greene digs deep into the history of the beloved sitcom. My favorite chapters are the ones spotlighting a specific episodes like Diversity Day or The Dinner Party. I read it quickly and would have liked another hundred pages. Andy Greene digs deep into the history of the beloved sitcom. My favorite chapters are the ones spotlighting a specific episodes like “Diversity Day” or “The Dinner Party”. I read it quickly and would have liked another hundred pages.
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  • Jeremy
    January 1, 1970
    Great behind-the-scenes tidbits and info about one of my favorite shows. Definitively a must read for any fans of The Office.
  • Toni Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Everything I wanted it to be. A deep dive into the show's development and production over the entire series, and just a little bit dishy. Kinda sad at the end, but that's how it goes I guess.
  • booksandcarbs
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED it!
  • Casey the Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Dutton Books for the free advance copy of this book.THE OFFICE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE GREATEST SITCOM OF THE 2000s is just that - an oral history of the show from the people who made it. The show's cast and crew reminisce about their time on what has become one of the most beloved TV shows in American history. Fans of The Office, you don't want to miss this one. From details about the logistics of getting the show on the air to deep dives into key episodes, this book is a treat. Thanks to Dutton Books for the free advance copy of this book.THE OFFICE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE GREATEST SITCOM OF THE 2000s is just that - an oral history of the show from the people who made it. The show's cast and crew reminisce about their time on what has become one of the most beloved TV shows in American history. Fans of The Office, you don't want to miss this one. From details about the logistics of getting the show on the air to deep dives into key episodes, this book is a treat. Superfans may know a lot of the tidbits already, but the wide array of voices brings something for everyone. I was a bit worried at first that this book would be entirely hero worship and rose colored glasses, and it is a bit early on when discussing the scrappy first seasons where everyone fought to get and keep the show on the air. But it also doesn't shy away from the post-Michael Scott seasons, both in terms of the show feeling creatively lost and the physical and mental toll that creating 22+ episode seasons took on everyone. This book also gets a bit into why the show has seen such a resurgence, especially among younger folks who didn't see its original airing. I find this phenomenon fascinating, and I'm so glad this inventive and ultimately loving show is finally getting its due.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    A fun, in-depth look at the popular show written in interview format.
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I love The Office. I always have it on in the background, I fall asleep to it, I look at memes of it, I listen to the Office Ladies podcast. It's easily one of my favorite shows. This book was so fun to read. The interviews flowed so well. This was such a joy to read. I found myself laughing out loud at points and yelling across the house to my husband to share something I learned. This is absolutely a must read for anyone who loves the Office.
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  • Jacob
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun book that really peeled back the curtain to the relationships on and off screen. There were several things that caught me off guard and a few things that helped explain why certain episodes were the way they were. The book is a bit too long in my opinion but was still a fun and well-edited book.
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    How I Came to Read This Book: I got a free copy from Penguin Random House, who has an awesome pre-publication club giveaway thing they do!The Plot: Andy Greene is a Rolling Stone writer who decided to craft this oral history of The Office (which makes it the second oral history book I've read this year), based on about 80+ interviews with cast and crew members specifically for the book, as well as supplementary content he either firsthand collected (through a Rolling Stone interview) or How I Came to Read This Book: I got a free copy from Penguin Random House, who has an awesome pre-publication club giveaway thing they do!The Plot: Andy Greene is a Rolling Stone writer who decided to craft this oral history of The Office (which makes it the second oral history book I've read this year), based on about 80+ interviews with cast and crew members specifically for the book, as well as supplementary content he either firsthand collected (through a Rolling Stone interview) or secondhand gathered. The book covers off the show from its origins with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant in the UK through to casting and development in America, all the way to its conclusion and legacy to this day, and the 'Netflix effect' it's benefitted from. Along the way, it tackles each season as a whole, including milestone episodes per season (if any, gulp), cast profiles, and other little asides.The Good & The Bad: On the whole, this was a fun, nostalgic book to dive into. I wasn't ever an Office mega fan but I did stick around till the very end despite the very patchy final two (or really three) seasons, and this book inspired me to rewatch a few episodes in these darker times for some light laughs. It is a book that's VERY much impacted by who Andy Greene was able to get a firsthand interview with; certain actors that were a minor bit player on the show have a very strong voice for example, like Meredith. There's a notable glaring lack of Steve Carrell, Rainn Wilson, and Paul Lieberstein (Toby - who gets pretty well thrown under the bus about halfway through the book as he took over the show from a writing and show running perspective), and Mindy Kaling's voice disappears about halfway through as well. John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer appear more than I expected (Greene notes in his commentary at the end he gathered some great insight and quotes from an interview he did with some of the principals for Rolling Stone that he used in the book, I believe), but in general the principals aren't the ones telling the story, which might be disappointing for some people. That being said, there's effusive praise throughout the book, particularly for Steve Carrell, which really made me appreciate him and Michael Scott (who it must be said, was never ever my favourite character on the show) and just who Steve is an actor and as a person. I'll say that sometimes the praise got a little over the top - one of the biggest edits I'd have made from Andy Greene's perspective is to trim out the overlapping contributions from different people; you could tell he framed one question to a bunch of his interviews and then he published the answer from a half-dozen of them, and quite often they were so similar you'd end up skimming them by the time you got to the third or fourth one.And you know, for the most part, these are professionals who are hesitant to say anything too bad about the show and their former coworkers. So if you're expecting a lot of dirt or insidery info, there isn't a ton...although interestingly, as the show got worse, the gossip gets more interesting. Particularly, how Steve Carrell came to leave the show, scheduling conflicts as the stars got bigger, and the entire James Spader debacle (which, it must be said, has some of the most revealing insight - Spader in no uncertain terms states he did the show for the money). There's not a lot of love given to the final seasons, nor to Paul Lieberstein as I mentioned above, but it makes for some interesting insight in terms of how the writers felt about that time period in particular. That being said, it's still a cool read overall. I found myself citing little tidbits back to my husband all week while I was reading it, and there were lots of parts I loved getting more background on, like the cinematography style, whether the show was actually improvised (it wasn't, but it also kinda was?), how the writers struggled with writing Jim/Pam, and the little episode features were pretty cool. I definitely enjoyed the season overviews the best of all the chapter 'types' and it struck me as odd what things got extra attention (an entire chapter is dedicated to the small-time players, likely cause of the interviews Greene was able to great) but even there you found interesting tidbits, like the fact many of them would be addicted to Spider Solitaire or how they'd start the day doing 40 minutes of just "working" to collect B-Roll. The little section on how Creed became part of the show was crazy fascinating too. I loved learning that the camera crew didn't watch rehearsals and would shoot like an actual documentary for the most part to try and catch things organically and how it required everyone to kinda always be 'on'. Super cool. The Bottom Line: A must-read for big-time The Office fans, a great read for middling fans like myself regardless. Anything Memorable?: Well The Office is apparently still trending on Netflix as per when I decided to give it a watch this week, it popped up top of my queue. 2020 Book Challenge?: Book #11 in 2020
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  • Fabulous Book Fiend
    January 1, 1970
    I am a massive fan of The Office (both the UK and the US versions) and so when I was offered the chance to review this book I jumped at it. It kind of ended up being a book of two halves for me though, not the first half and the second half, but the actual content of the book and the audio recording. Lets deal with the content of the book. I can safely say that this is a must have for every fan of the office, even the most casual fans. The information it contains is factual and anecdotal and I am a massive fan of The Office (both the UK and the US versions) and so when I was offered the chance to review this book I jumped at it. It kind of ended up being a book of two halves for me though, not the first half and the second half, but the actual content of the book and the audio recording. Lets deal with the content of the book. I can safely say that this is a must have for every fan of the office, even the most casual fans. The information it contains is factual and anecdotal and comes from both the writer and interviews with the cast the crew, the writers, basically anyone connected to either the show or the setting. If you are a fan of The Office Ladies podcast, you will have heard some of these earlier facts and stories on their show but there are a lot of facts and figures in here about all of the series as well as information and jokes about how the show was conceived, especially concerning show creator and legend Greg Daniels. So the content in a definite recommend from me. I really don't recommend you do the audiobook of this one though. This is a full cast audiobook so they have different people voice the different interviewees when they are telling their stories, the main narrator is simply there to facilitate the segues between the various interviews and change chapter and topic. However these voice actors just play the part of the people being interviewed, Steve Carell isn't voiced by Steve Carell, Greg Daniels isn't voiced by Greg Daniels and so here is where my issue lies. These actors were kind of playing the part of the people they were voicing and some of the voices came off a seriously racist. Essentially if any of the people they were voicing were non-white, the voice used was a caricature of that person and their race as a whole and I found this very off putting. Speaking of racism, when this book is talking about the episode Diversity Day, they mention the character Michael Scott getting in trouble for doing a Chris Rock impersonation and using the N word. Only they don't say 'The N Word' they actually use the word, they use the word several times, many more times than I feel was necessary. So for me, I really enjoyed the content of this book but it was spoiled by the poor audio recording and the fact that parts of the books actually come off as really racist. Get an ebook or physical copy of this one and ignore the chapter where diversity day is explored, listen to The Office Ladies podcast episode of this one instead.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    I love books about how cornerstones of pop culture are created. Earlier this year, I read GENERATION FRIENDS even though I've yet to watch a full episode of the iconic sitcom. Recently, I finished Andy Greene's THE OFFICE, an oral history of one of my favorite shows ever.The oral history approach, where a story is written as a series of quotes with only the occasional paragraph written by the author to set up the next section of quotes, isn't for everyone. Greene makes it work here. He I love books about how cornerstones of pop culture are created. Earlier this year, I read GENERATION FRIENDS even though I've yet to watch a full episode of the iconic sitcom. Recently, I finished Andy Greene's THE OFFICE, an oral history of one of my favorite shows ever.The oral history approach, where a story is written as a series of quotes with only the occasional paragraph written by the author to set up the next section of quotes, isn't for everyone. Greene makes it work here. He interviewed dozens of cast and crew members that worked on the Office's nine seasons. I loved getting to hear from almost everyone, not just big names like Steve Carell, John Krasinski, and Jenna Fischer.THE OFFICE: THE UNTOLD STORY dedicates over 400 pages to every aspect of the show a fan could want to learn about, from the mindset heading into and during the production of each of the show's nine seasons, to breakdowns of key episodes and why they were important, to full chapters on what it was like to "exist in the background" for actors who portrayed characters such as Oscar, Meredith, Creed, and Phyllis. Characters who were important to the show, but weren't centerstage like Jim, Dwight, Pam, and Michael.Greene's style and structure caused only two concerns for me. First, he only labels each person's role on the show (e.g., "John Krasinski - Jim Halpert, seasons 1 through 9)" when he introduces them. As a fan, I had no trouble remembering who Jenna Fischer and Rainn Wilson are, for instance, but the names of recurring characters who only popped up a handful of times, and those of various directors, writers, and crew members, eluded me. (As a nonfiction author myself, I mention each person's name and title the first time they're mentioned in a chapter. That helps cement names and roles over time.)Second, while every chapter is meaty, Greene tends to include quotes that regurgitate the same information over and over. I think I understand why he did this. The Office was a communal, egalitarian show. Everyone was invited to weigh in with opinions and suggestions, not just the big stars; Greene illustrates that by letting almost everyone he interviewed weigh in on most subjects. I found it effective most of the time, but in other chapters it grew tedious. I say this as an author who struggles with the same issue.Sure, THE OFFICE could do with a slightly smaller page count, but that doesn't change the fact that it's one of the most comprehensive books on the creation of a pop culture phenomenon I've ever read.
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  • Elyse
    January 1, 1970
    Book 28 of 2020I didn't watch The Office when it originally debuted. I was in college, and we didn't have TV's in our room, and once I was out on my own, I didn't have cable for a few years (as I was working my way through grad school). So by the time I could have watched it, it was close to the end and I never start a series in the middle. So it was just one of those things that I never got around to watching, until I finally relented last year and got all the seasons from the library (that's Book 28 of 2020I didn't watch The Office when it originally debuted. I was in college, and we didn't have TV's in our room, and once I was out on my own, I didn't have cable for a few years (as I was working my way through grad school). So by the time I could have watched it, it was close to the end and I never start a series in the middle. So it was just one of those things that I never got around to watching, until I finally relented last year and got all the seasons from the library (that's right, the local library). Of course I became a huge fan and fully understood why so many people are obsessed with the show. It was absolutely amazing, and I now frequently stream on Netflix and share the goodness of Michael Scott with others.When Jenna and Angela came out with "The Office Ladies" podcast, I became addicted. I love going through the series again with them and listening to the tidbits that they provide since they were actually there and can shed so much light on each episode in detail. I am a MAJOR fan of theirs, and will continue to highly recommend this podcast for any lovers of this iconic show.So because of all this, I was excited to read this book and discover all the juicy content inside. Overall there were a few flaws for me that really took away from the book. The set up of the book was basically a whole bunch of quotes from actors, writers and other staff associated with the show. It was probably 80% quotes and 20% descriptive writing, which was really off-putting, especially in the context of an audiobook. Also, a lot of the information I heard was already out there on the web, or covered in Office Ladies Podcast. So at times it was repetative.With both of those things together, the book was good but not as spectacular as it could have been. I would rather do something like the episode by episode podcast, over this book which was a bunch of quotes organized into categories. There was good content in here, but it was so variable that I just can't rate this book as high as I could have if the formatting was better. I think my knowledge of The Office Ladies podcast and how that has been handled really changes my perspective on this book.Rating -- three stars Format -- audiobook(This may be the one time that I recommend hardcover over the audiobook)
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    As a huge fan of The Office tv show, I was really excited when I heard there was a book coming out that goes behind the scenes and details more about the history of the show and the actors. So far I was just getting my fangirl tidbits from The Office Ladies Podcast, and Im more than happy to receive more! Unlike other books about TV shows or movies, the format in this one comes across as one big interview, with everyone involved in the show, from the creators, extras, the caterer, and even the As a huge fan of “The Office” tv show, I was really excited when I heard there was a book coming out that goes behind the scenes and details more about the history of the show and the actors. So far I was just getting my fangirl tidbits from The Office Ladies Podcast, and I’m more than happy to receive more! ⁣Unlike other books about TV shows or movies, the format in this one comes across as one big interview, with everyone involved in the show, from the creators, extras, the caterer, and even the owner of an “Office” fan site. I saw in other reviews that not many readers were a fan of the interview format, but I enjoyed it because it felt like being a fly on the wall with some of my favorite actors. Even if you’re not an avid “Office” watcher, this book is detailed enough for you to know who and what is being discussed. ⁣Andy Greene begins with the original British version of “The Office” and how creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant came up with the idea and England’s reception to it. Every chapter that follows is a detailed account of each subsequent season, with pages dedicated to a standout episode from that season, along with chapters in between about the writers, the crew team, possible episode ideas, and some key characters. I loved finding out how an episode was crafted, and finding out more about the writers as well. It was really interesting to read about certain behind the scenes events and how each person remembered it differently. ⁣There were some shocking revelations, particularly about Steve Carrell’s botched renewal in season seven, and the disappointment with seasons 8 & 9 the cast and crew felt, along with many of us fans. But overall the book has a positive feel to it, much like its show counterpart. ⁣
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Everything you wanted to know - and some stuff you probably don't care about - regarding The Office (American version). Very quick and easy read, like most oral histories, which I found a welcome respite during the COVID pandemic anxiety. You won't find many catty comments or much juicy gossip; for example, while everyone LOVED Steve Carrell, there were a few cast members who exhibited diva-like behavior in terms of not showing up on time, etc., but they are never named. Lots of love shown for Everything you wanted to know - and some stuff you probably don't care about - regarding The Office (American version). Very quick and easy read, like most oral histories, which I found a welcome respite during the COVID pandemic anxiety. You won't find many catty comments or much juicy gossip; for example, while everyone LOVED Steve Carrell, there were a few cast members who exhibited diva-like behavior in terms of not showing up on time, etc., but they are never named. Lots of love shown for Greg Daniels, who created the U.S. version of the show, a little less so for the two people who succeeded him, but again the book tries to be as even-handed as possible. Possibly the only named person who comes off as a total jerk (besides the NBC suits) is James Spader, but who would be surprised by that?I skipped over some of the technical parts - how they created the sets for the show, how it was directed to look so much like a documentary, etc., but there was still plenty of fun stuff, especially the list of actors who were considered for and/or auditioned for the main parts. I wouldn't necessarily agree that The Office was "the greatest sitcom of the 2000s," but I got a lot of laughs out of it, and am happy to celebrate its humor and humanity.
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  • Sasha
    January 1, 1970
    I am one of those people who self-medicate with the Office. When I'm depressed or can't bring myself to do something, I get a boost by watching a little bit of The Office, and I'm always rewatching it, even if it's 10-minute pieces here and there. This book is great because it extended my time with the show beyond the 9 seasons that we got. I loved getting answers to some of my questions (what was it like to work with big-name celebrities later in the show? Why does Oscar never break?) and I am one of those people who self-medicate with the Office. When I'm depressed or can't bring myself to do something, I get a boost by watching a little bit of The Office, and I'm always rewatching it, even if it's 10-minute pieces here and there. This book is great because it extended my time with the show beyond the 9 seasons that we got. I loved getting answers to some of my questions (what was it like to work with big-name celebrities later in the show? Why does Oscar never break?) and getting juicy tidbits and little hints, like apparently John and Jenna (and maybe others) kind of turned into divas as they became more famous. I sometimes hate these types of books because they reference random TV executives and stand-up legends from 3 decades ago that I've never heard of and will never care about, but this book did a good job of making me feel included. (I love inside jokes. I hope to be part of one someday).It humanized a lot of stuff about the show, explained a lot, and illuminated many scenes. It was an easy read, too, which I appreciate, and the interviews are put together organically. Lovely work, a clear labor of love. -Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of the book. My review is honest and completely my own-
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    This book is like sitting down with people who actually GET you, your besties, and talking about the thing you love the most - The Office. Everyone lately is a super fan, but some of us have been followers from the very first awkward moment of the show. For both groups, the newly initiated and the veteran fans, this book is a trip down memory lane filled with all the insider details you always wanted to know. Despite being nearly 500 pages, this is a quick read. The book is formatted in This book is like sitting down with people who actually GET you, your besties, and talking about the thing you love the most - The Office. Everyone lately is a super fan, but some of us have been followers from the very first awkward moment of the show. For both groups, the newly initiated and the veteran fans, this book is a trip down memory lane filled with all the insider details you always wanted to know. Despite being nearly 500 pages, this is a quick read. The book is formatted in interview style and has perspectives from nearly 100 actors, producers, writers, and crew members. It’s truly an expose in every sense of the word - they share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even as a series-long original fan, I learned a great deal about the show and the cast. This review doesn’t do the book justice. If you love The Office, it’s a must-read. My husband isn’t a big reader, but he’s a fellow Dunderhead, so I had to keep reading sections aloud or interrupting whatever he was doing to tell him fun facts. It took me just under 12 hours cover-to-cover to read. 5 stars, all day.
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  • Udit Vikhe
    January 1, 1970
    The Office by Andy Greene is a phenomenal account of the greatest sitcom of the 2000s. The entire book has oral accounts of the cast and crew members who worked with tremendous ferocity and unparalleled work ethics to deliver great content for the television. The book covers the making of the show in its entirety and even details the key moments throughout the series meticulously. In between the accounts of the brains and faces that were behind the making of the show, are some unknown facts The Office by Andy Greene is a phenomenal account of the greatest sitcom of the 2000s. The entire book has oral accounts of the cast and crew members who worked with tremendous ferocity and unparalleled work ethics to deliver great content for the television. The book covers the making of the show in its entirety and even details the key moments throughout the series meticulously. In between the accounts of the brains and faces that were behind the making of the show, are some unknown facts which are very interesting and fun to read about. The story of how two chaps working at a radio station came up with original idea in the UK, how the show found its way to America, the shows initial criticism and eventual acceptance and laudation, the brainstorming that went behind the creation of the ideas, setting of the events and execution of the characters have been described beautifully throughout the book. A must read for the lovers of the show. This book will entertain you thoroughly just like that wonderful American workplace did.
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