adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $1.99

Buy for $1.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

An Amazon Charts Bestseller.

In this surprising essay, international bestselling humor writer David Sedaris shares the rewards of a book tour and his devoted readers’ worst-kept secrets.

Dismissed by a bored author at a book signing, a betrayed young man named David Sedaris made a vow. Someday, when it was his turn at the table, he’d connect with his readers. The experience has been even more revealing than he’d hoped.

In this hilarious and perceptive essay, the celebrated humorist reflects on the unusual patterns of forced socialization between author and audience, and the obligations and sometimes surprising returns of not-so-chance encounters with strangers: jokes, secrets, insights, and even charity.

©2020 David Sedaris (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Author David Sedaris delivers this honest, funny essay with his usual flair…This is a short look at the crazy world we live in by one of its most talented observer-humorists.” (AudioFile Magazine)

What listeners say about Themes and Variations

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,197
  • 4 Stars
    237
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    31
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,148
  • 4 Stars
    91
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    14
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    979
  • 4 Stars
    175
  • 3 Stars
    62
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    28

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It’s true!

Sedaris really does talk to every single person in line after his events. And Portland beggars are exactly as he describes. And, yes, I take my bra off the instant I don’t need it.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Quintesencial David Sedaris

I love David Sedaris and this short performance made me laugh about 6 times! Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Only whets the appetite for his next book

I believe this is a first, a single Sedaris essay released on Audible. It was a much needed surprise as I assume his next book is still a ways off. For us Sedaris fans it's always difficult waiting until his next book comes out as we, well, I, usually finish his books within about 72 hours after they drop. So the wait is long.

Loved this funny, personal, essay. I love how he talks to people....cab drivers, people in line at Starbucks, people who come to his signings and performances. Insights gathered, he filters them through his quirky brilliant eye, and voilà we get a new book. Now if he could just speed the whole thing up and write faster?

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Much Needed

David Sedaris is such a wordsmith
I love his way of describing his encounters with people. he can even make unpleasant ones entertaining.
love this!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

No Subways in Milwaukee

The story about the $50 is fabricated of impossible settings. “Stumbled on a subway” could not happen in Milwaukee as there are no subways. Calls into question his entire autobiographical genre. What else is fabricated out of imagination?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Rehashed stories from other sedaris books

These are the same stories that have already been published. Why not include that in the description

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

Really did make me laugh out loud. Can't wait to read more from this author.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

David Sedaris never disappoints

My favorite author reading from any of his books is always a good time. I only wish this one was longer.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very funny!

I enjoyed the author's occasionally thoughtful ethics and mindfulness.
I was distraught at his reaction to the mentally ill people though.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hysterically Funny and Curiously Insightful

I always wanted to be an author and go on a book tour. But if they involve bras and foreign objects strangely found in certain body orifices, my wife and my psychiatrist might have vetoed such excursions as being overly exciting. However, thanks to the brilliant David Sedaris and Audible, I can now vicariously enjoy the experience whenever I want.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-14-20

Hilarious and thought provoking....

David Sedaris is a genius. Listen to this. I hope you'll laugh and also enjoy the insights he describes into the workings of our civilised yet instinctive minds. So honest.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robyn
  • Robyn
  • 05-19-20

Laugh out loud

Everytime! WHAT a storyteller. David is a wonderful writer and there isn’t a publication of his I haven’t totally devoured straight away and enjoyed thoroughly

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ClareBC
  • ClareBC
  • 05-15-20

Lyrical and compelling

The storyline is gentle, the language beautiful. This is a book to be drawn into, I felt I was there with sights, sounds, sensations. I resisted the book for months thinking it would be worthy and heavy. However, once I started, I was so reluctant to let it finish. On Audible, it was therapeutic and I was transferred to another time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-03-20

Hilarious

Sedaris on perfect form again in 30 hilarious minutes that'll make you feel warm inside. Inside where? you can figure out after listening.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-01-21

Brilliant Brilliance

Loved it from tip to toe elbow to elbow—great cadence, Rolling humour and a touch of profundity. I LOVED IT!!!!!!!