• Themes and Variations

  • An Essay
  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris
  • Length: 30 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,746 ratings)

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Themes and Variations

By: David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
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Publisher's Summary

An Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal 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
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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.

9 people found this helpful

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Quintesencial David Sedaris

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

3 people found this helpful

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Rehashed stories from other sedaris books

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

2 people found this helpful

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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

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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?

2 people found this helpful

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No Boundries

This is sick! Do not waste your time, energy or $$ Of all the things to tell stories about the needs of the homeless. This one missed the mark 100%

1 person found this helpful

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hated it.

I loved reading When You Are Engulfed In Flames. I hated this. It felt disingenuous and like a capitalist money grab, which is weird because it was free. IDK, I just didn't enjoy it.

1 person found this helpful

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Awful variations on awful themes

The content has no literary value, it is just a collection of poor taste stories.

1 person found this helpful

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Short and still boring

It is not a book, but a short and very boring story. Do not waste 30” of your day.

1 person found this helpful

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Just 30 minutes… And if you saw him in person it’s the same stories

Don’t get me wrong… This is a talented author. I love all of his books. However I saw him this fall in Kalamazoo… And this is merely 30 minutes… I heard it all when I saw him in person so it was completely a repeat. Don’t spend the dollars if you Saw him in person recently. Or the one credit. I should get a refund. #StillLoveYouDavid

1 person found this helpful

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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!!!!!!!