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Themes and Variations

An Essay
Written by: David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
Length: 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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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.

What the critics say

“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

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  • Overall
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  • N. Charest
  • 2020-04-28

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Terry
  • 2020-05-28

Quintesencial David Sedaris

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lili
  • 2020-05-25

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?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Deb Schuetz
  • 2020-05-22

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

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  • Phyllis
  • 2020-05-09

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

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  • Anita Tarlton
  • 2020-10-27

$50 worth of laughter, every 3 minutes!

This book was a giant pick-me-up! I laughed so much! Well worth reading, thanks David!

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  • Sally
  • 2020-10-11

LMAO

I love the way Sedaris can take an "everyday occurrence", spin it, flip it, and relay it in a way that makes me laugh a big, cathartic laugh. My only complaint is that it wasn't longer.

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  • SLCraze
  • 2020-10-08

Always a pleasure listening to David Sedaris

Interesting short story about his interactions with people on his book tours. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years back and look forward to the next time. I love listening to him read his work.

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  • charlie tuna III
  • 2020-10-07

David Sedaris always a hit!

Although this is not David Sedaris‘s best work (see Christmas on ice for that) The stories still lend themselves to being funny and some creative work. I always enjoy listening to most everything David Sedaris writes

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  • Judith Bernstein
  • 2020-10-06

just right for a bedtime story

an enjoyable half hour. David Sedaris style. It always feels like we're getting to know him. Great for a bedtime story.