IELTS Cue Card Sample 353 - Describe a book or movie that had a major influence on you

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a book or movie that had a major influence on you.

You should say:

  • what is it and who wrote/produced it
  • how you learned about it
  • what's the main story of the book/ movie

and how it had a major influence on you.

Model Answer:
So, today I’m going to talk about a book that has had a major influence on me. I will first tell you the name of the book, then I’ll tell you how I heard about it. Next, I’ll outline the main story and finally I will explain why it plays an important role in my life.

The book is called ‘Tracks’, and it is by an Australian woman called Robyn Davidson. It’s quite old now, I think it was written in about 1980, but it has recently been made into a film, so perhaps you will have heard of it.

I was introduced to the book by an Australian friend.  She was travelling in England when I met her, and we were both working at the same place. I said how brave she was going round the world, and how much I’d like to do it but I didn’t have the skills and courage to do the same.  She insisted that bravery doesn’t really come into it, sometimes you just have to go. When she left to continue on her travels she gave me a copy of this book, with an inscription that was taken from its last chapter which basically says, the hardest part of any endeavour (or journey) is taking the first step, making the decision to go, and after that it’s easy!

The book is a true account of a young woman who decides to cross the Great Australian Desert on her own by camel! That is some 1700 miles of Australian outback, from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean.  What I found remarkable about the tale, is that the woman who does this is herself not that well equipped.  She makes lots of mistakes, things go wrong, she loses confidence at times, and it is by no means easy.  At the start of the journey she’d never met a camel, let alone knew about how to work with them!  However, she overcame all these obstacles through tenacity and creativity and achieved her goal.  It was precisely because she was apparently so unsuited to the endeavour that I found it really inspirational to read.  Sometimes you read tales of adventurers and the people who do great thing seem to be super-human, incredibly resourceful, strong or wealthy and you end up thinking ‘that’s amazing, but I could never do that’. With Robyn’s tale, it is different. You think ‘well if she can I could too.  It won’t be easy, but it isn’t necessarily impossible either’.

So why is the book so important to me?  Because it gave me a nudge to do something I’d been wanting to do for a very long time.  To travel.  The story inspired me, but also the confidence that my friend had in me that I could do it too helped me to eventually take the decision to go off exploring the world.  Perhaps not anything quite so remarkable as crossing a desert on my own apart from a few camels, but my own adventures nevertheless.  Since then I’ve found out for myself that it is indeed true, the hardest bit about any adventure is making the decision to take the first step.  I wouldn’t say that after that it is necessarily easy, but I would say if you keep going forward you won’t want to look back!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris |  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]


Similar Cue Card Topics

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card would enable you to talk about the following Cue Cards as well:

  1. Describe a book you have recently read.
  2. Describe a book you really liked.
  3. Describe a movie you have recently watched.
  4. Describe your favourite book .
  5. Describe your favourite movie.
  6. Describe a story you learned from a book.
  7. Describe a book you would recommend others to read.
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