Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card # 129 - A book based on which a film has been made

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

Describe a book based on which a film has been made.

You should say:

  • what book it is
  • which one you prefer - the book or the film
  • what the story of the book is

and explain whether the story of the book is a good one or not.


Model Answer 1:
I am no movie critique – I just watch them. The same holds "true" when I read a book. Therefore, asking a complete layman person like me, with no movie or book reviewing skills, is like asking someone to find some treasures from underneath an ocean who can barely swim. Still, I will go ahead and try to do some justice to this topic without sounding like a fool.

The name of the book is “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”, written by Stephen King. By the way, Stephen king undoubtedly is one of the best American authors of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, and fantasy novels who has sold more than 350 million copies of his books.

Anyway, the book tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (the role played by famous Hollywood actor Tim Robbins), who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. Over the following two decades in the prison, he befriends a fellow prisoner, contraband smuggler Ellis "Red" Redding (played by Morgan Freeman) and then becomes instrumental in a money-laundering operation led by the prison warden. Andy escapes from prison while Red gets released on parole. But, they both reunite in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, at the end of the story with a glimmer of hope to start a normal life.

Anyway, even though, I like the storyline of the book, I prefer the movie version of it because it helps me visualize the events of the book in a more surreal manner.

Now, talking about the story of the book, I think that it is certainly a good one because there are a lot of twists and turns in it, especially, how the prison wardens become involved with the money laundering scheme. However, the best part of this book is that it actually teaches us to hold onto our hopes, no matter how bad the situation really gets, because it is the hope which gives us purpose in our life. All in all, the book has a great and engaging story.


Sample Answer 2:
Well, I’m going to talk about a book that has had a major influence on me and based on which a movie was made. 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 to England when I met her, and we were both working at the same place. I said how brave she was going around 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 the 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 how to work with them! However, she overcame all these obstacles through tenacity and creativity and achieved her goal. It was precise 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 things 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.

This was an outstanding book with an encouraging story. 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 make 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) ]


Model Answer 3:
I can remember many movies that I have enjoyed which were actually based on books that I have read. One such book was "The Notebook" which was written by Nicholas Sparks and later in 2004, a movie with the same title was released.

I read the book in 2002 and thoroughly enjoyed it because of the great storyline. The Notebook was the first published book by Nicholas Sparks and because of the big success of this novel, the writer got internationally acclaimed. This book was published in 1996 by the Time Warner Book Group, and it got on the list of the New York Times best-selling books within the first week of its release.

I preferred the Book version of the story as it was touchier and more vivid than the movie version. The book tells the story in a tone that was not present in the movie. The movie-making was good as well but the story that I read was more enjoyable as I have read each line of the story and had control over how fast to read it, when to pause it and when to think about it.

The story of the book starts with an old man who reads a story to an old woman each day in a nursing home. The story he reads the woman was the story of Noah and Allie. After the 2nd World War, Noah came back and restored a house that made a piece of news in the newspaper. Allie read this news and gave him a visit. This was their second encounter after 14 years when in their adolescence time; they fall in love with each other. They were separated by social class as Allie was the daughter of a rich man. In the second encounter with Noah, Allie felt that she still loves Noah but she also does not want to hurt her fiancé. At a later date, her mother arrives and hand over the letters of Noah that she never gave to her daughter. Allie started crying and left for her hotel when Noah tried to convince her to stay. The old man who was telling the story was Noah and the old woman was Allie who had memory loss and did not recognise her husband. One day, the old woman told him that Allie must have gone back to Noah and they are together now. Later on, Allie recognised her husband and could remember the past while in the nursing home and the story ends with the victory and joy of love.

The writing quality, the storyline, the plot and other ingredients of the book were interesting and attractive. I personally enjoyed the book a lot. It indeed told us a great story.


Tips for Answering This Cue card Topic:

List of Famous Books Based on which Movies were made:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird  --- by Harper Lee
  • Pride and Prejudice --- by Jane Austen
  • The Da Vinci Code --- by Dan Brown
  • Memoirs of a Geisha --- by Arthur Golden
  • Atonement --- by Ian McEwan
  • A Walk to Remember ---- by Nicholas Sparks
  • Romeo and Juliet --- by William Shakespeare
  • Gone with the Wind --- by Margaret Mitchell
  • Charlotte's Web ---- by E.B. White
  • The Great Gatsby ---- by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Similar Cue Card Topics:

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would also enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics:

  1. Describe your favourite book.
  2. Describe a book you have recently read.
  3. Describe a movie you enjoyed watching.
  4. Describe a movie that was made based on a real event.
  5. Describe a book you want to read in the future.
  6. Describe your favourite movie.
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