Now we are ready to start.
Interviewer: You live in the countryside now, don't
you, Susan? Are there any big differences between the
way of life in villages and towns?
Susan: The kind of social life is different - like,
in the countryside people tend to invite people around
to their houses much more. In cities people were more
inclined to meet in a pub or club. However, everything
lnt: Is that more to do with age perhaps?
Susan: Maybe, but I also think it's because people
are a lot more interested in cooking. They pick up exotic
recipes, make specialties themselves and love sharing
them with friends or neighbours. Now it's more widespread.
Int: Oh, yes, everything is changing now... Even the
shops seem to be changing. The larger shops are taking
over from the smaller. How do you feel about that?
Susan: I do like to support small shops. It would be
a real shame if they disappeared. I mean, most people
buy just about everything in the supermarkets that are
more comfortable. Small shop business is decaying...
it also means you don't have the same social contact
when you go to big shops. People are too busy and I
sometimes feel really annoyed because many of them are
indifferent to what they are doing or buying.
Int: You were telling me before that you like poking
around the smaller shops and bookstores. Have you read
any good book lately, Susan?
Susan: Ah yes. I've just finished a book called Birdsong.
It's all about war. I think it's so well written! It
really does give you an incredible impression of how
horrific any war is...
lnt: I thought we knew everything about war...
Susan: There were things I had known about before but
it's just the way the author puts it that it really
brings war close to you much more. I viewed war somewhat
differently. Somebody told me that they've made a film
of it. I can't imagine it being as good as the book.
Int: Have you ever seen a film that was as good as
Susan: Probably not... If I've gone to see a film because
1 really liked the book, then I am inevitably disappointed
by the film. I thought "The Remains of the Day"
was a good film. It was very popular back then. But
the book is so good that the film still wasn't as good
as the book.
Int: Were you disappointed by the screen adaptation?
Susan: Oh, no. But I didn't go to see it once again.
We read the novel twice. though. I didn't choose to.
I was somewhere and I had nothing better to do. And
the second time I read it because it was the only book
Int: I think, people seem to be reading less and less
these days. The only time they can read is on the way
to and from work... How about you, Susan?
Susan: I don't use public transport much... But if
I've got a good book to read 1 find it more relaxing
than watching TV. In fact, it depends on the family.
Although I grew up in a family where parents didn't
read books, they mainly watched TV, my mum took me to
the library and I got books out. My parents inspired
me to take up reading as a hobby when I was quite young.
lnt: How do you choose a book to read?
Susan: Normally I choose a book my friends advise me
Int: Do you read book reviews?
Susan: Most of the time... you get these reviews that
are from decent newspapers and you buy and read the
book... and you realize it's by no means what you've
expected it to be. The plot is primitive, the descriptions
are poor... and the characters are... eh... just dull.
But all of them have got really good reviews. Sometimes
I think it's because one writer writes a review of another
writer and they are all praising each other so that
everyone's books get sold.
Int: Susan, if you went to the proverbial desert island,
what books would you take with you?
Susan: Oh. I don't know... Maybe something funny, something
I can re-read a number of times. Honestly... I'd take
one of the gossip books about celebrities. Even though
they are trashy and people laugh at me for reading them,
I've never kept secret of my preference.
Int: What's the attraction with gossip?
Susan: Well, most people love gossips whether they
admit it or not. I think we are all naturally curious
about other people but... but particularly we like to
find out some private things about celebrities.
You have 15 seconds to complete the task. (Pause 15
Now you will hear the texts again. (Repeat)
This is the end of the task. You now have 15 seconds
to check your answers.
This is the end of the Listening Test.