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The wrestler who wrote a book

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Read an article about a wrestler who wrote a book. It is for the B2 First Reading Part 5 which practices reading for detail, opinion, tone, purpose, main idea and the implication of the idea.

B2 First Reading Part 5 Exercise 5 (The wrestler who wrote a book)

For B2 First Reading Part 5 Exercise 5, you are going to read an article called the wrestler who wrote a book. This exercise consists of a text with multiple-choice questions. For each question, there are four options and you have to choose one of them.

The wrestler who wrote a book

Phil Norton looks like the biggest, sweetest teddy bear you ever saw. It is only when he opens his mouth that you notice the missing front teeth. Norton is a three-time world champion wrestler turned author. He was adored by fans because he was different: while other wrestlers were supreme athletes, he was just a hulk who knew how to take a hit. You could throw as many chairs as you liked at Phil Norton, you could smack him repeatedly, but he wouldn't go down.

After two autobiographies and a series of children's stories, he has just written a brilliant first novel: a work of immense power and subtlety, likely to gain a wide readership. At its simplest, it is about a boy and his dad getting together after a lifetime apart, though there is far more to it than that. Was he inspired by anyone he knew? The father, he says, is based on guys he met on the road- wrestlers, friends of his, who appeared to be leading exciting lives, but deep down were pretty miserable.

Norton does not come from traditional wrestling stock. He grew up in California. His father was an athletics director with a PhD, his mother a physical education teacher with two master's degrees- one in literature, the other in French history. He was a big boy, bullied for his size. One day his neighbour had a go at him, and for the first time, Norton realised he could use his weight and size instead of feeling awkward about it. It was a turning point.

At university, he did a degree in communication studies. Meanwhile, he was learning the ropes of professional wrestling. Did his parents try to dissuade him? 'No. They were just really insistent that I finished college. I am pretty sure they thought I'd get hurt and quit wrestling.' But he didn't.

He looks in remarkably good condition for someone who spent 20 years in the ring. His skin is smooth and firm; there are few visible scars. 'It's amazing what retirement can do for you. I looked really rough five years ago, and now I think I look a good deal younger,' he says. People are surprised by the softness of his handshake. 'Yeah, that's the wrestler's handshake,' he says.

Do you have to be a good actor to be a good wrestler? 'I used to really resent the acting label, but it is acting. When it's really good, when you're feeling it and letting that real emotion fly, it comes closer to being real.' What did his children think when they saw him getting hurt? 'Well, they used to think I never got hurt because that's what I told them. When they got old enough to realise I did, they stopped enjoying it. That was, in part, what led to my decision to get out.'

Nowadays, his time is dedicated to family and books- his next novel is about boy wrestlers living on the same block, and he is also writing more children's stories. He does not think this life is so different from wrestling. 'Wrestling is all about characters,' he says. 'So when my fans hear I've written a novel, I don't get the sense that they feel I've abandoned them.'

 

Question 1 of 6

1. What impression do we get of Phil Norton's skills as a wrestler?

Question 1 of 6

Question 2 of 6

2. It is suggested that Watson's first novel

Question 2 of 6

Question 3 of 6

3. What does 'traditional wrestling stock' in paragraph 3 refer to?

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Question 4 of 6

4. What did Norton's parents feel about his interest in wrestling?

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Question 5 of 6

5. How does Norton regard the idea that wrestling is like acting?

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Question 6 of 6

6. Norton's present life is not so different from his past profession because

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More exercises available:

B2 First Use of English and Reading Section

For this part, you practice vocabulary by using words with similar meanings, collocations, linking phrases, phrasal verbs, etc.

For this part, you practice vocabulary word-building by changing different words using a base word.

For this part, you practice how to understand the details of a text, including opinions and attitudes.

For this part, you practice how to understand the structure and follow the development of a text.

For this part, you practice how to find specific information in a text or texts.

B2 First Writing Section

B2 First Listening and Speaking Section

In this part you talk to the examiner about yourself and your life, e.g. your name, school, interests and future plans.

In this part you talk about two photos on your own which you have to compare. You will also be asked a short question about your partner's photos.

In this part you express ideas with your partner by looking at a discussion point that the examiner gives you.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you focus on general aspects of a topic with the examiner or you may involve your partner.

This will be available soon.

Available soon.