Featured feature article reviews…

The Face of Facebook by JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS.

Jose Antonio Vargas illustrates Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in all his raw honesty, in ‘The Face of Facebook.’

The direct chronicle of the character of Zuckerberg instantaneously seized my attention, as Facebook is a daily part of my life, and his personality, all the more notorious. I am immediately thrust into Zuckerberg’s upbringing and the specific stepping-stones of the trail that has lead to where himself and Facebook have come.

The author does not shy away from divulging Zuckerberg’s comprehensive character and I cannot help but to feel as though he has a love-hate appreciation for the Facebook founder. Consequently, I was subconsciously taken into Vargas’s personal experiences with Zuckerberg. He so aptly portrays not just his evident research, but also, his own specific moments extricating the personality that has captured the interest of so many, due to it’s obvious obscurity.

Vargas emphasis consistently throughout the piece that Zuckerberg’s attitude is not made up of modesty, but simply a matter of fact perspective on life. He simultaneously illuminates the Facebook founder in alluding to the fact that he has kept his feet firmly on the ground throughout his fame.

Vargas constructs the piece in such a way that Zuckerberg and Facebook are intertwined with their growth and morals intimately intertwined.

The essence of the piece stands out as capturing Zuckerberg’s individuality when referring to Facebook as ‘… not about the price. This is my baby, and I want to keep running it, I want to keep growing it.’

Word count: 248
Posted in discussion area June 01, 11am, 2014.

Crusade for Kaitlin by BILLY RULE.

Billy Rule seems to be an expert at tugging at heartstrings and appealing to emotions throughout ‘Crusade for Kaitlin.’

An eerie scene is created before our eyes and we experience the same anticipation as when watching the moments before the bad guy jumps out in a horror movie. Rule largely utilizes this effect of anticipation on the reader in an emotional portrayal of a mother’s loss.

Punctuation is subtle, yet when used in Debra’s quotations made me relate to her more as it humanized her to an accessible level. The emphasized stages of grief are bluntly revealed and specifically plea for our sympathy throughout.

Rule places underlying mystery neatly into the piece, until she feels as though we are ready to know that this isn’t a simple drowning child story. This assists in maintaining our interest just at the moment we entertain the thought of turning away from what seems to be just another sad story in the news.

Debra is placed in such a light that we become somewhat affectionate towards and inspired by her motive of love. Rule however, appears to lack in style as the piece to me came across as reciting facts and solely an emotional appeal. Without seeming heartless, the emotive request is rather overwhelming to me when coupled with the factual recount of an event that is sadly a norm in society, hence lacking stand out potential.

The massive point of difference is that Debra’s case is the first of it’s kind which I believe to be the savior of the piece.

Word count: 258
Posted in discussion area June 01, 11.02am, 2014.

The World According to Bryce by JANE CADZOW.

Cazdow immediately demands my attention in the opening paragraph of ‘The world according to Bryce,’ coercing me to become instantly keen to learn more about the colorful life of the well-respected writer, Bryce Courtenay.

The impact of this piece is rather strong due to it being post mortem. Although this was in no doubt planned by Cazdow, she utilizes this in her favor in the opening paragraph creating a sense of promised rarity if we read further on.

Cazdow has evidently conducted numerous face-to-face interviews with Courtenay, allowing the piece to be both factually informative yet intimate and comfortable. The fact that several interviews have been engaged in allows for in depth details to be revealed. Several meetings have further strengthened Cazdow’s relationship with Courtenay, resulting in a conversational tone being set through a large portion of the piece. We gain a sense that the author has spent a large amount of her time invested in getting to know Courtenay, and those associated with him in the past and present. The resulting relaxed vibe allows readers to easily immerse themselves in the piece.

Courtenay’s undeniable passion for writing remains consistently clear throughout, as Cazdow effectively links this to various details of his life. Hence, discerning the subject’s undeniable role as a storyteller throughout most of his lifetime. We are concurrently placed into Courtenay’s world as an eloquent portrait is painted portraying what seems to be a representation of Cazdow’s personal experiences while interviewing his subject. We cannot help but admire and respect the man we read about as we are swamped with his credible achievements and his honesty. It is not far into reading that we begin to agree that he is indeed a ‘spellbinding testament to the strength of the human spirit.’

The author has conducted follow up research with people and most likely the internet, regarding specific information given to her by Courtenay, which allows for a broader perspective to be depicted in the piece. The inclusion of lively and vibrant imagery reinforces Courtenay’s palpable passion for not just writing, but life itself. This assists in portraying his honest and warm personality.

Cazdow does not shy away from including many subtle or obvious innuendos in regards to Courtenay’s reputation for embezzling the truth of his past novels. The borderline sarcastic tone of parts of the piece hint at Courtenay’s story telling ability seeping into his life so much so, that the truth is something that we must decide for ourselves. Consequently, we have no choice but to accept the sometimes elaborate and extraordinary tales as truth. The author effectively sways us into doing so as we are presented with both the positive and negative perspective that his follow up research has uncovered. By being given all the supposed truths that could be possible, we subconsciously align our trust with Cazdow and cannot help but to nod in agreement with her.

From this feature article I have learned that genuinely getting to know your subject and numerous discussion like interviews with them allow for a feature article to be great.

Word count: 511


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