The following book review for Beyond the Finish by Brent and Kyle Pease includes Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Beyond the Finish by Brent and Kyle Pease sets forth to tell the authors’ tale about becoming world champion ironmen. The brother duo doing so as a team. An adaption made necessary because Kyle Pease has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
Throughout the book, the Pease brothers take turns sharing their perspectives on what they experienced together. Along the way their parents Richard and Janice Pease, brother Evan, and close friends offer additional input. Mainly though, readers hear from the accredited authors.
Now before I delve into my thoughts regarding Beyond the Finish, I wish to recognize Brent and Kyle Pease as strong disability advocates. Their accomplishments go beyond personal achievements. The two’s triumphs pioneered opportunities for other athletes with disabilities. A role the Pease siblings embraced through starting their own foundation, The Kyle Pease Foundation (KPF). In fact, all Beyond the Finish proceeds benefit said foundation.
The Kyle Pease Foundation mission seeks to “create awareness and raise funds to promote success for persons with disabilities by providing assistance to meet their individual needs through sports.” Based off stories included in Beyond the Finish you can say the KPF continues to fulfill that mission.
For example, in chapter 11 “The Birth of the Foundation,” Brent discusses the impactful impression the Pease brothers had on one specific race. “The Summerfest race is a local 5k that had no other athletes with disabilities the first year we competed. The next year, there was four athletes in wheelchairs there, not associated with the foundation. The race director had the wherewithal to establish a wheelchair category based on what he had witnessed the year prior. We made a positive impact on that race.”
Using Beyond the Finish I could continue citing examples speaking to how truly admirable Brent and Kyle Pease sound. Unfortunately, I am not here to profile them. Instead, I tasked myself with writing a book review.
Quite honestly, Beyond the Finish reads more like a good draft oppose to a finished book. Like I stated earlier, the reader hears both from Brent and Kyle. Each passage containing a header indicating who writes. Or, I should say most passages contain this header.
In two spots the name header remains absent. Once in Chapter 14 “Every Day is an Ironman For Me” when the perspective changes between Brent and Kyle. Then again to start Chapter 18 “Kona or Bust.” A chapter featuring insights from both Brent and Kyle. Yet there stands no indication who starts the chapter. These accidental formatting omissions cause reader confusion.
Furthermore, the read stirred awake the writing critic within me. To illustrate take Chapter 10 “St Anthony’s Triathlon: the Dawn of a New Athlete.” Brent describes Kyle’s reaction to the announcer calling out Kyle’s name writing, “When we hit the finish, the announcer called out Kyle’s name. It was unbelievable. Kyle let loose a scream like you’d never heard before.”
Instinctively I thought “Describe!” What did the unbelievable scream sound like? A wild “Yo hoo!”? An enthusiastic “Yeeeaaaaah!”? An undistinguishable burst of pure joy?
Although the two authors often failed to supply visually stimulating details, in spots they showed potential. Like in Chapter 12 “The Lands of Peach Trees and Cheese Heads” when Brent describes a moment competing. “Just like the little engine that could, a book we loved as kids, we took it one stroke at a time. ‘Yes, you can. Yes, we can. Yes, I can,” he (Kyle) told me over and over, his voice screaming into the headwind. He would not let up. Chills ran up my spine, and a lump formed in my throat. Nothing would stop us now.”
Later in Chapter 19 “Mahalo to Kailua Kona” Kyle creatively recalls needing “enough sunscreen for a family of five.” Kyle’s creativity further extends to drawing parallels between his and Brent’s athletic ventures and the brothers’ childhood. Such as in Chapter 7 “Can People in Wheelchairs Do Ironman?” where he compares coaching Brent on the course to the days he coached Brent playing Madden.
Specifically, Kyle writes “I was the X’s and O’s guy on the sidelines while Evan and Brent played between the lines. The difference today is that I am the player-coach rather than simply managing from the bench.” A creative connection if you ask me!
Beyond the Finish Overall Performance
Despite the potential shown, I must reiterate. Beyond the Finish reads more like a good draft oppose to a finished book. Flaws included formatting issues causing reader confusion. Plus, lacking details to visually stimulate the reader.
Or so, there exists my opinion. As I write this, Beyond the Finish by Brent and Kyle Pease has 47 Amazon reader reviews. All five stars!
Maybe you should judge for yourself. Again, proceeds from the book go to The Kyle Pease Foundation. While I am critical towards Beyond the Finish, I possess complete praise and admiration for what the brothers do for the disability community. Brent, thank you. Kyle, thank you.
Everyone else, until next time. Remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!