> Skip to content

LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK AWARD 2013 Ping-pong: not just a sport for teenagers, ferociously talented Chinese players and East London hipsters – it seems that spinning plastic ball can teach us a great deal about life and the world we live in...

LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK AWARD 2013

To spin or not to spin? – that is the metaphysical question.

When a mortifying defeat to his teenage son rekindles his lifelong passion for table tennis, keen philosopher Guido Mina di Sospiro sets out to learn the game properly.

Guido’s love for spinning a feather-weight ball takes him from his local ping-pong club, populated by idiosyncratic players with extraordinary stories to tell, to training drills with a world-class coach. This seemingly harmless game also leads him into sticky situations in the CIA headquarters and the ganglands of Washington, D.C. Woven throughout his ping-pong epiphany are philosophical ruminations on Plato and Aristotle, metaphysicians and empiricists, Jung’s dark shadow, Sun Tzu’s war tactics, the I Ching, and much more.

As Guido’s journey takes him from Big Sur to a nail-biting showdown in China against a string of elite players, he finds ping-pong can teach us a surprising amount about life.

Reviews

Like nothing I’ve ever read and all the more wonderful because of it, this is a non-fiction masterpiece which deserves a position on the sports writing podium

Ben Keenan, Press Association Syndication

Fast-footed, inspiring book about winning the inner game of life in sport

Iain Finlayson, The Times

An enthralling guide to the mystery, mastery and practice of ping-pong

Eric Idle

Excellent

Publishers Weekly

Love the title of this book… Surely a must-buy for that fellow whiff-whaff nut and intellectual Boris Johnson

Richard Brooks, Sunday Times

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9780224092166

    September 15, 2013

    Yellow Jersey

    240 pages

    RRP $36.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook

    9781448163274

    September 5, 2013

    Vintage Digital

    240 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

Recommendations

The Book of Joy
Beyond Good And Evil
Meditations
The Republic
The Course Of Love
Ways Of Seeing
The Spirit of Golf and How it Applies to Life
The Prophet
Dawn of the New Everything
How to Stay Alive
Happy
Fifty Years of Hurt
The House of Lancaster
The Bolt Supremacy
Empathy
Brutal Simplicity of Thought
Warrior Training
On Golf
Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
I'm A Little Special