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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

Erudite, experimental and engaging, Mina di Sospiro has given us a work that breaks new ground in sports writing. Whether or not you ever pick up a paddle, The Metaphysics of Ping-Pong provides an initiation into a visionary life, igniting the fires of inspiration through an intriguing intimacy with the mysteries of daily life that is available nowhere else

David Metcalfe, Daily Grail

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

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781448163274

    September 5, 2013

    Vintage Digital

    240 pages

    Online retailers

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