A highly illustrated, beautifully designed tribute to ping pong, the world's most popular yet least appreciated sport—with tales from the table by Nick Hornby, Will Shortz, Davy Rothbart, Harold Evans, Jonathan Safran Foer, and others.
Every sport claims to be the world's game—soccer, basketball, kabaddi. But none can match the global status acquired by modest, ubiquitous ping pong—the most popular yet misunderstood pastime in the world today, a sleeping giant of fast-paced fun. Join us on a journey into the dark corners and distant alleys of this ponging globe, from suburban basements of misspent youths to Bangkok backrooms to New Jersey rec rooms to Beijing stadia to dwarf child champions to elderly enthusiasts to Hollywood hipsters to perky porn stars. This cast of thousands, combined with artifacts from the authors' ever-growing collection of ping pongalia, reveals the hidden truths of the world behind the game: the secrets of eternal youth, guerrilla warfare, foolproof seduction, fame and adulation—all explained through two paddles, sixty inches of net, and a bouncing, bouncing ball. A world where everything you know is pong.