From the Publisher:
Ping-pong cast a hypnotic spell on Jerome Charyn's imagination early and held on for a lifetime. In a newly redesigned edition with rare photographs, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins chronicles Charyn's quixotic obsession with the sport, from the lure of hustling pongistes to the great pioneers of ping-pong lore. Charyn portrays ping-pong's most memorable players, from Marty "the Needle" Reisman - ship by the advent of the sponge bat, the technological innovation that ruined Reisman's rhythm for the game with its syncopated thud - to Dick Miles, the pensive introvert with the wicked backhand spin. Charyn tells of storied matches, wherein a single volley could last for hours and a game between champions found in the underground poolhalls of New York City; of the crucial American contribution (the cellulose ball) that took table tennis away from the gentlemen's club and onto the streets.
From the political manipulation of international ping-pong diplomacy to the migration of the sport from bars and poolhalls to the playlands of Las Vegas and the convention centers of Florida, Charyn finds a magic and a symmetry, a grace and a synergy in the playing of ping-pong. A truly original voice in American letters, he has written an astonishing and mesmerizing chronicle capturing the quirky excitement and the anarchic spirit of ping-pong's golden age.
Jerome Charyn: Sizzling Chops & Develish Spins. Ping-Pong and the Art of Staying Alive. Four Walls Eight Windows, ISBN 1568582420 (November, 2002), 229 p., $14.95