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, DC. 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.