From the beginning Oliver Walzer is a natural - at ping-pong. Even with his improvised bat (the Collins Classic edition of DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE) he can chop, flick, half-volley like a champion. At sex he is not a natural, being shy and frightened of women, but with tuition from Sheeny Waxman, fellow member of the Akiva Social Club Table Tennis team, his game improves. And while the Akiva boys teach him everything he needs to know about ping-pong, his father, Joel Walzer, teaches him everything there is to know about 'swag'. Unabashedly autobiographical, this is an hilarious and heartbreaking story of one man's coming of age in 1950's Manchester. It is Howard Jacobson's masterpiece.
“The most brilliant sporting novel ever written”
Matthew Syed, The Times