Theory of Irony

How Jesus Led to Moon Golf

Non-Fiction - Historical
262 Pages
Reviewed on 11/13/2015
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Erik Von Norden grew up in a town just outside New York City, blessed by a miracle of geography. To the west, the greatest metropolis in the universe boasts the tallest skyscrapers and wonderfully diverse neighborhoods, and to the south lie miles of the splashiest open-surf, wide-sand beaches on the planet. There, fifteen minutes after the end of World War II, two million middle-class New Yorkers paved over hundreds of miles of perfectly good potato farms, bulldozed 10-lane superhighways that stay jammed past midnight, and, cobbled together endless suburban tract houses without uniformity or distinction. It was from there that he meandered, at the age of 17, to the State University at Albany where he had been accepted off the wait list by the skin of his teeth. Albany survives as a political capital, whose heyday came (and went) long ago with the Erie Canal. In this place, Erik found roommates, rented what might euphemistically be called a firetrap and got work in a print shop. Thanks to the state’s lavishly subsidized college system, he scraped together enough money for tuition and subsisted happily enough off macaroni and cheese. Erik found he could sneak into a dive bar on every corner, join a conversation on every porch, and more often than not, a house-party above. At the end of four years, Erik Von Norden got a job as a paralegal, met the woman who would become his wife, and eventually earned a master’s degree in history. Then one day, he walked in and passed the bar exam – without going to law school or a taking prep course – and because of an anachronistic quirk in the system, he ended up as an attorney. He also abstained from alcohol, cigarettes, meat and drugs, parachuted from a small plane, skied the front four at Stowe and tubed the River of Caves in Belize. Nevertheless, these adventures pale in comparison to being married for over 20 years and raising two teenagers. Erik, who writes under a pen name, now lives at the far end of civilization – in a small town in northern Vermont, the most rural of all the United States. To get an idea just how far north, and how rural, to take a vacation down in tropical Kennebunkport, Maine requires a four-hour drive generally south. His adjacent county, which borders French Canada, is closer to the North Pole than the Equator. His little house, set deep in the woods off a dirt road, is miles from the nearest pavement. It is a brutally cold but mindlessly beautiful spot, and he loves it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Teodora Totorean for Readers' Favorite

Theory of Irony: How Jesus Led to Moon Golf by Erik Von Norden is a book covering the history of Christianity in conjunction with the history of the Roman Empire, carrying readers through some key moments, such as historical and biblical facts around Christ’s birth and the foundation of the Christian doctrine marked by the Council of Nicaea. Among other topics, the book talks about Roman faiths and deities, the foundation of the early Christian Church and the first Popes, the origin of Rome, about Mohammed and the foundation of Islam, a short history of the Vikings, folk tales (e.g. King Arthur and Camelot), Isaac Newton’s interest in alchemy and religion, about Napoleon Bonaparte, about Karl Marx and his Manifesto of the Communist Party.

Theory of Irony: How Jesus Led to Moon Golf by Erik Von Norden reads like a compacted history book where, along with objective historical facts, the author slips in some subjective comments on the topics, thus making the book easier to read and more interesting. The language is scholastic and intellectual, proving deep research on the topics, but we can hear the author’s humorous voice. Regarding the title, Theory of Irony, here are two examples from the book: Jesus was actually born somewhere between 4 and 7 BC; an atheist government (Communism) imposed the Gregorian calendar (a Christian calendar) in Russia and China. The book is an interesting read for those who like history and have in interest in Christianity as well as for those who want to find out where some of the sayings that describe ironical situations come from (e.g. what is a “Hunley?”).