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Ron Charles…p; Farrington has returned with a sequel called The Monk Upstairs, and, if anything, he concentrates on the function of prayer even more, but he still maintains the same ironic humor that welcomes readers of any religion -- or no religion. Farrington spent a couple of years in his 20s at an ashram in Oakland, Calif., and the Christian theology of his "Monk" novels is deeply moderated by Eastern ideals. Chief among these is the sense that God is an "unfathomable darkness," a harrowing "kind of nowhere" that can be reached only as the world is silenced by stillness. That gloss of mysticism -- devout and yet distinctly unchurchy -- gives these stories a New Age ecumenicalism that's crucial to their broad appeal.
— The Washington Post