King, Stephen. Under the Dome.
One random afternoon, an invisible, impenetrable dome seals off the town of Chester’s Mill, Maine from the rest of the world. The car salesman selectman who runs the town is determined that the meth lab he’s masterminded won’t be discovered, and will go to any lengths to do so in this novel of small town politics gone awry that seems to be a microcosm for life in post 9-11 US.
King says in his author’s note that he got the idea for Under the Dome 35 years ago, but it certainly resonates well in our current martial/political climate. He made the many characters vivid enough and unique enough that I didn’t have any trouble keeping them straight, which was admirable, and he followed them all through to their ends, making it a satisfying, if horrific, read.
I think Under the Dome would be pretty appealing for the content, and the length won’t deter fans. What I WAS bothered by the authorial intrusion and tense changes to present tense–maybe I didn’t notice them earlier, but I picked up on it about 75% of the way through the book. It was inconsistent and thus jarring for me, and he or his editor should have caught it. The ant metaphor was clever, but kind of heavy handed, and I felt like he spoon fed me a lot that I would rather have figured out on my own; he’s just not subtle or deft, to me (EDIT: In discussion, someone pointed out WHY he chose to change POV, and I’m adding another star).