Not sure why so many are down on this novel, but I'm almost done with it, and I have to say, it's one of SK's best. I understand it may not be for everyone, but anyone with an interest and understanding of how society's political machines and power structures really work, I'd suggest it. I've always been fascinated though by power structure (yes, Ive read a lot of Noam Chomsky) and how the machine *really* works behind the scenes, and its abuses and short-comings.
On a person level.... Gina the nurse looked just like an older version of the girlfriend I had in high school, and Jim Rennie looked just like this guy who lived in our neighborhood. His name was Jim too. Both were fat, loved God, and were crooked as a hockey stick.