(2006 Hugo award winner for Best Novel)
Apparently this is the current It novel for the crowd I usually run with - I've been out of the loop lately, so I haven't been buttonholed by the original enthusiasts (*waves*). Late Tuesday I stole off with the copy grouchychris had been loaned, however, and I finished it yesterday while in transit on transit.
I enjoyed it, although the writing style occasionally annoyed me; I don't usually like novel openings consisting of a snippet of the current action after which the main entrance to the work is twenty years prior or some-such and you painstakingly wend your way back to the opening's events. (Yes, I hated the swapping back-and-forth in the Lord of the Rings the first few times I read it, too.) It can smack of bait-and-switch, but Wilson managed to pull me in, despite.
I also found the pacing a little uneven. But he's got lots of fascinating ideas, and it's a take on the Copernican Principle I haven't seen before. I find pieces of it floating back up into my consciousness, which is usually a sign that I like something more than I think I did at the time of consumption. Seattle and Harborview hospital have a cameo, too.
I believe it deserved the award, mostly because of the way it hangs in my head now vs. anything really wowing me while I was reading it. I'd be interested in other people's take on it, or a pointer to the discussion if there is already one in progress.