The Echo Makers
by Richard Powers is the best novel I've read in the past several months. You can read the description on Amazon. It's a novel about consciousness, love, betrayal, identity, business, politics, ecology, neurology... in other words Big Ideas. But in what I regard a complete tour de force of writing, it is also a ripping yarn, a fast paced novel that integrates big ideas seamlessly into character and narrative.
I bogged down early and never finished Gold Bug Variations
, which is another of his 'big' novels. It moved way too slow and collapsed under the weight of its stylistic excesses. But he seemed to have learned how to make a novel that scratches the readers itch in a good way, without shortchanging the subjects he discusses in favor of melodrama.
UPDATE: Oh yeah, it's got a lot of Brain Science in it, and an Oliver Sacks-esque neurologist having a crisis of scientific faith. Yeah I'm talking to you dnonwoo
UPDATE2: Margaret Atwood, on The Echo Makers