Yes! It’s the book from the movie from everybody’s favorite “YOU’RE A BOT!” gif:
This is the classic sci fi novel from 1955. There’s a cover on one of the older editions of this book that reference it being part of a Stephen King horror series and that makes a lot of sense. This is the exact blueprint for so many Stephen King novels: small town, regular folk doing regular things, awful horrifying thing happens and changes everything, small town regular folk have to readjust to new, horrible normal.
This normal also reminds me a lot of Animal Farm. I love that book, and I think this one is actually very good too. It’s avoids a lot of the weird 1950s sci fi tropes and it poses some interesting questions about how we adjust to terrible new circumstances. It also deals with the idea of leaving home and then thinking on your hometown as an older person and how much of that specific magic is gone.
Anyway, it’s like Animal Farm, because it seems so clearly that this MUST be an allegory. Allegories are interesting to a lot of people who aren’t English teachers because they teach you the exact wrong lesson about literature, that there’s a secret code to unlock to “get” a book. Students hate when I tell them that if a book is an allegory, it’s not literature unless it contain truths beyond that metaphor, or if that metaphor can’t be applied to other places. It’s why I hate (especially conservatives) people who think that if Animal Farm is an allegory about Russia, than that is all that matters. But it’s more complicated than that. That book is about how power functions, not just power in the hands of communist dictators. And this book is not just a book about Russians taking over (if it is about that at all: Spoiler alert, I don’t think it is). But it shows the ways in which changes occur person to person and culture shifts, and those people who are not able to deal with it, have to deal with it. But it’s merely an abstract idea played out in a fictive space (like all novels), not a garish one for one metaphor that just so happens to criticize the thing you hate.