The Harder They Come by T. C. Boyle:
What she was thinking was that the Republic of California was a place in which she no longer wanted to reside. It was the ultimate nanny state, everything you did short of drawing breath regulated through the roof, a list of no’s half a mile long posted on every street corner and the entrance to every park in the state. You couldn’t smoke on the street. Couldn’t park overnight, couldn’t pay your toll in cash on the Golden Gate Bridge, couldn’t buy something on the internet without the sales tax Nazis coming after you. You couldn’t even start a fire in your own woodstove or natural stone fireplace on a cold and damp and nasty winter’s day down in Visalia, where she’d lived with Roger through her unenlightened years, lest you run afoul of the air-quality control board, and don’t think you can sneak around the regulations because you’ve got a whole squadron of snitches and tattletales living right next door and across the street to report you out of sour grapes because they’re too whipped and beaten down to start up their own pathetic little fires.