A couple of years ago, a colleague of mine recommended "The Mote in God's Eye" to me, also by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Since then, I've read and enjoyed "Oath of Fealty", "Lucifer's Hammer" and "The Burning City" by the same pair.
At around the time this book came out, I (as a twelve year old) was a huge fan of Stephen King, blazing through everything he had published to that point. Some of his books (notably "The Stand") were long, but all had a fairly simple vocabulary and cinematic plots. Reading "Footfall", I realized that it had that same feeling. It's a long, fast run over even terrain, where Banks and Macleod require slower passage over steeper ground. "Footfall" is also very cinematic. Each scene comes easily to mind and seems like something that can and should have been filmed (it would have made a good miniseries, and I swear bits of it showed up in "Independence Day").
If you've enjoyed "Lucifer's Hammer" or "The Stand" or any other similar bit of disaster fiction, this book is certainly enjoyable enough. Well worth taking along to the pub on a rainy Sunday (as I did).