So i finished the novel yesterday morning and saw the movie yesterday evening. But before i go into that...
WE SAW THE BEST PREVIEW!! For the new Batman movie. It was in IMAX. A 4 minute scene from the movie. it was the coolest. Some people we were sitting near apparently didn't like the movie and said that at least they got to see that preview.
The book and the movie are radically different. First, i want to say i loved the movie. It is definitely in my top 3 or 4 that i've enjoyed this year. Will Smith was wonderful and the dog was precious. The cinematography and set dressing blew me away. You believe you are seeing a 3 years gone abandoned NYC. Spectacular.
As for the novel, I read this one maybe 15 years ago. I don't remember exactly, but it was during my vampire fetish phase so i know it was in high school. It had been long enough that i really didn't remember much of what happened though. I would say that it is semi-typical of sci-fi or horror short stories (it is only 160 pages long) in that it is pessimistic and rather sad. I was trying to explain to BF, as he had been hoping that the movie would end as the book did, that novels or feature length films have to have a happy, or at least optimistic, ending. The hero can die to save others but he can't just die.