Yes, the book was better than the movie. This book definitely had some suspenseful moments that made my heart skip a beat or two. The main character, Robert Neville, is the sole survivor of an vampire plague, due to a chance vampire bat bite while in Panama.
What I found remarkable was his ability to persist in the face of opposition. Despite being the only bacteria-free human, he persevered in his efforts to destroy the recently infected humans in his neighborhood. Even his own neighbor had become a vampire, and would taunt him on a daily basis.
While at the edge of despair, he becomes motivated to find the source of the plague. He learns how to use a microscope, reads up on bacteria, and learns the secrets of the vampire plague.
For me, Robert becomes a legend because of his ability to persevere in the face of adversity. At the end of the book, he is the sole survivor of the human race. He strikes fear in the new race of vampire-humans. Perhaps what strikes fear in them is his ability to learn and overcome.
On a personal note, I find his research into the origin of the plague most interesting. As a former pharmacy technician, I know there’s a big difference between treating the symptoms and treating the cause of the problem. I feel like many of our political solutions are mere quick-fixes, and don’t treat the true causes of moral decay and apathy.
Robert was often tempted to give in to the masses. He would have become a vampire, and probably wouldn’t have missed his humanity. However, he was true to his identity.