If you've seen Dawn of the Dead in movie form then you won't be getting anything new by reading the book - but you will be losing the cheesiness and most of the lameness.
Usually when a book spawn's a movie, 9 times out of 10 the book is better. This time I have to say that even though they're virtually scene for scene exactly the same, the book is still better.
I never really got with the program on the Dawn of the Dead cult movie fandom. The acting was lame and the zombie's were hysterical and overall it just had a really, really bad 'B' movie feel to it. I know, I know...that's what makes it cult...I just didn't buy into it. The book wasn't that bad though, all things considered.
The characters don't seem so cardboard and the zombies seem a 'tiny' bit more menacing, somehow, and I think that if this book was the first of it's kind (as the movie was) then this would be great, but it's not the first and it's far from the best. The characters get a bit of an upgrade and have more of a 'zombie apocalypse survivor' feel to them. They're a bit more savvy and hardened to the situation and they're given a bit of backstory each, which makes them a little more fleshed out but you'd still recognise them from the film.
I don't know why I was hoping for a better ending this time, since I knew what was coming but still I hoped for a bit more closure this time around. I was left hoping...
If you've seen the film it's worth reading for the little bits of 'what's going on in their head' moments, and if you haven't seen the film then it's still worth reading as it's actually an OK zombie book. Consider it written at the same time as the film and you'll have an idea of what to expect. It's a 1970's zombie book. That's pretty much the size of it.