>>Is the book as good as everyone says it is?
If you don't believe everyone when they said it why ask now!
But yeah, I liked the book a lot. It's a much simpler and more focused story than the anime and manga. I think he did a good job, though, and in some ways Satou's situation hit me even harder in the book than in the other incarnations. There were also some scenes not in the anime/manga like Satou and Yamazaki sneaking into Misaki's church and them having a fight in the park that I liked.