Although Robert Mapplethorpe's artistic creations are undeniably controversial, his life story, as told by Patricia Morrisroe, makes for absolutely fascinating reading. I had more than once come across references to Mapplethorpe's work in the various gay fictions I'd been reading; and being totally unfamiliar with him (except for vague name recognition), I decided to find out more about him. Interestingly enough, both towards the latter half of his life and in the months following his death there were many events related in the book that I could recall having heard about in the news, but didn't make the connection with Mapplethorpe until this book. I think my mouth was agape throughout most of the time spent reading it; even now, recalling the descriptions of some of his photos and the detailed recounting of his lifestyle, I just sit and shake my head in amazement and probably shock. Robert Mapplethorpe, at his mother's request, received the last rites before he died. Being raised Catholic, I know what that should mean; but quite frankly, if there is indeed a heaven and a hell, I'm not sure in which place Robert Mapplethorpe is currently residing. A very informative book, and very, very absorbing reading!