This book is LARGE! Very large. It is approximately 12" square, like a vinyl LP record, and comes in a tough card outer sleeve or box, thus keeping the actual book itself free from damage. I don't know exactly how much it weighs, but I suspect that it must be 3-4 Kg, so if you order it warn your postman! The images are all B&W.
It is also large in terms of content, there being some 600-odd images presented. There is an intoxicating range of photographs spreading over many years of Mapplethorpe's work and many genres. I have always found his flower portraits the most inspiring and they are here in plenty although regrettably none in colour. Obviously there also the formal portraits, the pictures of large male genitalia, pictures of Patti Smith (who is she, anyway?), a large number of self portraits, and many others.
This is NOT a book of sex images although there are few that are 'close to the mark', rather a collection of more of Mapplethorpe's more artistic ventures. Of all, I was much struck by the simple (polaroid) image of a young man on page 25, simple called "Untitled, 1974".
There is a superb essay by Arthur C. Danto explaining much of the controversy surrounding this photographer, along with a very full catalogue of Mapplethorpe's work, his books, exhibitions, and a bibliography of those who have written about or included his works.
Very good value for money if you are a fan.