Time and money very well spent. The book walks the line between scholarly tome and pop bio, steers a difficult course between gossipy tell-all and adoring whitewash, and by the end of this volume (with the Colorado Springs house, let alone Bonny Doon, not yet in sight), the guy you know as an entertaining storyteller, a father-figure with a puzzling, even contradictory backstory, has become a three-dimensional human being. Not quite the guy I expected -- but very much Heinlein.
It's a particular insight into Leslyn and Ginny Heinlein, too. While the latter's a familiar figure to most serious RAH fans, the former, not so much; they were married rather longer than you probably think and her influence was greater than I had gathered it to be.
Their circle of friends is fascinating; I knew about the DeCamps and Kuttner/Moore households and even Elron H. (shhh! Don't wake the dragon's spawn), but Willy Ley, Fritz Lang and Jack Parsons were surprises.
My only complaint is that it ends half-way through -- and now I've got to wait until Volume 2 comes out! (Oh, one other: Mr. Patterson doesn't recognize RAH's space-going contractor "Five Companies, Inc." as an allusion to the then-familiar Six Companies consortium that built the Hoover/Boulder dam; but I suppose you'd have to be both an RAH fan and a history-of-technology fan to catch it nowadays).
Highly recommended. Well-written and answered a lot of my questions about just who RAH was.
(Want a copy? Buy it via the Amazon.com link at Tam's and help out a starving artist!)