Academy award winning actor Sean Penn has just entered the literary arena with the publication of his first novel, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.” Mr. Penn’s book has been met with confusion, criticism, and praise. Although the merits of the satirical novel are widely discussed, few deny its artistic style and social critique. The book’s prose is described as using uncommon descriptive languages full of symbolic and hidden meanings. For those willing to read between the lines, many find a social critique of our current society as well as wisdom.
Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is a dystopian novel set in a world very similar to our own. The main character is Bob Honey, a septic tank salesperson who is also a government hitman, charged with saving the country by killing off the members of the elderly population who have used up too many resources. The concept itself is a comment on the nature of American ethos. Sean Penn uses poetry interspersed with the ranting of his main character to take on the world’s social problems. He takes on the epidemic of mass shootings, Russian interference in the elections, Black Lives Matter, Scientology, the government’s reaction to natural disasters and disaster relief. The authors greatest rants are reserved, the election, tweeting habits and general administration of the President, whom he refers to as the “landlord.” The only movement that he mentions by name is the #MeToo movement, which the author, who believes in women’s rights, sees as diminishing the importance of the issue by promoting lynch mob mentality at the expense of due process.
It is no wonder that Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff has drawn criticism and praise from nearly all sides of the political spectrum. Sean Penn was attacked by media supporters the president, such as Laura Ingram, while also drawing the ire of the #MeToo movement. Many see the personal and political beliefs of the author heavily reflected in the passionate and angry ravings of the main character. The character even engages in similar humanitarian pursuits as the author. It is no wonder that this book controversial, but Sean Penn has never shied away from controversy. So how does the new author handle it? He plans his next book.