Critically acclaimed actor-director Sean Penn made his first move into the world of novels, with his new debut book Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. Told from the perspective of “Pappy Pariah”, the story revolves around Bob Honey, a septic tank salesman with very strong political views. These views are so strong that Honey turns to violence in the name of environmental and societal betterment. The character also advocates for the assassination of of a president referred to as “Mr Landlord.”
Penn is no stranger to political activism. He made a trip to Iraq in 2002 to protest planned military strikes, interviewed notorious drug lord El Chapo in 2016, and has made his disapproval of President Trump well known.
Political themes run strong in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. The president referred to as “Mr Landlord” is an overt allusion to President Trump. The epilogue of the novel also contains a six page poem that criticizes the #MeToo movement. Parts of the epilogue refer to the movement as an “infantilizing term of the day” and “reducing rape, slut-shaming, and suffrage to child’s play.”
Penn has indicated that he has felt less and less attached to the world of acting and directing. This revelation has shocked and surprised both literary critics and movies critics alike. Instead, Penn has said that he is “ready for the writer’s life,” and has every intention of continuing to write. Although whether anything else gets published is still up in the air, by Penn’s own admission. Moving away from the silver screen has allowed Penn to enjoy “freedom from collaboration,” as well as a more solitary lifestyle. In a recent interview with The Rolling Stone, Penn explained that when moving from the life of an actor into a more secluded individual, “writing becomes a good way to exercise thoughts” and that Penn simply enjoys it.