Sean Penn has released a book called “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” in interviews with Trevor Noah and Vogue Magazine, it is made clear that this is not your typical novel. Noah describes it as strange, after failing to find a good way to describe it. Others have called it lacking a normal plot structure, and others absurdist fiction. Throughout both interviews, Penn describes this book as a metaphor for the current state of American and global affairs. He says it is about the dark nature of humans, and how even good intentioned democracy, when enforced in the wrong way can turn to fascism.
The book tells the story of Bob Honey, a plumber, who is angry and unhappy with his life. He goes around killing older people, that he views are holding back progress, with a mallet. The story pushes through several events that have recently occurred in the U.S., including the 2016 elections, the officer shootings in Dallas, and at one point Bob writes an angry letter to the president of the U.S. ; Mr. Landlord. It is clear that Penn is trying to create an interesting parallel between his absurd character, and that of the angry American. Penn says that Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is supposed to symbolize someone who is compelled to serve their country, even when they are mandated to. This can explain Bob’s mallet wielding murder sprees for the sake of “progress.”
Penn then continues on in the interviews, discussing how he felt he needed to write this book, and step away from being an actor, because it was the write thing to do in this age. In Vogue, from his L.A. house, Penn describes how his book has a parallel view as to that of the #metoo movement. And in the Trevor Noah he discusses the flaws in American policy, from Trump’s comments towards Haiti, to his friendship with Hugo Chavez, and his interview with El Chapo. From the interviews, it is clear that Penn is dissatisfied with the U.S.’s role in the world and feels it is his job to speak of it.
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