What does a world-class assassin do when he’s burned out with the life of a killer? Bob Honey just wants to settle down and make friends. He does experience many trials and tribulations doing so. As dark as his life is, his existence does make people laugh. Those people are the readers of Sean Penn’s satirical novel “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.” Few people thought Sean Penn would make the transition to novelist. The actor never previously mentioned any desires to do so. And then along came “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” on bookstore shelves. The work garnered attention. So did Sean Penn’s commentary that he isn’t all that much interested in Hollywood these days.
The actor-turned-author seems much more interested in addressing social commentary. Penn tackles the current controversies present in the news and entertainment landscape. The character of Bob Honey even writes a letter to his “landlord,” a character serving as a stand-in for President Donald Trump.
Penn drew inspiration from his novels from counterculture writers of days gone by. His work isn’t derivative of those writers, but influences are felt. The dystopic nature of the work pays homage to these writers albeit subtly. “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” shouldn’t be called derivative. The novel maintains its own voice effectively. The voice belongs distinctly to Sean Penn. His artistic style stands out.
The original version of the book was far removed from the traditional way novels are crafted. “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” started out as an audiobook. Now, the full version exists as a fully written novel. Actually, a great deal of the content was never physically written. Penn opted to leave his old typewriter behind and use dictation software to create the novel. For a dystopian novel such as this one, speaking freely from the mind and heart helps with getting things onto the page a lot easier. The flow of the novel meshes with the dictated tale used to create it.
Maybe this will start a trend that continues with Penn’s future novels.