Sean Penn is a well known actor, producer, director, writer and Academy Award winner. He has been a war correspondent, interviewed the President of Venezuela and helped during the relief efforts after the earthquake devastated Haiti. His latest offering is a novel titled Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. This novel is a satire about a salesman working for the United States government on the side as a contract killer. Sean Penn felt he needed to accomplish something important on his own. He did not want to concern himself with financial backing or creative collaborators. He was worn out from the expectations of others and his novel was the solution.
Sean Penn admitted he had something in the works like Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff when he was asked if there was another novel in his future. He also said he is not interested in acting at this time but may consider directing if the right opportunity is presented. For this point in time he is directing his creative energy into writing. He has found his own words and is leaving the decisions regarding his book to the readers. His book is both light and ironic while skewering many of the current aspects of the culture of the United States.
Sean Penn’s novel centers on a character named Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. He is a septic tank salesman and an assassin. As the culture of his country changes he finds himself at odds with his morals. Bob is aloof, angry, hates his ex wife and her husband and is interested in a much younger woman. His life is a combination of intrigue and mediocrity. Bob becomes afraid for his country and his future when an investigative journalist enters the story. The letter he writes to his landlord speaks of the need for a radical change. The character of the landlord has a lot of similarities with Donald Trump.
The reasons Sean Penn wrote the book were partly due to his dissociation with the film industry and partially from his own disillusionment moving him towards a project like a book like Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. The connection between the character and the environment pulls the reader into Bob Honey’s complex and confusing world.