There has been criticism of some political ideology in the U.S. leaning towards parts of fascist trends, and Sean Penn has looked to express this idea in his new book “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff”. In interviews with Trevor Noah of the Daily Show, and Vogue Magazine, Penn pushes his new book which has been labeled strange, unconventional, and lacking a formal plot. Penn tells Noah that the book looks at “the dark nature of humans” in which when exporting democracy to other countries it can easily fall to fascism. He feels that this could be occurring in the U.S. and has created Bob Honey as a metaphor for this. Bob, explained in the interview, is an angry American, who loathes his ex-wife, and during his free time goes on mallet wielding sprees, in which he murders older citizens. He justifies this killing, because these people are standing in the way of progress.
Though the story is a satire, Bob witnesses many current events, like the election of 2016. He also towards the end of the story writes an angry letter to the U.S. President, whom he feels is not fit for such a position. If this connection isn’t eery enough, Penn says to Vogue that the plot is in a parallel plain to the #METOO movement in its sentiment. Penn tells Noah that Bob is supposed to resemble the American who is compelled to serve his country, but has no direction. In a Vogue interview, Penn says his inspiration for Bob Honey Who Just do stuff was the Parkland survivors.
Aside from the story, Penn discusses in the interviews his hiatus from acting, and his reasons for writing this novel. He first discusses his anger with Trump over his racist comments towards countries like Haiti. He also discusses his unlikely friendship with Hugo Chavez, and how he feels that democracy isn’t always the best fit for a country. He even discusses his hatred for the war on drugs “that has killed almost as many as in Syria,” and how the interview with El Chapo was necessary. From the Daily Show studios, and his couch in Los Angeles, Penn gives a compelling case for his reasons in writing this strange book.
Read the NYT review here:
Buy the book on Amazon here.