So Sean Penn wrote a novel.
We can’t go back to a time where that fact isn’t true anymore, so onward we push.
Penn recently put together the tome Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff; a fully-fledged novel that he picked *that* title for, yielded from a short story he half-wrote in 2016 for an audiobook.
The book, in theory, centres on the titular Bob Honey, a modern American man who sells septic tanks for a living and brutally murders the elderly for the Government on the side (they serve no purpose and produce too much methane, you see). He also has a bleeding disdain for youth and all their vain proclivities, and a thorough hatred of his ex-wife. A little bit of projecting there? You be the judge.
Bob Honey comes equipped with quotes from Salman Rushdie, of all people, extolling its virtues. Of the book, Rushdie states that “I suspect that Thomas Pynchon and Hunter S. Thompson would love this book.” I think you can see where this is going.
Advance copies were sent out to critics last week, and today the reviews have been rolling in. The verdict? It sucks a tremendous amount of ass.
Penn’s book is getting the absolute shit kicked out of it, both in formal review and in various Twitter rumblings.
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post had similar exasperated reactions to the book. The former asking “What have you done this time, Sean Penn?” and the latter “What is Sean Penn thinking.”
But a seriously glorious Huffington Post napalming of Penn’s shit-simmering prose sums it all up best:
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Is it needlessly cynical to read a pompous celebrity’s very bad novel purely in order to dunk on it? Yes. But the true joke is on me, because it’s physically impossible to dunk on a novel that is already dunking on itself so hard.
Bob Honey is an exercise in ass-showing, a 160-page self-own.
And while, sure, that’s just what the critics are saying, the reality of the book – excerpts from which are being ruthlessly flayed on Twitter – is far worse than you ever could’ve imagined.
The table of contents alone flags the sheer horrors contained within.
Then there’s this barnburning paragraph, in which Penn steers Bob through an entirely baffling sexual encounter with an alopecia-suffering girl, in which he tacitly asks her to wear a merkin.
Baffling, weird, and needlessly wordy. Pretty much what I imagine rooting him is actually like.
The prose itself is being soundly single out for its use of alliteration, which Penn swings around like a stray cat caught by the tail.
And this poem, featured in the book’s epilogue and ostensibly serving as old mate’s take on the #MeToo movement because lord knows we all needed that, is a particularly wild ride.
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) March 27, 2018
But really, nothing will ever help you recover from knowing the fact that there’s a published work of fiction out there in which Sean Penn writes the phrase “minimal ass-piss.”
As in, piss emanating from the ass.
Fuck’s sake, Sean.