Sean Penn’s debut novel Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is a satire that centers around the life of a fictional character named Bob Honey and his escapades of political activism. Bob Honey abandons the traditional peaceful methods of protest for radicalized and violent ones. The debut novel shocked literary critics because of Penn’s surprising transition into the writing realm. Sean Penn discusses his disinclination in the recent extreme commercialization of film was what steered him from the big screen to the more raw and uncontrolled world of literature. Also notoriously known for his own political activism, Penn’s satirical novel is also a small reflection of his own political ideologies.
The most apparent instances of his own views being paralleled in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff are his references to the Trump Administration and the reflection of the “#metoo” movement toward the end of the novel. The president in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is named “Mr. Landlord”, an obvious reference to president Donald Trump and his infamous real estate ventures. Bob Honey writes even writes a letter to Mr. Landlord, which is essentially just a manifestation of Penn’s feelings toward the Trump Administration. In addition, there is also a six-page reflection on aspects of the “#metoo” movement. Penn’s disdain for the Trump administration is widely known; however, his controversial statements regarding the #MeToo movement had critics buzzing. His reflection in Bob Honey Who Do Stuff describes the movement to be “infantilizing” rape and slut shaming and is simply a platform for the public shaming media.
Despite criticism, Penn’s Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff will not be a “one and done”. He disregards the book’s criticism and is more focused on his legacy. Being a previous actor and director, he deemed writer to be a noteworthy attribute to add to his resume. Penn fully intends to continue his writing career, regardless of whether they will be published. He has embraced writer’s life and might be in the process “cookin'” up a sequel to his debut novel.