Sean Penn’s new book is titled Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. Some believe it represents the despairing, furious takedown of America while others see the book as a nutty novel. The novel was originally a 2016 short audiobook. The book is about a Californian named Bob with extreme skepticism towards modern times mediocrity. His multiple professions include an entrepreneur, a delusional homebody and a contract killer of the elderly.
The book does not contain a formal plot. Bob sits on his couch and recalls imaginary exploits and laments the current state of the nation. He hates his former wife who now drives an ice cream truck and married her divorce lawyer. He is pining for a woman named Annie but it is not clear if she even exists. Bobs attempts at socialization include killing senior citizens with blows to the head and misbegotten barbeques. Bob Honey is both unquantifiable and perplexing. Sean Penn is arguing the state of America can drive any empathic and rational individual insane.
Bob has been to Baghdad to nose around during the Iraq War and helped people victimized by Hurricane Katrina. He does not wait for invitations and chooses to follow his conscience. The book is a combination of linguistic traffic jams and plainly spoken sentences. Sean Penn wants the readers to understand the agonizing quest Bob has undertaken. There are oddities such as Bob sitting on the porch with his neighbor in surreptitious soupçon and decorative gabion walls.
During the final third of the book Bob becomes very suspicious regarding his mysterious employer. This employer is the reason he kills the elderly with a mallet. He drives to Miami to find answers. He hears about the 2016 election and is angry because the unnamed female candidate is not being embraced. Bobs considers the stand in for Donald Trump as all of the horsemen of the Apocalypse. He believes the character requires an impeachment and an intervention. He feels the nation needs an assassin. This represents the climax of the novel. The final pages reveal the true identity of Bob and what America has become.