The career of Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn has taken in many different areas of interest including acting, screenwriting, and directing before embarking on his latest career change as a novelist. His debut novel, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” has been compared to some of the great modern novelists work but Penn admits he has not read some of the work of those he has been compared to for a work which began life as an audiobook.
The book is a work of fiction but the author admits his work has been confused with a biographical work because of a shared worldview of the author and the titular character in the novel. Penn is at pains to point out the character of Bob Honey is an assassin who is attempting to feed his humanitarian and social sides to ensure he maintains a spark of human interest in his life and work. Much like Penn, the main character in “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” decides to step in and visit a location struck by tragedy in the novel which sees him head to Iraq to explore the region following the Gulf Wars to help his fellow human beings.
Creating the world of “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” led Sean Penn to explore different ways of writing compared to his usual means of manufacturing a script using his traditional manual typewriter. The actor and director instead dictated the novel which began life as his response to the potential election of Donald Trump as President in the days before the 2016 election. Penn explained the style and tone of the novel lent itself more to the stream of consciousness style better suited to dictation than typing constantly.
Over the course of the novel, the character of Bob Honey tackles a number of issues including those of violence and bullying in the current politically charged climate of the U.S. A stringent anti-bullying and anti-violence campaigner, Sean Penn explains “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” is meant to stand for both of those political views and provide a glimpse into a less than complimentary view of life in the U.S. if the current direction of the culture continues.