“Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff”: An Absurd Look at the State of American Society

Sean Penn has released a book that critics have classified as a “trippy read.” It is called “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.” The book has no formal plot structure, and is meant to confuse. Penn says that the book is best suited for fans of cult classics by writers like Thomas Pynchon. The book follows Bob, an antihero, who is a middle class “boomer”. He is unimpressive, and loathes his ex-wife. He will sometimes throw parties, or go on mallet wielding sprees bashing older citizens over the head. The people who issue the kill orders seem to stand in the way of globalization and progress. Through Bob’s hate for the state of the nation, and his life, there are many truths and ideas that come through this plot.
Penn seems to have set a goal of describing the state of U.S. affairs through the unreliable and abstract story of Bob honey who just do stuff.

Wikipedia reports that in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff the reader witnesses the 2016 election, there are jabs about Trump who is labeled “the landlord”, there are mentions of Hugo Chavez, and even a character that is described eerily similar to El Chapo. As it progresses, Bob becomes unclear of his intentions, he witnesses the police killings in Dallas, and the elections; adding his pessimistic views on each. By the end, it is hard to distinguish Bob, from Penn. This seems to be on purpose; Penn is a baby boomer, and seems to be expressing his own views.
In an interview with CBS Morning, Penn says “some people are going to get this book, and some people… are not going to get this book.” This is accurate as though the book is absurd, it is a good representation of Penn’s worldview. The New York Times sums up Penn as “capturing what America has become – and taking a mallet to it.” This may sum things up well, as this symbolic read may be strong for some people in relating to the angst of our times, but others may be too confused by the absurd plot, and violence, to understand much more.

Read the full review here on Positive the Facts:


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