Sean Penn’s ‘Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff’ is being savaged by critics

69th Cannes Film Festival - 'The Last Face' - Photocall

We need to laugh. I need to laugh at something, anything. Please let there some kind of joy in this world. Well, I’ve found my joy this week: reviews of Sean Penn’s Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. As we’ve been discussing, this book is utter garbage. Penn’s soul is a rancid dumpster fire and he’s using his cigarette-stained white male privilege to criticize Me Too victims and go buckwild with alliteration. I’m not even going to pretend that *some* people might like the book as a general novel. No, the only thing you can enjoy is the hilariously bad reviews.

So Penn’s novel is repellent on one level, but stupid on so many others. It follows Bob as he Just Do Stuff, often without much reason: he variously sells septic tanks, rigs explosives and kills American pensioners with a mallet, purportedly to offset their large carbon footprint. He daydreams about a hairless woman called Annie, whose alopecia is no barrier to their sexual escapades. (“Never one for psychosexual infantilism or paedophilic fantasy, after their sex he said, ‘Good vagina. Maybe more Vietnam.’”) At one point he sets fire to a dildo in the desert, due to “an assault of animism”, which makes just as much sense as anything else in the book.

…Penn doesn’t just swing and miss with his ambitious vocabulary; he swings and cracks a hole in reality as we know it, leaving us all unsure of the concept of a good sentence, how a novel should be structured and generally what makes sense any more. Words are not just misused, they are misplaced, to the point that Penn’s prose is more reminiscent of bot than man. One can only emerge blearily from sentences such as “Bob hastily exited and breathed the new morning’s Muslim air”, or “Behind decorative gabion walls, an elderly neighbour sits centurion on his porch watching Bob with surreptitious soupçon”, or “She sharted agave shimmering spirits and shifted sh-t-faced overboard.” It’s like beat poetry, just somehow worse.

[From The Guardian]

I started laughing at “Maybe more Vietnam” and I didn’t stop laughing for five minutes. Also: “the new morning’s Muslim air” is EPIC. What else? The alliteration. My God, the alliteration. From the Washington Post:

For the novel version of the story, though, Penn is relegated to being a maker of sentences. May he never quit his day job; Penn delivers prose as if he were gunning for a prize from the American Alliteration Association. “Dreams died like destiny’s deadwood,” he writes. And: “Scottsdale’s dry climate contradicts the clammy calescent of New Guinean condensation.” Something prompts Bob’s “provision of personal protocols” ; an investigative journalist named Spurley is on his tail, and “Spurley sloppily slurps” a Popsicle. Police are accused of “racial rancor by Ruger in a country rife with rule of law.”

[From WaPo]

Touchy tongue twisters for toffed twisted turd! My God. Even the headlines are cracking me up: “Sean Penn Tries Writing” (like he’s 4 years old), “Is Sean Penn the most unbearable Hollywood actor on the planet?” (yes) and “Review: What is Sean Penn thinking? His debut novel is a mess, again.”

69th Cannes Film Festival - 'The Last Face' - Premiere

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56 Responses to “Sean Penn’s ‘Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff’ is being savaged by critics”

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  1. Veronica says:

    I almost wish the all-digital age would come faster so trees didn’t have to be cut down and insulted further by having their corpses desecrated by this kind of garbage.

  2. Shotcaller says:

    I tried to give it a go on Audible last year and I had to turn it off, massage the bridge of my nose and play solitaire for half an hour. And it was free. Sean Penn paid me to hate him even more.

  3. Lala says:

    Reading the excerpts from this book…made me question…EVERYTHING…and made me go to “Youtube” to play that ICONIC scene from the movie “Billy Madison”…which I will place below…because THIS is the ONLY thing that ANYONE needs to say to Sean…regarding his book…substitute Mr. Madison, for Mr. Penn:
    Principal: Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    • Anastasia Beaverhausen says:

      Lala, you win the Internet today. Holy crap so on the nose here.

    • AMA1977 says:

      Awesome. Also, WTF is with his SKIN?? Has he ever, once in his life, just one time, given any thought to maybe, possibly applying sunscreen? Ol’ Minimal Ass-piss has ceased to look like a ham, has left “last hot dog on the spinner at the convenience store at closing” in the dust, and is fast closing in on “burnt bacon” in countenance. His wrinkles are canyons that have their own wrinkles. He looks like a worn-out catcher’s mitt and an old shoe had a baby, then left it on the surface of the sun for a decade or two.

      • AMA1977 says:

        And his hair looks like Sideshow Bob. There, I’m done now.

      • elle says:

        I was wondering that myself. He’s not just aged – he’s aggressively aged to the point of looking mummified. And he looks like a Muppet.

  4. Cate says:

    Well at least he can see by the critics that his narcissistic self Indulgent nonsense is not going to be taken seriously. He needs to just buy a few cases of cigarettes, move out to the desert and just go away. No one cares Sean.

    • Ama says:

      ..move out to the desert and “set fire to a dildo”, like his book-character does. *shrug*.
      Just reading the books title doesn’t make sense, and first I blamed it on not being a native speaker in English!! :-)

  5. BlueSky says:

    Dear, Sean, whatever acid you are dropping, please stop.

    • Danielle says:

      Don’t blame acid for this atrocity. The man is an idiot and its his own doing. If he did acid, his ego would diminish….actually, he needs to move to the desert, drop some acid, and contemplate his existence.

  6. Cannibell says:

    I’m guessing he was aiming to be the new James Joyce. #Spoiledham

  7. Jay says:

    New morning’s Muslim air is AMAZING, says this Muslim. (Ex-Muslim, but I will always identify as one culturally, whatever that means, LOL.)

    I wish he’d go away forever.

  8. boredblond says:

    Penn’s puerile prose proves ponderously pointless.

  9. Millenial says:

    This man needs some moisturizer. Badly.

  10. smee says:

    Sounds like he used Mad Libs to write.

    Glad his book is being savaged – his ego needs a good kick.

  11. Hazel says:

    Wow. Congrats to all reviewers for even getting through that 💩.

  12. HK9 says:

    I fully admit I’m living in the land of petty on this one. His acid fueled diatribe went over like a lead balloon and I’m enjoying every minute of this.

  13. Mimi says:

    Funniest Tweet was “He’s like Joey from Friends using the Online Thesaurus to sound smart”.

  14. Cayy says:

    He must be punking us.

  15. Dee says:

    The Irma Luhrman-Merman murder
    Turned the bird’s word lurid
    The whir and the purr of a twirler girl
    She would the world were demurer
    The insurer’s allure
    For valor were pure Kari Wuhrer
    One fervid whirl over her turgid error
    Rural juror
    Rural juror
    I will never forget you
    Rural juror
    I’ll always be glad I met you
    Rural juror

    I will never forget you
    Rural juror
    I’ll always be glad I met you
    Rural juror (x2)
    These were the best days of my flerm.

  16. WingKingdom says:

    And here I’ve been, for all these years, not writing any novels just because I’m a bad writer. Sean Penn, bad writer, you are so brave.

  17. tracking says:

    Ha, couldn’t happen to a nicer more self-centered guy!

  18. Mia4s says:

    OK I have a gift for the long weekend. These are apparently the opening title cards for the last movie Penn wrote and directed (you know the one about a white woman and Hispanic man as aid workers in Africa?). I screamed with laughter! Screamed! This is beyond idiotic:

  19. NeoCleo says:

    I read his poem about #metoo. It was infuriating. The man is a flaming pile of garbage.

  20. Snazzy says:

    I’m pissed off they even published this 💩, so many amazing writers not getting published and this bullshit does? I’ll bet he got a handsome advance too. Grrrr

  21. Penelope says:

    What a joke. He’s such a pretentious ass.

  22. minx says:

    Hoo boy, that is some bad writing.

  23. Welp says:

    Maybe he had a ghostwriter troll the hell out of him. He didn’t bother reading it

  24. Caitlin says:

    You know, the saddest part of all of this is that there was a time when he was a really great actor. I mean really great! If you don’t believe me, go dig up an old film called “At Close Range”. He and Chris Walken were marvelous in it.

    How the mighty have fallen.

    • penelope says:

      He still *is* a really great actor. Being untalented/horrifically bad at one thing (in his case, writing) doesn’t mean you’re untalented/horrifically bad at everything.

      • mannori says:

        Talent is also a dynamic quality: it can completely change and even end. It evolves and grows but also declines and could even disappear. Both his acting AND directing lately have been not just mediocre but straight up terrible. Case in point: The Gunman, The Last Face.

    • minx says:

      He’s very talented. The Falcon and the Snowman, Mystic River, Milk…so many great performances. It’s too bad he’s such a huge douchebag.

  25. Aren says:

    I think what happened is Penn went to some writing course, arrived as they were introducing rhetorical devices, left immediately after labeling all those present “dumb”, went home and got inspired to write non-stop for 3 days straight.
    On the 4th day, he got published.

  26. bap says:

    Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper was at Sean’s book signing. Pitt even carry Sean’s book in his pocket.

    • Welp says:

      abusers supporting abusers.

    • mannori says:

      it bothers me a lot that people like Colbert, Noah, Maron and Horowitz not only gave him space to say whatever this assh*le wanted without calling him out not only on his piece of crap of a book, but neither on the way he tries and fails miserably at mocking the #metoo , they were all fangirling with hearteyes like idiots in Penn’s presence and none of them even had the courage to say to his face that this sh*t he wrote is pure and simple terrible. Ok they have to be polite with their guests, ok, but all of them I used to some point admire for their capacity of making digs at their worst hosts calling them on their bullsh*t. But even Colbert was intimidated by this idiot and coordinated that smoking gag inducing skit, which was obviously carefully prepared with the sole intention of create headlines and online buzz which is exactly what happened. The fact also that Penn has been praising in a very exaggerated way Cooper’s movie, which has already buzz of being terrible, smells like business, wait and see he and Penn will announce some sort of collaboration shortly. Pitt also very disappointing. I think Penn seduces equally men and women who desperately want to hang out with him because of his carefully constructed image of pretentious intellectual. Penn loves to network and take advantage of the bro dudes who see in him some sort of icon.

  27. Sassy says:

    He writes like I did when I was an angst-ridden teenager, who was trying to prove how “deep” I was.

  28. ABC says:

    I have this on Audible and I know I’ve listened to it but I can’t remember a thing about it. Not one thing. Maybe it’s a cure for insomnia?

  29. Darla says:

    Good vagina. Maybe more Vietnam.


  30. Cara says:

    I always figured Sean was a jerk and likely way worse and turns out I was right on the “way worse” part. I feel sorry for his daughter…….and his next girlfriend. ☹️

  31. Mle428 says:

    His head is getting bigger, and his face smaller. It’s so weird.

  32. sarita says:

    Sean Penn is a TERRIBLE writer, but Kaiser is pretty great:

    “Penn’s soul is a rancid dumpster fire and he’s using his cigarette-stained white male privilege to criticize Me Too victims and go buckwild with alliteration.”