I was at first surprised to see Sean Penn was coming out with a novel, and then I got giddy thinking it was all a subterfuge for ex-wife Madonna to surprise drop Sex 2 on us unsuspecting souls. Tragically, Sean’s novel lacks boobs and features words. Plenty of words. On Donald Trump. Oh, and #metoo, because why not play with fire?
Deadline says Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ title of Sean’s novel, isn’t out yet, but excerpts have been released, and it seems like Sean isn’t having to come up with too much on his own. The novel features a U.S. president, named Mr. Landlord, who is elected by pissed off Americans (with a little help from Russians) and is obsessed with Twitter. The “fictional” president inspires women’s marches because of just how much of a pain in the ass he is. The novel also describes the U.S. as “a nation in need of an assassin,” which I imagine will be heard on at least 15 episodes of Fox & Friends.
The assassin is, you guessed it, Bob Honey, who is a contract killer and has my dream job of selling septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses. He also has a side hustle of setting up fireworks displays for dictators. What a Renaissance man! The novel follows him as he tries to “take back his life” from whatever intelligence service has him on the payroll. At one point, he writes this to Mr. Landlord:
“Many wonderful American people in pain and rage elected you. Many Russians did, too. Your position is an asterisk accepted as literally as your alternative facts. Though the office will remain real, you never were nor will be. A million women so dwarfed your penis-edency on the streets of Washington and around the world on the day of your piddly inauguration … You are not simply a president of impeachment, you are a man in need of an intervention. We are not simply a people in need of an intervention, we are a nation in need of an assassin … Tweet me bitch, I dare you.”
Honestly, we should just go scan Reddit because it sounds like Sean assembled some drunk rants over there and turned it into a book. In case you were beginning to think Sean left out his own juicy stranger-than-fiction life from the story, don’t fret! El Chapo is in there, too! Assassin Bob reminisces on the time he met someone who sounds a lot like the Mexican crime lord. Bob also has thoughts about #metoo that one might expect to be shared by someone who once allegedly had his own lady problems:
“Is this a toddlers’ crusade? Reducing rape, slut-shaming and suffrage to reckless child’s play? A platform for accusation impunity? Due process has lost its sheen?”
He released the novel first as an audiobook in 2016 under the pen name Pappy Pariah, and it comes out in print later this month. Somehow, Salman Rushdie agreed to write a blurb for it:
“It seems wrong to say that so dystopian a novel is great fun to read, but it’s true…I suspect that Thomas Pynchon and Hunter S Thompson would love this book.”
And I suspect Salman lost a bet, and that’s the only reason he gave this book a single thought!