Actor/writer/director Sean Penn has enjoyed a varied and successful career with Oscar wins for his roles in “Milk” and “Mystic River” but the performer has been left confused by the response to his latest project, a debut novel, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.” The novel began life as an audio project, Penn revealed to “Rolling Stone” magazine he wanted to get the story of isolation and loneliness in the U.S. to the public before the 2016 Presidential election. Penn has since seen his complex and controversial piece of fiction make its way to bookstore shelves and has a bestseller on his hands.
Sean Penn admits the response to his debut novel has left him more than a little confused as many readers and audiobook listeners have confused fiction with fact, a response Penn believes is an indictment on the reality TV culture we live in. The actor and former husband of Madonna does believe his novel has a lot to say about the direction of the U.S. in the coming years if the current path is followed into the future.
The extremes of the life and career of the main character in the book do not reflect the choices Penn has made in his life but Sean Penn has himself led an often controversial life. Whether he has been delivering aid to Haiti following a major earthquake or interviewing the Mexican drug cartel leader El Chapo following his escape from jail, Penn has always looked to follow his own path.
When asked about the comparisons made about his skill as a writer to that of critically-acclaimed novelists Terry Southern and Thomas Pynchon, Sean Penn admits he does not care for links between his work and that of writers he may not even have read. Instead, the screenwriter of “Into The Wild” admits he has started and given up on novels in the past but believed the direction the U.S. is taking was the main reason for his desire to publish his debut novel as quickly as possible prior to the 2016 election victory of President Donald Trump.