Sean Penn's debut novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, will be on shelves next week, but the audio book-turned expanded fiction story is already shaking things up by calling out some of the real-life villainy America is currently facing. Penn's novel is said to take on a glaringly Trump-like presidential character, the #MeToo movement, an "Aryan 'Yellow Lives Matter' march," and various other not-so-veiled allegorical references.
From the excerpts that have made their way to media outlets so far, it's clear that Penn's satire is quite on-the-nose. Penn's novel centers around the main protagonist, Bob Honey, who attempts to regain control over his life after an intense career as a contract killer employed by a U.S. intelligence agency living in a "nation in need of an assassin." Penn had initially released his Bob Honey story as an audio book under a pen name (lol) but he recently explained that he quickly realized the story was far from being finished.
“It was soon after I finished narrating the short audio of Bob Honey that I began to feel I had only scratched the surface of this story I wanted to tell. Expanding that original idea into a fully realized novel has been an exciting challenge,” Penn told The Guardian. The new story unabashedly tackles a bumbling presidential figure named "Mr. Landlord," and in one scene, main character Honey writes a challenging letter to him that makes him sound a lot like our own current POTUS.
“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," reads the letter in an excerpt. Russian meddling, female-led counter protests, and presidential Twitter fingers? Penn has been an outspoken critic of Trump in the past, but he really seemed to go ham with this one.