Sean Penn appears to be a modernized James Dean type for the baby boomers. He seems mysterious, strong-willed and aggressively idealist. He seems to stand out as a not overly-hyped celebrity who physically manifests the beliefs he supports. He married Madonna. He was divorced by Madonna. He interviewed El Chapo. He praised Hugo Chavez. He does things. Basically, Sean Penn just do stuff. Now he has written a book titled, “Rob Honey just do things.”
Mr. Penn wrote this book as narration in 2016 for a shorter audio piece under the pseudonym Pappy Pariah. He later admitted to writing it and enlarged it. The protagonist of Mr. Penn’s work is a middle-aged man named Bob Honey. He loves his couch and describes it as the place he feels most comfortable. That seems to be the only concept about Mr. Honey that can really be considered in a straight-forward manner. That is, it is real. It is not satire. He really does love his couch. But other questionable concepts like ‘is he an assassin of elderly people who his mysterious employer targets because they negatively affect globalization or is he a jet-setting entrepreneur or is just a character sitting on his beloved couch just imagining or wishing for strange, bizarre and even violent things?’ remain ambiguous.
There are other characters in this story. He has a hated ex-wife who has happily recoupled with her divorce attorney and now drives an ice-cream truck. He has a girlfriend, Annie, he adores. Or does he? Are these people part of a delusion? Do they exist or does he just think about them when he sits on his beloved coach?
A more distant character seems to be a reference to President Donald Trump. In Penn’s book, this character is called “the landlord,” and described as “the violently immature seventy-year-old boy-man with money and French vanilla cotton candy hair.” Then again, in this basically plot-less book, this landlord could be anyone because in this world Mr. Penn has created sometimes people who just do things are also written about by people who just write things.