Sean Penn's debut novel is 'darkly humorous'

Sean Penn's debut novel is 'darkly humorous'

Simon & Schuster US is publishing Hollywood actor Sean Penn’s debut novel.

Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff will be published by its imprint, Atria Books, on 5th April and is due to be published by S&S UK as a distributed title five days later.

The 176-page hardback will retail at £14.99 and is a revised and expanded work based on an audiobook of the same name, which is no longer available, narrated by Penn and released in October 2016 under the pseudonym ‘Pappy Pariah’. Mollie Click at CAA negotiated the deal with Peter Borland, Atria’s vice president and editor-in-chief.

The “darkly humorous” novel follows a middle-aged man, Bob Honey, living in California who is a “man of many trades- sewage specialist, purveyor of pyrotechnics, contract killer for a mysterious government agency that pays in small bills”.  

According to the Daily Mail, the book “calls for the assassination of the president” with the protagonist working with military contractors in Iraq, being employed by the government to kill the nation's resource-draining elderly, and meeting an El Chapo-esque drug lord who had just escaped prison.

The epilogue of 'Bob Honey' reportedly features a lengthy poem in which the narrator describes the #MeToo movement an 'infantilizing term of the day'. 

"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?" the poem asks. 

The novel has received praise from various famous authors including writer Salman Rushdie and comedian Sarah Silverman, who described it as a “goddamned novel for the ages” and “a straight-up masterwork, more relevant to this very moment than anything I’ve seen".

Rushdie said: “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." 

Penn has been nominated for an Oscar five times as well as developing theatre productions and writing various articles.