Sean Penn scriitor

Sean Penn’s debut novel – repellent and stupid

Back in the heady days of 2015, it was thought that singer and eternal tester of patience Morrissey had taken the bad celebrity novel to the limit in List of the Lost, when his “bulbous salutation” simultaneously put everyone off both books and sex. But now Morrissey’s debut – a novel in which people didn’t just say things, they “topspin” them (“‘I have erotic curiosities,’ topspins Ezra”) – has a healthy challenger for the most mocked novel by a sleb. Sean Penn’s Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is a book in which people don’t just have vim or vigour, they have “spizzerinctum to spare”.
Early and bad reviews of Penn’s debut novel ahead of its April release have prompted a lot of joy online. “Bob Honey is an exercise in ass-showing, a 160-page self-own,” was the Huffington Post’s verdict, while a new game, “Vagina bingo” was coined by one Twitter user to mark Penn’s multitudinous references to vulvas (always “magical” and “glistening”, on often “nymphomaniac” and “whoreish” women).
So Penn’s novel is repellent on one level, but stupid on so many others. It follows Bob as he Just Do Stuff, often without much reason: he variously sells septic tanks, rigs explosives and kills American pensioners with a mallet, purportedly to offset their large carbon footprint. He daydreams about a hairless woman called Annie, whose alopecia is no barrier to their sexual escapades. (“Never one for psychosexual infantilism or paedophilic fantasy, after their sex he said, ‘Good vagina. Maybe more Vietnam.’”) At one point he sets fire to a dildo in the desert, due to “an assault of animism”, which makes just as much sense as anything else in the book.

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