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Sean Penn's debut novel – repellent and stupid on so many levels

By the Guardian

The Oscar-winning actor’s first foray into fiction, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, has met with derision online. But how bad can it beRead full story

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  • Sean Penn wrote a novel? There are so many quotes it’s hard to pick one so I’ll just go with what HuffPo was quoted as saying: “Bob Honey is an exercise in ass-showing”. I’m taking a bit of delight in imagining what his editor must have been saying about this book in dark corners at cocktail parties for the past couple of years.

  • I try not to indulge the schadenfreude of reading bad reviews, but this one is just so beautifully scathing: “Penn doesn’t just swing and miss with his ambitious vocabulary; he swings and cracks a hole in reality as we know it, leaving us all unsure of the concept of a good sentence, how a novel should be structured and generally what makes sense any more. Words are not just misused, they are misplaced, to the point that Penn’s prose is more reminiscent of bot than man. One can only emerge blearily

    I try not to indulge the schadenfreude of reading bad reviews, but this one is just so beautifully scathing: “Penn doesn’t just swing and miss with his ambitious vocabulary; he swings and cracks a hole in reality as we know it, leaving us all unsure of the concept of a good sentence, how a novel should be structured and generally what makes sense any more. Words are not just misused, they are misplaced, to the point that Penn’s prose is more reminiscent of bot than man. One can only emerge blearily from sentences such as “Bob hastily exited and breathed the new morning’s Muslim air”, or “Behind decorative gabion walls, an elderly neighbour sits centurion on his porch watching Bob with surreptitious soupçon”, or “She sharted agave shimmering spirits and shifted shit-faced overboard.” It’s like beat poetry, just somehow worse.”

  • Maybe Penn drew inspiration from all the attention The Disaster Artist/The Room films received last year? What we know now is that being rewarded is possible when making something epically terrible.

  • Quick reminder that Penn has a history of domestic violence. Not interested in his poor prose or bad behavior.

  • Someone tell Sean that the line "Good vagina. Maybe more Vietnam." doesn't make any sense unless they character saying it is God and he just finished making a good vagina and is thinking of making more Vietnam.

  • This is a logical outcome of a powerful person not hearing the word 'no' enough.

  • I don’t blame him necessarily. I blame the people that let this happen. *insert side eye emoji here*

  • This book has got to be the epitome of white male mediocrity.

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