A satire is supposed to be a little crazy. It is highly metaphorical in that many aspects of the story have a deeper meaning, one that usually focuses on current events. In some cases such references have to be decoded, it is not obvious to the reader at first, and in other cases they are simply put and very forward. Sean Penn decided to go with forward in his new book, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff“, which is apparently a satire.
The book certainly contains the absurdity of a satire, and definitely has the rich and colorful character of a satire. But as Bob Honey has a semblance of a plot it is hard to distinguish story for ranting in certain parts. Penn writes in a chaotic form of prose, that is very stylistic and different, but also kind of confusing. It is definitely an interesting read with many golden little nuggets to discover. Not nuggets of truth mind you, though it certainly has plenty of those, but nuggets of pleasurable passages that are fun to read.
The book is centered on titular character Bob Honey who works as an assassin for the government. He is tasked with killing old people to make the environment better with less the population. Before his assassin career Bob was a septic tank salesmen and holds a slew of other jobs as well. The narrative form is episodic as it follows his crazy exploits, and focuses on his efforts to connect with other people.
It is almost as though Penn is saying a unique personality can no longer fit in with the conformity of political correctness. The book definitely has a lot to say, especially about president Trump, who makes an appearance as Mr. Landlord. In fact Honey fires off a blistering letter to this character/real person at the end of the book. The letter is scathing, but so is the poem that follows it.
What has got many critics talking is the epilogue poem Penn writes after the end of his book. The poem scathes many current events, not even disguising them with a satirist pseudonym. It attacks the media, focus on current events like school shootings, and scathes #MeToo. This is something many have taken exceptions to, though Penn is unapologetic. According to Penn the book makes a moral statement, and is left up to the reader’s interpretation. Like any good satire is supposed to be.