Sean Penn’s first novel is action-packed, full of twists. It is a book for those who love ironic madness entangled with revelations that shock the reader. The book uses a language that is deep. It details the story of Bob Honey in an imagined universe where morals and proper governance are unlikely.
Bob Honey is a divorced management expert who makes a living through unscrupulous deals with authoritarians. He sells fireworks to dictatorships. Bob is portrayed as an antisocial character who does not associate well with his neighbours in California. Bob’s side job is assassinations. He revels in ending his victims’ lives, mostly the elderly, by using a mallet to disfigure their heads. Bob has dealings with character Fletcher, who resemble the personality of El Chapo.
The tenuous novel was initially released back in 2016. Penn was narrating with a fictitious name, Pappy Pariah. There are instances where Bob engages in vulgar activities. He joins a drug dealer to escapades in international waters. The articulation used by Penn is very ambitious prose. The style used is a bit jittery and feels sticky at times. In some instances, Penn’s conspiratorial messages are revealed. In a scene in the aftermath of a shooting where five officers were killed in Dallas; Bob later perceives that the media encouraged the murder of cops after pre-convicting cops of racial rancour. There is excess alliteration supported by an enticing misleading theory.
Bob takes the form of a loner. He is an overcritical figure. He carries out his activities in the dark to keep away attention that may reveal his character. He avoids social appearances and doesn’t interact with strangers. He is involved in a government operation seeking to find characters that drain the country’s resources. Spurley Culture, an investigative journalist, shows up and tries to establish why there are many complaints against Bob. Some phrases like “dutiful dragoman” and “cadres of cannibal” are overused in the text. This, however, reduces as Penn narrates more about Spurley and Bob.
In an epilogue poem where he mentions the Las Vegas, North Korea, and Louis C.K, he combines real-world situations to his satire. (“Is this a toddler crusade? Reducing rape, slut-shaming…”. Bob’s mystical character compares to Sean Penn. The literature in the book is a bit hard to understand. It is a readable book. You start getting to it, and something good will come up eventually.