"May he never quit his day job," writes The Washington Post.
Sean Penn might be an Academy Award-winning actor, but a Pulitzer for writing may not be in his future.
To say that Penn's novel 'Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff' is unusual is an understatement. It was first released as an audiobook in 2016 and follows the adventures of Bob Honey, a men described on the book's Amazon page as "a modern American man, an entrepreneur, and a part-time assassin."
The dystopian tale was released just as Penn announced he was stepping away from acting, something he may want to reconsider after looking at a sampling of the book's reviews.
Critics have been ripping the novel to shreds, with some of the harshest reviews collected for your enjoyment below.
The Huffington Post
Claire Fallon of the The Huffington Post wrote, "It's physically impossible to dunk on a novel that is already dunking on itself so hard."
"When I say that Bob Honey is reminiscent of a fever dream, I mean that it’s nonsensical, unpleasant and left me sweaty with mingled horror and confusion."
The New York Times
The New York Times described Penn's book as "a riddle wrapped in an enigma and cloaked in crazy".
"Still, for a wild ride, 'Bob Honey' is conspicuously un-fun. For every perfect, plain-spoken sentence ('It is on that couch where Bob feels safest, almost embraced') there are dozens of linguistic traffic jams where you can almost hear the words honking at each other to get out of the way."
Entertainment Weekly definitely didn't hold anything back, either. The title of their write-up: "What in the world is going on in Sean Penn's new novel?"
"Penn, like Bob, is a Baby Boomer, and it's hard not to read the book as his loud, angry, absurdist response to the state of the world," critic David Canfield expressed. "Indeed, it's this strange, flawed world which so grates on Penn that has ushered his strange, flawed book into existence."
The Washington Post
The Washington Post said that Penn should simply stick to acting.
"May he never quit his day job; Penn delivers prose as if he were gunning for a prize from the American Alliteration Association. 'Dreams died like destiny’s deadwood,' he writes,'" critiqued Mark Athitakis, who also called the book "all over the place in any format, slapdash in style and structure."
"If only the satire were funnier, though. If only the writing were more coherent," he added. "And if only the timing were better. In the weeks before the last presidential election, 'Bob Honey' reflected the goofiness of the moment’s political theater. Now that we are living with its consequences, the story feels off point and toothless."
The National Review took brutal honesty to the next level when they made their headline "Sean Penn Tries Writing."
Critic Jonah Goldberg described Penn's book as being, "the kind of thing you write when you don't have the confidence to say what you want to say the way you want to say it, so you follow a formula ("4 parts alliteration, 1 part wry masturbation references . . .")."
Fans at Home
The book hasn't been winning people over at home either, as many seemed to agree with the critics on Twitter. Below are just a few of the most savage tweets.
Sean Penn 100% used a thesaurus on every single word in his shitty book.— Jesse Kellestine 🎥♫ (@jessekellestine) March 28, 2018
Sean Penn's new book is terrific. Now my washing machine is perfectly level. (I don’t care who ya are that a good’n)— Larry The Cable Guy (@GitRDoneLarry) March 28, 2018
🌟The Seven Stages of Reading This One Paragraph in Sean Penn's Book🌟— Elizabeth M. (@_ElizabethMay) March 28, 2018
NEW THEORY RE: SEAN PENN'S BOOK— The Ripped Bodice (@TheRippedBodice) March 28, 2018
maybe it's an early april fools joke???
The excerpts from Sean Penn’s book remind me of the episode of Friends where Joey uses a thesaurus on every single word in a recommendation letter for Monica and Chandler pic.twitter.com/QcqUft6dxs— Danielle Sepulveres (@ellesep) March 28, 2018
I don’t wanna hear shit about how the publishing industry is struggling. I just read part of Sean Penn’s new book.— coach picard (@JB_Songdogs) March 28, 2018
If they will pay for that, wait til they hear about this novel I wrote using only predictive text
I read two paragraphs from Sean Penn's novel and I was filled with a great sorrow for the editor who was assigned that book.— Jen Sookfong Lee (@JenSookfongLee) March 28, 2018
Read a few excerpts from Sean Penn's book. I appreciate alliteration most of the time, but this...— Faronheit (@faronheit) March 28, 2018
"There is pride to be had where the prejudicial is practiced with precision in the trenchant triage of tactile terminations.”
...makes me want to punch someone in the throat.