Actor Sean Penn is enduring a rough first venture into world of writing, with several highly negative reviews of his first novel being posted over the last week or so.

Since its publication on Tuesday (March 27th), critics have absolutely slated the 57 year old’s first novel, titled ‘Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff’, which has been described during its promotional push as about a “contract killer for an off-the-books program[me] run by a branch of US intelligence that targets the elderly, the infirm and others who drain this consumption-driven society of its resources.”

However, Penn has seemingly used the book to address the current state of the world, making reference a fictional president described as a “violently immature 70 year old boy-man” and concluding with a poetic epilogue that calls the #MeToo movement “a toddler's crusade”.

Sean PennSean Penn's first novel has received a shellacking from critics and social media

A review of the book from The Huffington Post’s Claire Fallon, titled ‘Sean Penn The Novelist Must Be Stopped’, has only been the tip of the iceberg. “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,” was Fallon’s most barbed criticism.

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“What is Sean Penn thinking?” derides New York Times critic Mark Athitakis. “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.”

On Amazon’s bestselling books list on Wednesday morning, one day after publication, Penn’s ‘Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff’ was ranked a lowly 89th, but top of the ‘absurdist fiction’ category.

Explaining the reason why he wrote the novel, the Oscar-winning actor told ABC News in a new interview this week that it was a reaction to the world around him and the political and social turmoil of the last few years.

“I needed to step away from the news cycle some time during 2015-2016. It was occurring to me more and more that the debates I had found even myself part of in the public arena had become that which were dividing us as a country more and more… The only way I felt I could respond to it was a kind of satire — to choose to laugh, instead of vent, or instead of rage.”

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