Randall Colburn in The A. V. Club:
“There is pride to be had where the prejudicial is practiced with precision in the trenchant triage of tactile terminations.”
No, this is not a tongue twister you’d hear muttered in the wings of a high school stage play. This is, no lie, just one of several deadening excerpts from Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, the debut novel of actor Sean Penn, who, terrifyingly, seems to be giving up acting in favor of poorly aping Thomas Pynchon and successfully embodying Charles Bukowski.
The 160-page novel tells the story of its namesake character, a septic tank entrepreneur and contract killer who Forrest Gumps his way through Hurricane Katrina, Baghdad at the outset of the Iraq War, and the “penis-edency” of a Donald Trumpian commander in chief. Huffington Post’s Claire Fallon describes it as “an exercise in ass-showing, a 160-page self-own.” Other reviews are kinder, if similarly unimpressed. The New York Times calls it “agonizing” and “conspicuously un-fun,” while Entertainment Weekly criticizes its “woozy gender politics” while dubbing it “shrill,” “confounding,” and “a little hypocritical.”
But one needn’t dig far to discover the dissertation’s most dunk-worthy declarations, which allow for an astonishing abundance of alliterative announcements.