Want To Understand US Politics In 2016? Listen To ‘Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff’


If you’ve been paying attention to the current US Presidential election, or are a voter yourself, you are no doubt baffled by what is going on. With the nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate and seeing him within spitting distance of the White House, the social conversation in the media and elsewhere has turned from just the general election metrics to “how on earth did we get here?!?”.

What happened in our culture for such a divide to happen is a question that has been discussed over and over again by many media pundits, think-pieces and op-eds. Sometimes it helps to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Often art and entertainment becomes the medium that can help us digest politics and current events in a less-threatening and interesting way.

Most of us are familiar with how ‘Hamilton’ the musical has brought to life American history in a unique way, to a younger generation especially. ‘The West Wing’ and ‘House of Cards’ TV series’ have become cult fan favorites, giving audiences an insider look at White House politics and happenings. But if you are looking for something that can help you understand this current election, albeit in a fictional setting, Pappy Pariah’s ‘Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff’ is what you need to get your hands on.



And to get the full experience, getting the audiobook from Audible will ignite the story with narration from none other than Academy Award-winning Sean Penn, as well as Frances McDormand, Leila George and Ari Fliakos. Sean Penn has appeared on a number of late night talk shows including ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ and ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ to talk about why he felt strongly about lending his voice for the audio version of this book.

“There’s a kind of exploration of the chaotic part of what’s happening in culture, for example the Trump voters – and quite clearly one of the characters is Donald Trump. Those voters are in one of two categories: they are either the highly uninformed – and we could use a less polite word for some of them – and you’re also looking at a country of people who are truly unwittingly willing to dismiss their love for their children to engage in a kind of political temper tantrum,” he told Bill Maher.

In this video, various media experts explain how uncanny it is that the events in the book appear to mirror exactly what has been happening in the current US election, including some of the events at the Republican National Convention.

“I read it in August and it had references to the Republican Convention in July. And it felt like it was written two hours before I read it. Which is…possible,” said David Blum, writer and editor-in-chief of Audible originals publishing.


The added mystery of no-one actually knowing who Pappy Pariah is, speculating that it was actually written by Sean Penn himself otherwise why would he bother promoting someone else’s work, draw you into the zeitgeist-y nature of this work even more.

The story follows the lead character Bob Honey caught in a quirky and dreamlike story that captures America on the verge of political upheaval in 2016. Pappy Pariah has created a haunting, hilarious vision of an American middle-aged man with a mission – a loner struggling to find truth amid the chaos of a political campaign that threatens to destroy the values of the country he loves. This story is both comedic and absurd and is ultimately a haunting allegory for our times.

It’s certainly not a stretch to see how some believe Pappy is in fact Sean Penn, as the actor has been known to live outside the norm and take on projects that are unexpected. He appeared at a Los Angeles screening an Q&A of Leslee Udwin’s ‘India’s Daughter’, expounding on the importance of educating Western audiences about the horrific injustices daily inflicted upon girls and women in the developing world.


He interviewed notorious Mexican criminal and drug lord El Chapo for Rollingstone.com. Enough said. And now his passionate promotion of an audio book that he apparently did not write, but feels very strongly about its content and the way it gives a fictional overview of what went wrong in American culture for someone like Donald Trump to rise up and further the political divide between voters.

“It’s the New Age of literature because you want people to have information. I clearly want people to have this information ’cause what I read was something that I felt was important for people to hear, now. He demanded it be before the election,” Sean told Stephen Colbert.

In a few years time, perhaps generations from now, there is a good chance people will look back at the 2016 election and wonder “what on earth was going on?”, and if they do, ‘Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff’ is the audiobook they will want to listen to to get a sense of how this spectacle played out.

Right now Audible is doing a promotion where you can download the book for free, and if you like what you hear, you can also take advantage of Audible’s 30-day trial with the free download. Watch Sean Penn’s interview with Stephen Colbert below where he explains how he discovered Pappy Pariah:


This is a sponsored conversation written by us on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all ours.

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