Sean Penn: I'll write another book despite the lousy reviews

MIranda Bryant
Defiant: Sean Penn at festival: C Flanigan/Getty

Sean Penn has revealed plans for a second book — despite his debut novel being widely panned by critics.

The actor and filmmaker told a literary festival in New York he was writing a follow-up to his book Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.

Published last month, it drew scathing reviews — but Penn claimed this had inspired him to keep writing.

Amid laughter and applause, he jokingly told the PEN America World Voices Festival in Brooklyn: “There is definitely going to be a Bob Honey two. I mean, you know, when you get reviews like ‘Sean, shut your face’… definitely, I’ve already started.”

Panned: Sean Penn posing with the cover of his debut novel (Michael Loccisano/Getty)

It comes after Penn, 57, took the unusual step of taking out a full-page newspaper advert drawing attention to the novel’s negative reviews, which included comments such as “ignore Penn” and “wildly offensive”.

It also directs readers to a website featuring positive comments by fans of the book said to include Salman Rushdie — quoted as saying it was “great fun to read” — author Paul Theroux and comedian Sarah Silverman.

The novel is about a reclusive middle-aged divorced man who is a part-time assassin.

During the festival he covered subjects including Donald Trump, the fight against drugs and his humanitarian work in Haiti. Some audience members held up placards accusing him of “glorifying the cartel” with his 2015 interview with drug lord “El Chapo” Guzmán for an article. He told protesters he wanted to help stop “all those lives lost in this war on drugs”.