It’s 1941, and leaving behind cruel and hard times in East Texas, Zesty Sundrops, a nineteen-year-old Cherokee cowboy, working as a low paid mob gunman, patriotically enlists in WWII. Cast by his Captain who hates him into the role of a suicidal Cavalry Scout, Zesty stays alive, carrying out incredibly successful missions, earning awe and respect from his superiors and fellow soldiers.
Ernest Hemingway was so impressed, he wrote a book about Zesty’s exploits: starting with him as a teenager tracking down the butchers of his mother and father and hanging them, then abandoning the role of a contract killer for the Dixie mob, joining the army in WWII and performing astonishing acts of daring and bravery behind enemy lines, including assassinating the Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, for which Sundrops was awarded the coveted “Distinguished Service Cross.”
Even a play about Zesty had a long run on Broadway. And a major motion picture was made of his life.
Still, some wondered, was it all true? Did everything really happen the way Zesty told it? The play on Broadway (included in this book) asks that question.
But to most people, Private Sundrops had become a legend. He had single-handedly attained fame and success, achieving the great American Dream. And that was that.
As for Zesty, it didn’t seem to make much difference one way or the other. Because after the war, and returning home to Texas, he picked up where he left off, working one last time as a hired gun to help his brother.
In the genre of True Grit and No Country for Old Men, William Mark has crafted an outrageous tale of an unlikely hero that bears the hallmarks of memorable fiction.
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