Holy cow! I have just finished a super fun action/adventure/comedy and I can’t tell if I’m tired from laughing or the suspense, probably both. “Ai! Pedrito!” is a great romp through the spy world mixing in the United States, the Russians, the Cubans, and the small South American country Colodor . This book is a parody of that spy world mixing up spies, double agents, lovers and enemies as seen through a nerdy very straight edged Naval Intelligence officer and sometimes through his doppleganger, a revolutionary, womanizer and heavy drinker.
“Ai! Pedrito!” was originally written as a screenplay by L. Ron Hubbard who said the events were based on an incident that happend to him in real life. The screenplay was then novelized by Kevin J. Anderson. Anderson whose works include the collaboration with Brian Herbert on the “Dune” series of books written and pieced together from material found after Frank Herbert’s death. Anderson is not a stranger to turning “found” material into great books, but most of his stuff is Science-Fiction, while this story has a very small piece of sci-fi to add to the fun, Anderson proved he can also work on comedy and adventure with this one.
The Russians and Cubans have developed a plan to steal secrets from the U.S. military by placing a revolutionary, by the name of Pedrito Miraflores into the office of U.S. Naval intelligence and in turn send Lt. J.G. Tom Smith to the small country of Colodor, while Pedrito steals the secrets. What makes this the perfect plan is that Smith and Miraflores are mirror images of each other, in looks only. While Smith spends his spare time reading history books and his drink of choice is milk, Miraflores’ pasttime is womanizing and drinking tequila, oh, and starting revolutions in South America. But these two redheads will be switching places and the mayhem begins.
Tom Smith is told he has won a free trip to the beautiful South American country of Colodor. When he tells the representative from the sweepstakes he can’t find Colodor on the map the rep tells him it’s all due to a strike by the Mapmakers Union. Tom takes the vacation as a chance to relax and get his mind away from the numerous blueprints of secret weapons and get a chance to read his book on great Naval battles. When he arrives at the Colodor Airport he is accosted by a man that greets him with, “Ai! Pedrito!” and proceeds to shuffle Tom into the Airport bar insisting on buying him a drink. When Tom insists he’s not Pedrito, the man thinks Pedrito is undercover and says, “Don’t worry Pedrito, your secret is safe with me.” This is how Lt. J.G. begins his life as Pedrito Miraflores.
Meanwhile, Pedrito begins stealing secrets and, when Smith’s boss insists Pedrito date his daughter Pedrito cannot resist the chance to be with a beautiful woman. But alas, this begins Pedrito’s demise in America.
With each person beginning to absorb the other more and more as they are forced to live as each other until the mission is finished they both begin to realize that womanizing gets you nowhere (especially when the women can think of only getting married). Smith seems to be doing more damage as Pedrito, when he blows up the US Embassy, by proxy, a secret CIA communications center and gets the US to bomb secret Cuban Missile silos. All this is done under the constant watch of a mysterious master of disguise by the name of Bolo.
With some funny constant running gags, such as the shout of “Ai! Pedrito!”, Smith nearly recognizing Bolo each time, and the mapmaker’s strike, this book will have you laughing out loud while on the edge of your seat wondering how it all turns out. I will say that not until the very end will you know. Hubbard had a knack for twists in a story and this one, I think, used every twist he could think of.
This audio book is yet another superb production from Galaxy Audio. Galaxy Audio has been turning all of Hubbard’s pulp fiction stories into audio books and this latest release shows they are working on more of Hubbard’s works I hope they keep on producing more of these excellent audio dramas, because I can’t wait to listen to some of his sci-fi novels. Galaxy Audio shows how an audiobook should be done, with excellent voice actors, special sound effects that are comparable to any major motion picture. The incidental music through the book and especially between chapters perfectly represent the feel of the audio book, making the entire production a classic work of art.
Mixing in a comedy of errors, mistaken identity, espionage, and blundering officials, “Ai! Pedrito!..” is a fun audiobook that will keep you on the edge of your seat with action and laughing out loud with great humor.