Monday, November 9, 2009

LM for living morphine (alive and morphine given)

During the Vietnam War the letters L and M, written on the helmet of an injured soldier, indicated that he was still alive and had received an injection of morphine. In the Norwegian thriller Kakerlakkene (meaning cockroaches in English and Küchenschaben in German) by Jo Nesbø, the Vietnam veteran Ivar Løken has an LM history of its own. This thriller does not take place in Vietnam, but—years after the end of the Vietnam War—in Bangkok,Thailand. A war of a different kind is happening here. This war doesn't include an army, just a few people (and not all of them are Norwegians) connected via sex, gambling, and corruption.

Jo Nesbø:
Kakerlakkene, originally published in Norwegian (Aschehoug, Oslo).
German-language edition: Kakerlaken. Ullstein Taschenbuch, Berlin, Juni 2009.

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