The Unit

The Unit

A Novel

Book - 2008
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One day in early spring, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material. She is promised a nicely furnished apartment inside the Unit, where she will make new friends, enjoy the state of the art recreation facilities, and live the few remaining days of her life in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over sixty-single, childless, and without jobs in progressive industries-are sequestered for their final few years; they are considered outsiders. In the Unit they are expected to contribute themselves for drug and psychological testing, and ultimately donate their organs, little by little, until the final donation. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this near-future society and the Unit is to take care of others, and Dorrit finds herself living under very pleasant conditions: well-housed, well-fed, and well-attended. She is resigned to her fate and discovers her days there to be rather consoling and peaceful. But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, the extraordinary becomes a reality and life suddenly turns unbearable. Dorrit is faced with compliance or escape, and...well, then what?

THE UNIT is a gripping exploration of a society in the throes of an experiment, in which the "dispensable" ones are convinced under gentle coercion of the importance of sacrificing for the "necessary" ones. Ninni Holmqvist has created a debut novel of humor, sorrow, and rage about love, the close bonds of friendship, and about a cynical, utilitarian way of thinking disguised as care.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: New York : Other Press, c2008.
ISBN: 9781590513330
Characteristics: 268 p. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Delargy, Marlaine


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Dec 07, 2017

December book Goodreads book group let by The Skeptical Reader

Mar 15, 2016

Fantastic! This is a seemingly simple tale about a seemingly simplified future. So good I had to read it twice.

Dec 21, 2014

It's a pretty typical dystopia (similar model as Ishiguro's 'When We Were Orphans'), but with more heteronormativity and a problematic evaluation of current movements towards gender equality. Included: the most Swedish defense of female submission you've ever heard. You'll like it if you count 'dystopian' among your fifty shades of gray.

May 23, 2013

An intriguing and somber novel, about a not so improbable future. A good read.

HaroStrait Oct 20, 2011

The premise of this book - that those of us that don't 'contribute' to society are disposable - is truly horrifying. And it's not marginalized people that are at risk - it's normal middle class types who don't have kids or jobs that 'contribute'. That there is such acceptance of the premise by the characters in the book is chilling. This is a story that will stay with you.

Oct 24, 2010

The Unit
by Ninni Holmqvist

Good. Makes us think of what men going to do in the future with "dispensable people". Or did it start already? Could it be?

Jan 03, 2010

A chilling read about a (not so) future society in which the value of a human life is clinically determined, and the so-called undesirables are used to prolong the life of the desirables. You can see vestiges of this type of thinking today, which makes the novel even more frightening.

Mandy96 Aug 29, 2009

I first heard about this book through Dewey Divas, and requested it immediately. The most disturbing thing about it is how plausible it seems.

VanessaM Aug 16, 2009

I read this short book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. Set in the near future, it's an interesting look at what life would be like if some people are deemed more valuable than others, and what life would be like if you're seen as unneeded.

Warning: I peeked and wish that I didn't....the ending is not what you might be expecting and you'll ruin it if you look ahead.

If you enjoy this, please consider Never Let Me Go as a *must* read.

MaryBee Aug 07, 2009

Chilling, but also very readable!


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Mandy96 Aug 29, 2009

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Mandy96 Aug 29, 2009

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


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Mandy96 Aug 29, 2009

Mandy96 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Mandy96 Aug 29, 2009

Loving and leaving don’t go together. They are two irreconcilable concepts, and when they are forced together by outside circumstances they require an explanation.


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