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The Unit (2006)

af Ninni Holmqvist

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
91010417,235 (3.77)1 / 84
  'I liked The Unit very much... I know you will be riveted, as I was.' Margaret Atwood 'Echoing work by Marge Piercy and Margaret Atwood, The Unit is as thought-provoking as it is compulsively readable.' Jessica Crispin, NPR.org  Ninni Holmqvist's eerie dystopian novel envisions a society in the not-so-distant future where men and women deemed economically worthless are sent to a retirement community called the Unit. With lavish apartments set amongst beautiful gardens and state-of-the-art facilities, elaborate gourmet meals, and wonderful music and art, they are free of financial worries and want for nothing. It's an idyllic place, but there's a catch: the residents - known as dispensables - must donate their organs, one by one, until the final donation. When Dorrit Weger arrives at the Unit, she resigns herself to this fate, seeking only peace in her final days. But she soon falls in love, and this unexpected, improbable happiness throws the future into doubt.   Clinical and haunting, The Unit is a modern-day classic and a spine-chilling cautionary tale about the value of human life.… (mere)
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Engelsk (102)  Svensk (4)  Alle sprog (106)
Viser 1-5 af 106 (næste | vis alle)
Review originally posted at Dangerously Cold Tea

On occasion, you come along novels that are so startling fresh and outspoken that they leave you thinking long after the last page. For most readers, The Unit is - or will be - one of those novels. It is a science-fiction premise but it is presented in a fashion most unlike the sci-fi we normally read: it is human and intimate in scope, yet approaches revolutionary ideas with an open-minded narrative that it's impossible to really put this book in one genre or another.

Our protagonist, Dorrit Weger, has been deemed by society expendable, so she is sent to a facility where she will be taken care of as they experiment on her person and eventually give away all her major organs away, leading to her death. She enters, perfectly resigned, but that doesn't make a good story, does it? So naturally, something happens to make her realize how terribly wrong this all is: she falls in love. And it is through this new relationship - and the memories she falls back on from time to time - that brings this character around in a new light, makes us question the novel's brave new world which we are thrust into from page one.

Like many novels of its ilk, The Unit has a controversial ending. Obviously, I won't say what happens, but it is the kind of ending to divide readers and have them question both Miss Holmqvist's motives as well as the true meaning of the story. The main question of the novel is never really answered by either Dorrit, the rest of the cast, or the narrative: is the world of the Unit wrong? That is a question better answered by the individual reader, to promote discussion over the touchy subjects brought up by Holmqvist's writing - and rightly so. Stories like 1984 and The Giver are classics because they bring up questions and leave their audience to provide their own answers. Only time will tell if The Unit will join their ranks.
( )
  sarahlh | Mar 6, 2021 |
This was a very difficult to read. I found it very disturbing. But I thought it was well done. I liked the people in the book but don't understand why they so meekly accept their fate. Not sure this is correct but I chalk it up to the fact that they are Swedish. From other books I've read I get the impression that in Sweden people live with a lot of interference in their lives and are meant to feel that there is a correct way toact. ( )
  dianeham | Mar 2, 2021 |
Absolutely wonderful. Perfect balance of descriptive and straightforward writing. I really liked the first-person narrative so that Dorrit's inner life and emotions were explored so intimately. I loved her as character and all of the secondary characters as well. Holmqvist paints a bleak, dystopian world that is still filled with beauty and complex emotions. This is definitely a controversial subject but the book explores it quite nicely. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
Quite a quiet book, a dystopia that's not chronicling a huge change. Something very believable, done in a very effective way. Beautiful translation. ( )
  MaximusStripus | Jul 7, 2020 |
Imagine a world where, if you don't have an exceptional career or children by 50 (for women) or 60 (for men), you're deemed dispensable and taken to a special unit. In this unit, you will have all the amenities you can imagine, galleries, zen parks, access to all sorts of fitness activities and gourmet food. However, you will give back to society by participating in health experiments and donating your organs, one by one, until the final donation.
The setup is fantastic, even though it's impossible not to subconsciously compare this to Never Let Me Go. However, these people are not clones (if that makes any difference), and they willingly accept their fate. Or so it seems.
The main character is not very likeable or even relatable. Maybe a little bit more so as the plot proceeds.
I didn't like the writing style (could be the translation, though) and found myself skipping descriptive passages towards the end.
Overall, this was a great setting, but the characters and the plot were a missed opportunity for the most part. Still glad I read it. ( )
  ZeljanaMaricFerli | Feb 20, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 106 (næste | vis alle)
Holmqvist's spare prose interweaves the Unit's pleasures and cruelties with exquisite matter-of-factness, so that readers actually begin to wonder: On balance, is life better as a pampered lab bunny or as a lonely indigent? But then she turns the screw, presenting a set of events so miraculous and abominable that they literally made me gasp.
 

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  'I liked The Unit very much... I know you will be riveted, as I was.' Margaret Atwood 'Echoing work by Marge Piercy and Margaret Atwood, The Unit is as thought-provoking as it is compulsively readable.' Jessica Crispin, NPR.org  Ninni Holmqvist's eerie dystopian novel envisions a society in the not-so-distant future where men and women deemed economically worthless are sent to a retirement community called the Unit. With lavish apartments set amongst beautiful gardens and state-of-the-art facilities, elaborate gourmet meals, and wonderful music and art, they are free of financial worries and want for nothing. It's an idyllic place, but there's a catch: the residents - known as dispensables - must donate their organs, one by one, until the final donation. When Dorrit Weger arrives at the Unit, she resigns herself to this fate, seeking only peace in her final days. But she soon falls in love, and this unexpected, improbable happiness throws the future into doubt.   Clinical and haunting, The Unit is a modern-day classic and a spine-chilling cautionary tale about the value of human life.

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