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The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
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The Unit (2006)

by Ninni Holmqvist

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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76810012,049 (3.79)1 / 68
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English (98)  Swedish (4)  German (1)  All (103)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
On my 2d reading of this book, and it is very powerful. Organ donation and harvesting a significant themes here, and not sure where I stand. Some of the experiments are rather cruel in this book, like the one where dude's brain shrinks into mush. China allegedly has a thriving market for forced organ donation, but I haven't done a lot of research on that. Stands to reason that they have a surplus of people, and the poor are unfortunately playthings for the rich.

Also the concept of your value to society makes you expendable when you reach 50 or 60 yrs of age. I do see some truth to that, but more in the realm if you aren't working a meaningful job and are a medical or financial liability to society.

There are some heavy concepts in this book.The issue of the value of children, and people will kidnap babies to call their own. 24 hr surveillance also ( )
  delta351 | Sep 6, 2017 |
Another in the recent run of dystopian novels, this one published first more than ten years ago in Swedish and now reissued. I don't think it'll spoil it to give the basic premise: unmarried and childless women over fifty and men over sixty are transferred to a "Unit," where they are housed in lavish comfort, monitored constantly, and required to periodically donate their organs. This novel begins with the arrival of Dorrit Weger at the Unit, and, as you'd expect, things don't go according to plan. ( )
  JBD1 | Jul 22, 2017 |
I completely adored the book. I could somehow relate to Dorrit and her reactions, since we're of similar ages and we're both writers. I can't help thinking that in spite of how luxurious their new home is, it's still a chamber of death. I wanted to feel that something good was coming out of the work that was being done, but I never felt anything but uneasy. There are so many questions it brought up that I still have to ponder. I'll probably come back to this at some points and share more.

If you’ve never heard of The Unit, it’s a Swedish dystopian novel in a setting that might be appealing to some of those individuals listed above–because it’s a place where you can spend your remaining days in security. You don’t have to worry about making a living or paying bills. You have access to artistic luxuries you never had in your previous life. You can spend your days writing, reading, or any other creative pursuits you choose. You can show your work to the “public” who live with you. Life should be lovely.

This place comes with a trade-off, though. People who live there have been written off as “dispensable.” Fifty-year-old women and sixty-year-old men without a “necessary” career who remain childless are given a choice–either commit suicide or spend the rest of their lives participating in medical and psychological experiments and/or being an involuntary organ donor. After your body is all used up, you make a “final donation” ending your life.

I found it interesting that after finishing the book, I checked reviews on Amazon and Goodreads which echoed my initial response to this scenario. Some thought that a “luxury slaughterhouse” or “free-range pig farm” might not be such a bad place to spend their remaining days. The people living there found something they may never have had before. They found a place to belong–a true community.

It’s a little disturbing to see something that would be one of my wildest dreams come true presented in a way that made it utterly creepy and absolutely disturbing. I turn 50 in six months. The closer I get to that age, the more this book haunts me. (And yes, there’s discussion about people with disabilities and their worth to the society.)

This is a book that sneaked up on me. I didn’t realize just how much it got to me until after I finished it. ( )
  gentlespirit512 | Nov 22, 2016 |
This book is set in a near future. It is about people who don’t have any children and who aren’t useful to the society in any other way either. They are picked up at there homes at a certain age (women at 50, men at 60) and taken to special units for biological material. The unit is some kind of modern spa where they serve the society through participating in various tests (like animal testing but made on people) and by donating organs.

Amazing and disturbing book. It raises a lot of very complex questions such as: Where is the humanity gone? What is freedom? etc. ( )
  Dinci | Aug 16, 2016 |
This book is set in a near future. It is about people who don’t have any children and who aren’t useful to the society in any other way either. They are picked up at there homes at a certain age (women at 50, men at 60) and taken to special units for biological material. The unit is some kind of modern spa where they serve the society through participating in various tests (like animal testing but made on people) and by donating organs.

Amazing and disturbing book. It raises a lot of very complex questions such as: Where is the humanity gone? What is freedom? etc. ( )
  Dinci | Aug 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ninni Holmqvistprimary authorall editionscalculated
Delargy, MarlaineTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delargy, MarlaineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was more comfortable than I could have imagined.
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People who read books tend to be dispensable.  Extremely.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
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?
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No descriptions found.

In the Society, men and women past middle age who are single, childless, and without jobs in progressive industries are considered outsiders and are sequestered. They are kept healthy and are expected to gradually donate their organs to the "necessary" ones. But suppose two people who live in the Unit should fall in love?… (more)

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