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The Unit (2009)

by Ninni Holmqvist(Favorite Author)
3.71 of 5 Votes: 5
1590513134 (ISBN13: 9781590513132)
Other Press
review 1: What a brilliant concept! Anyone who is interested in utilitarian bioethics may enjoy this book. The author creates a society in which anyone who is not "needed" (i.e. a parent, or other caretaker) is considered "expendable". At age fifty for women and sixty for men, expendables are sent to a research facility where they participate in "humane" experiments. Once they outlive their dubious usefulness, they are forced to donate organs, to the point of eventual death. The protagonist is a classic expendable (unmarried, childless writer), and this chronicles her time in the facility. It's a bit slow, but it's brimming with strong pathos, difficult questions, and relatable characters. I'm a huge fan of dystopian fiction (though some may not consider this a dystopia), and this i... mores one of my favourites.
review 2: A breathtaking peek at a near-future dystopia in which those who are single and childless are considered unnecessary. This book really struck a cord with me as we live in a very procreation-centered society. [return][return]We follow the protagonist as she enters "the unit," where she is placed under constant observation and endures testing (she is a human guinea pig). Holmqvist's prose is stark and striking. I especially loved the protagonist's flashbacks to her dog and how much she missed him.[return][return]I've read other comments that discuss the ending. While I certainly think the ending gives the reader a feeling of hopelessness, I also think it parallels the society depicted in the story. If Dorrit had escaped, then what? She is still, either directly or indirectly, subject to the merciless machinations of the capitalist (socialist?) dystopia in which she lives. There are many echoes of the inevitable in this story--the inevitability of death, the inevitability to effect change. We are all cogs on the train, and some of us are more necessary than others. It IS quite a hopeless and depressing thought, yes, but also very realistic. less
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Read this long ago, but it's one of my favorites and I know I'll read it again someday.
Une bonne dystopie avec des adultes (yeah) 3,5/5
I did not like the book at all.
Would not recommend it
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