Saturday 21 January 2012

Review - The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

The UnitThe Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blurb From Goodreads

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.

My Review

We are introduced to Dorrit and her journey as she arrives in the Unit and explains how she came to be there. How the people end up in the unit and what their purpose is, what they go through and the people she meets and friendships she makes. Dorrit makes a few special friendships and one develops into something more than she could ever have dreamed of.

I found the book really slow going and to be honest nothing really happened until half way through and even then it wasn't a huge oh my God, it was very gradual. Everything is explained out and we are taken through the daily ritual until some kind of routine is established. The donations and experiments, side effects, the ups and downs and how they get through what they face everyday.

Despite it being slow I actually quite liked the book. The idea is for me totally new, I have never read anything like that before and it stays with you after you finish. The end disappointed me a bit because of how it turned, an unexpected twist but some people may actually like it. If you fancy something different and don't mind it being slow paced it is definitely worth reading, 3/5 for me.

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  1. I recently read this one and I know what you mean about the ending. Nice review.

  2. Hiya :)
    I saw this one on another blog once, and I did like the sound of it. Then I found that they only had it as an ebook at the library, but now when you can borrow e-readers, well maybe I could try it

  3. I think one must be doing the blogger rounds, added it to my wishlist a few weeks ago.

  4. Aw Ellie I just contacted Blodeuedd to see if they want it, if she doesn't I can send it on to you. Will let you know when she gets back to me. It is a great idea for a book!


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