The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (Translated by Marlaine Delargy)

Rendered dispensable because she has not borne a child by the age of 50, Dorrit faces a future of human experiments and organ donations in an otherwise idyllic unit until she is called on to make her final donation.

Though not quite as poetically haunting as Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, The Unit is a gripping account of a utilitarian world where humans constitute the ultimate resource.

Basically, any man or woman who has not had children by a certain age gets locked up in paradise, where they are the subjects of various experiments, and donate their organs one by one until they have to give one that they can no longer live without. Dorrit largely accepts her fate, though she experiences an understandable anger and grief at times. She falls in love with a man in the unit, experiencing romance for the first time in her life. It’s heartbreaking to know that her story is bound to end in tragedy.

Holmqvist’s elegant plot doesn’t try to do too much, sticking largely with emotions and ideas. Still, there was enough of an engine here to keep me turning the pages. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction.

2 thoughts on “The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (Translated by Marlaine Delargy)”

  1. How’s the translation? I often struggle with books in translation, though I’m getting on surprisingly well with Paulo Coehlo so far.

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