The Unit

The Unit

A Novel

eBook - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York : Other Press, [2009]
ISBN: 9781590513330
Additional Contributors: Delargy, Marlaine


From Library Staff

List - Future Imperfect
Kristin_M_M Feb 03, 2017

Dorrit has checked into the Unit, where she is to be provided with everything she needs for a care-free and comfortable life. But it's no secret: the residents of the Unit are single, past their reproductive prime, and without promising careers. And they are expected to make sacrifices to prolong... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 17, 2018

A very disturbing story.

Aug 23, 2018

Kind of a grim story for a person who, like me, has any failing essential organ.

melwyk Aug 20, 2018

Powerful read about what is valued by society and the way we treat those we deem 'dispensable'. Terrifying bland and realistic, this dystopia is scarily plausible.

CRRL_MegRaymond Feb 09, 2018

In this world, the childless are "outsiders". When women reach fifty (sixty-five for men), they are sent to The Reserve Bank Unit for Biological Material. They have become expendable.

Jan 22, 2018

I expected a dystopian theme but was given so much more. I regard this debut novel excellent because it not only gives much to think about the worth of people beyond their external "contributions" to society but delves into the worth of our beings, independence and dependence and what makes up the rich, woven tapestry of relationships. Even the ending was satisfying, not the expected "happily-ever-after" but GOOD in context.

Mar 15, 2016

Fantastic! This is a seemingly simple tale about a seemingly simplified future. So good I had to read it twice.

Dec 21, 2014

It's a pretty typical dystopia (similar model as Ishiguro's 'When We Were Orphans'), but with more heteronormativity and a problematic evaluation of current movements towards gender equality. Included: the most Swedish defense of female submission you've ever heard. You'll like it if you count 'dystopian' among your fifty shades of gray.

May 23, 2013

An intriguing and somber novel, about a not so improbable future. A good read.

HaroStrait Oct 20, 2011

The premise of this book - that those of us that don't 'contribute' to society are disposable - is truly horrifying. And it's not marginalized people that are at risk - it's normal middle class types who don't have kids or jobs that 'contribute'. That there is such acceptance of the premise by the characters in the book is chilling. This is a story that will stay with you.

Oct 24, 2010

The Unit
by Ninni Holmqvist

Good. Makes us think of what men going to do in the future with "dispensable people". Or did it start already? Could it be?

View All Comments


Add Notices
Mandy96 Aug 29, 2009

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Mandy96 Aug 29, 2009

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Mandy96 Aug 29, 2009

Mandy96 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Quote
Mandy96 Aug 29, 2009

Loving and leaving don’t go together. They are two irreconcilable concepts, and when they are forced together by outside circumstances they require an explanation.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top