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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 seuestered for their final few years; they are considered outsidersIn 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 peacefulBut 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 andwell then what?


10 thoughts on “Enhet

  1. says:

    hmmm so this was supposed to be for my october is dystopianapocalyptic month and for most people this book would definitely fall on the dystopian side of things am i crazy for thinking i could thrive for a few years anyway until i run out of parts in this type of environment? here's the rundown if ladies don't have kids by the age of 50 and men by 60 and they have no elderlies of their own to take care of or a job that involves caring for others teacher doctor etc they get shipped off to a facility where they are housed in pretty plush apartments with cameras but no biggie amazing sounding food exercise facilities library theater etc the catch is that you have to perform in drug testing or psychological experiments and eventually give up your organs eventually all of them but imagine living for three years uninterrupted getting to read and eat and be left alone with no job or responsibilities except keeping your organs in good condition? this appeals so much to the part of me that wants to go to a loony bin or jail or somewhere just away where i can be left alone to read and not have to worry about what i will eat or wear or how i will pay for things i think about it than is probably healthy but it would be so nice to just not take responsibility for oncebut this book kind of made my mouth water because i don't see mommy ing in my future and someone should get a use from my parts right?? i'm big on being useful and i was giving blood yesterday thinking yeah i could get used to this take my kidney take some marrow whatever i really love giving blood so as long as they take my eyes last and i can still read sign me up sweden i give you my bodycome to my blog


  2. says:

    For women turning 50 60 for men it is the beginning of the end You have no children no partner no one depending on you You have just become officially dispensable You are about to be installed in the Reserve Bank Unit The longer you can contribute the longer you live Plausible? Nah Not a bit It doesn't keep this from being disturbing as hell especially if you are no longer a young'un


  3. says:

    The Unit is billed as a Sci Fi dystopia If so it's just barely so It's speculative with a lower case s but little than thatTold in the first person by Dorrit Weger the most insipid pathetic annoying narrator I've read in years The Unit is about a future in Sweden where old dispensable people women at fifty and men at sixty who have no families or partners who've avowed love for them are harvested for their organs and made subjects for medical testing while living the cushiest of lives in a utopian Organ Bank Unit complete with live and movie theatres art gallery library great food lovely little shops fantastic fitness facilities and a gorgeous park straight out of a Monet paintingAnd they live there charmed little end of life until their final donation when the surgeons take their senior citizen heart or pancreas or liver or some other big organ and give it to someone who's needed in the outside world when of course they die Boo hoo I am so sad for them Or I'm supposed to be but Ninni Holvist managed to strip me of pity and just fill me full of Suck it upAnd that's just my emotional responseHow on earth are senior citizen organs viable options on a large scale for transplant into youths? Moreover Holmvist goes to great lengths to constantly remind us that tobacco and alcohol are not allowed in the Unit because of the deleterious effects they have on the residents bodies but apparently experimental radiation therapies hormone therapies and psychotropic drugs have no such impacts since subjects give organs even after their own health fails because of the testing What?And that's just the tip of the iceberg Holmvist's political and philosophical concepts are poorly executed Her male characters are poorly drawn Her pacing is just plain poor There is no suspense no tension and nothing compelling But there are plenty of cheese sandwiches and Dorrit's constant obsession with the dog she left behind to keep us going I almost gave this book a second star though because the ending was precisely what Dorrit would have done in the situation in which she found herself But nope Even the two decent sex scenes couldn't overcome my disdain I hated this book too much for that or that So one star I hope Ms Holmvist is one of those pretentious literary authors who deny that their work is Science Fiction because I expect my Sci Fi to be good and I'd hate to have her sully my favourite genre with the presence of this book Steer clear my friends steer clear


  4. says:

    Cool so not everything creepy that comes out of Sweden is good I don't mean to delight in someone else's failure or proudly self identify as 'Murican or anything but I'm only human and Sweden was starting to feel like America's prettier talented friend with their Let the Right One In to our Twilight and their bands like The Knife to our Lady Gaga Making us look like assholes Which we are but that's a discussion for another time and place Anyway haha Nice dystopian horror there Sweden Gotcha beat foronceMuch as I don't like being hammered by a book's theme sueezed into an interpretive corner where the message is spelled out for me like I'm a child it's sort of intrinsic to the dystopian genre that well shit's for the most part only gonna go the one way in the end You don't read books like this hoping for a romcom plot structure and if you expect anything but the worst then you haven't read or seen pretty much every dystopian novel or film ever ever Ever Spoiler alert Winston Smith and Sam Lowry aren't old and pleasantly plump playing in the yard with their grandkids right now Sorry heartbreak is just sort of necessary to those stories so they can I don't know have a point That said no amount of human suffering in a fictional totalitarian society can serve to deliver a powerful message if the message itself is as muddy as the one in this novel Again don't spell it out for me but also don't just spout complete gibberish with scuuurry themes and assume there's just GOT to be something powerful there whatever it may be I could be me and use this book to push an agenda or I could be a right wing pro lifer and use this same book to push an agenda You may argue oh that just means it's nuanced it's making you think and you would be half right as it is making me think It's making me think someone wanted to jump on the dystopain horror train and ride it to the bank without giving much forethought to why a society would end up like that at all and what that might say about the society right before it came to that horrible place Or how people might read the meaning behind your novelistic warning cry because yeah it is kind of important that you have one Meaning a meaningSo this is a world where women at 50 and men at 60 who aren't deemed indispensable to society are taken to a luxury resort to live out the last few months or years of their lives being test bunnies for high risk medical experiments slowly donating their organs until the heart and liver and other very important things are finally removed goodnight Never mind the fact that it's ludicrous to believe anyone would want the poison soaked organs of these slowly chemically tortured people let's just focus on what makes you dispensable in this world If you don't have kids andor a profitable career in a progressive industry by the time you hit 5060 you are considered dispensable a societal throwaway So basically if you're the inevitable me in 19 years People scramble to get pregnant or to impregnate because it's their ticket to stay alive long enough to piss in a bag and mumble incoherently in some home where their kids never come to see them because they're now out desperately trying to become pregnant doctors or politicians YeahI guess I could see how Holmvist could be saying that this is what happens when for lack of a better phrase The America Dream is forced on a society Okay but why? To what end? Why would a society at this point in history let alone in the future have such a shortage of baby makers that your life has to be threatened in order for you to procreate? Are we really at risk of heading in that direction? Because last I checked we have a serious orphan problem on this planet as it is How easily could I take this tale and use it to push an anti birth control stance? Pretty easily Sure that may be the absolute opposite of the intended point but then again I went to high school with this wannabe Neonazi and obviously total dipshit who thought American History X was the bestest movie ever and totally spoke to him And that movie has a crystal clear message that sure he missed because he's a fucking idiot and that's all his fault but still I don't know what I'm trying to say here Basically this book doesn't have a clear message and just about anyone could take it and read it any way they want to read it depending on their sociopolitical loyalties I apologize for being so stringent but this is a dystopia To me it's not supposed to be so open ended that it could be one threat or the polar opposite threat Because really what's the point if there's no point if we already live in a world where racists misguidedly love anti racist films and Madonna songs are used for pro life campaigns?Sloppily themed book leads to sloppily themed review Let's just say I don't get it and for once I don't blame myself for that The book gets extra nausea inducing and confusing when you consider the fact that the narrator is in fact desperate to have a child and entertains these wifey fantasies of her big burly husband chopping wood while she prepares dinner in a nighty No exaggeration that's how it goes in this woman's head Yeah you spin a good yarn with your liberal mumbojumbo but in the end that's what you really want right? A strong man and a big house and a brood? Oh what horrors await us if we let ourselves stray from the true way from the nuclear family If we let the gays get married and the teens have the birth controls See the dangerous territory Holmvist is entering here? You could totally read this book that way too and totally get behind its message because of that reading And you would be an assholeBefore I go I should mention the sex scenes There are only a few but they are ridiculous and don't do much to counter the argument I just presented And yes they are totally allowed to do it in the unit Heh unit Anyway in the first scene ole dude pulls some like coooome to me bullshit and our leading lady is just sooo turned on by his commands that she can't even move Meaning she literally can't stand up and he has to carry her to bed Personally if I were to hear someone say they're so turned on by me that they can't even move my first thought would be shit this isn't going to go well Booooring So he throws his human blow up doll down and they have this somewhat lengthy missionary sex scene where he services her like an undertaker prepping a corpse for the grave since the whole time she's just so totally turned on that she justcan'tevenmove Can'ttouch youat all Toohot for youto lifta finger Yeah nice excuse for being a lazy selfish bedmate So that's the sex all him just pounding away as she dreams of reading Good Housekeeping and watching Oprah in her precious picket fenced suburban red brick I'm supposed to interpret this how again? I mean these are presented as best moments of her life Make of that what you will Basically I guess you don't actually have to know what you're scared of happening or why in order to write a dystopian novel where scary things happen for uh reasons The genre alone is apparently enough to make people read it I mean I did


  5. says:

    The Unit is the saddest piece of dystopian fiction I have ever read Normally the genre leaves me angry or frightened or feeling the need for a good shower but this made me feel heartbroken The Unit is a place where women who have reached the age of 50 and men who have reached the age of 60 without having children are sent to live in order to participate in humane experiments and act as organ donors for the so called needed These people are known as dispensableThe story portrayed is one where these people are provided a life of complete luxury with no cost to themselves but also have no freedom to leave no rights to privacy and are compelled to participate in whatever experiments and physical sacrifices reuired of them Psychology is used to great effect to keep them happy Eventually they all go for their final donation the surgery in which all of their vital organs are harvested for the benefit of needed people Ninni Holmvist paints a painful picture of people who feel they have failed and never found love of people who have always been lonely being thrust into proximity finding love or friendship then constantly losing those people to the demands of the Unit This book disturbed me greatly and will stay with me for some time


  6. says:

    In the world this novel portrays the 'dispensable' are sent to live in self contained communities known as 'units' Being dispensable means you are over 50 if you're a woman or 60 if you're a man single childless with no dependent older relatives and work in a 'non essential' job In seemingly idyllic surroundings like those of the 'Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material' the dispensable can live as they please with a shopping centre theatre cinema art gallery regular parties and generous spreads of food – and all this is free But they are under constant surveillance can never leave must submit to all sorts of medical testing and will ultimately be reuired to make their 'final donation' which is exactly as ominous as it soundsOur narrator Dorrit is a moderately successful writer who was able to scrape together enough money to buy a house but can't afford to maintain it Her long term lover is married and refuses to leave his wife she's never had children and her only dependent is her beloved dog Jock And her 50th birthday is looming In short she's the epitome of dispensable and at the start of The Unit she is contemplating her beautiful yet deeply sinister new homeThis is a clean minimalist sort of dystopian tale The language is simple and straightforward Problems between people are resolved with relative ease contributing to the sense of dreamy unreality surrounding the Unit Of course it's obvious there is horror lurking beneath the glossy surface and it's impossible to imagine a happy ending for Dorrit Speaking of Dorrit she's a difficult character to get along with displaying ualities that seem in conflict with each other – tough independence at the same time as an intense subservient neediness I couldn't uite get to grips with who she was supposed to beI also found the simplicity of the narrative problematic with regards to the many plausibility issues Through Dorrit we learn of an unsurprising national obsession with becoming 'needed' The easiest way to do that is to have children – the the better – and legislation has helped things along with for example compulsory childcare 'there is no longer any excuse not to have children or not to work when you have children' How is overpopulation not a concern here? How is all this – both the free childcare and the lavish Unit – being paid for? Surely organs from older poorer people would be a really inefficient solution for health problems in the young and privileged? Why do so many of the 'needed' reuire major organ transplants anyway? There's a weird contradictory contrast between what seems to be the enforced removal of traditional gender roles in this world it's illegal for men to demonstrate 'improper use of male physical strength' by for example helping a woman do something she could do by herself and the fact that women are considered virtually useless if they don't have kids And the only time we hear about non heterosexual relationships is within the Unit itselfThe Unit is an entertaining intriguing novel yet it's often frustrating too The premise raises so many uestions but the story doesn't focus on answering them – it's about Dorrit's personal experience and a lot depends on how engaging you find her This was average overall for me but honestly if there was a seuel that explored and explained this vision of society in detail I'd probably read itTinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr


  7. says:

    This was nearly a five star book for me and I don't give those out very often probably only a few of them in the hundreds of books I've rated since starting this a few years ago The only reason it didn't get 5 stars was because of the ending big mistake for Holmvist that didn't ruin it for me but it could have been a real classic dystopian novel It was still really really good but five stars is for the elite of the elite to me The Unit is set in Sweden in the near future and is a dystopian novel I love dystopian fiction When women turn 50 and men when they are 60 and if they are childless and deemed unneeded by others in Swedish society they are taken to these biological units At these places people are farmed for organs and have experiments done on them They donate a kidney an eye etc etc to people who are needed and worthy to keep living They donate their parts until they make their final donation of liver heart and other organs This book is incredibly well done and thought out except for the last few pages and is one of the best dystopian works I've read recently It's very believable that this could take place I had to stop myself from reading it all at once as it is a chilling chilling tale You know what after writing this even with a kind of disappointing last few pages screw it I'm giving this a five star as it's a great great work of dystopian literature Thought about it and giving 5 stars for a book where I didn't like the ending can't be done So I've gone back to my original 4 stars after agonizing over it all afternoon ha


  8. says:

    Ninni Holmvist's novel is compelling and disturbing at the same time From the first turn of the page I was drawn into the futuristic world where childless women who have reached the age 50 and childless men at age 60 are welcomed into The Unit A beautiful spa like setting with walking paths beautiful gardens' wonderful food medical experiments and body harvesting from their residents Our protagonist is Dorrit a woman who never had a steady job had a lover who lived with someone else and whose loyal dog Jock who was her only family But without children and not contributing in some job deemed worthy Dorrit is considered dispensable As she gives up her lover her dog and her home and gets picked up by The Unit we enter the world of the dispensables and what life means for them It is a sad touching and even at times humorous story that makes us uestion what makes a person indispensable? Who has the right to discount a life just because it doesn't conform to the standard In The Unit the government makes that decision and it is infuriating I kept trying to think of ways of Dorrit and her new found friends to get out of there I was angered at how accepting Dorrit was by her circumstances But part of that acceptance is a kind of new found family of people who care about each other and who finally have found a place where they fit in For days after finishing The Unit I was haunted An amazing book and one worth reading and discussing


  9. says:

    There are cases where I don't agree with the premise of a book either because of my hangups or because it seems far out and I still like the book That's not the case with this book It was distracting in its similarity in concept to one of my favorite books ever Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go And I can only say that this book disappointed in contrastI was not moved by this book even though I was supposed to have been I was concerned with how this is even viable The dispensable senior citizens are housed in luxury I mean Italian shoes and silk shirts and what have you They're supposed to gradually donate all their organs to needed people of the community In the middle of their donations they get to participate in all kinds of experiments even some involving freaking chemical weapons They have not been monitored their entire life they could have lived really terribly Their organs are old in the first place not to mention the toll that the experiments take on the thing A few of the characters die from complications due to experimentation and their organs are still harvested I can't evenIt's also completely baffling to me that this needed thing wasn't circumvented If some people did it beyond raping strangers for their sperm it's not deemed important enough to mention At least in the beginning they only need a partner to say they are loved and needed to be saved I have no idea why no one would consider mutual scratching of backs I know I would have The main character's sexual fantasy is to be one of those 50s TV housewives with the fluttering hands and the cute dresses She cooks for her man who chops wood and does manly man stuff comes in and services her after eating her nice meal The first time she does it with an old guy in her unit she calls it caveman style sex where he did all the work and she moved not a finger Nothing wrong I guess to each their own Except the book tries to get preachy she thinks it's beautiful when men show their physical strength without being ashamed or apologetic about it And that women should be delicate daisies because that's courage Yeah Anyway The sperm raping thing These are women right? After than a few mentions of women picking up strangers there's no mention of men taking women hostage and making them have babies or whatever Too nice I guess I'm hesitant in advancing this but it's actually spelled out the main character calls herself a product of the feminist generation That her mother drilled into her to never find herself depending on a man financially or emotionally to be independent To not let get caught in a trap presumably of marriage and baby making And the lady says it's because of this that she never had a good steady job or a good steady relationship And since her mother raised her to be independent she ended up on a path that sees her dispensable and in an organ farming unit She co relates this I can't help but think this regressive especially given how the unit is accepted There is no talk of mutiny there is no talk of escaping among the people The state of the world is not discussed but no one mentions leaving the country for another liberal There are even lines that say that the unit and the government that enforces it is rather humane when it comes right down to it I Let's just say I did not follow the intention of this book at all


  10. says:

    There is a good summary of the plot in the book’s description field it’s basically what I read inon the book’s cover so I don’t see the need to repeat any of the information in my reviewI loved this book and I think it is excellent but it is also the most personally depressing book I’ve ever read worse than The Bell Jar when I was 19 maybe as bad as As We Are Now if I read at age 79 or 80 vs reading it first when I was 19 or 20Recipe for feeling devastated by this book even than those such as myself who have a highly empathetic naturewoman over 50 or man over 60 checkchildless checksingle checkloves dogs checkvalues private time checkvalues having a fair amount of control over their life checkVery powerful story and for me it was palpably painful and emotionally gruelingDorrit tells the story in first person and she tells it brilliantly how well I wasn’t aware until well into the book although I enjoyed it from first to last page I was very aware that I would not have fared as well as her in any way Being physically uncomfortable when reading it post minor eyelid surgery and foot injury infection made reading this even chilling Three things happen toward the end that worked but I wasn’t so sure if that is the direction I’d have taken the story had I written it I think some readers are going to hate the ending but it worked for me well enoughI don’t know how good the translation is but between the author and translator it’s beautifully written