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“The Unit” by Ninni Holmqvist

If you read “The Unit” by Ninni Holmqvist, you might find yourself opposing new health and safety rules proposed by the government (even if you agree with them in theory) because who knows what they’ll want to enact next! Dorrit Weger lives in a democracy that has gradually come to the conclusion that those who are not “needed” by anyone are dispensable. Anyone who reaches middle age and has no dependents is taken to the Unit. This complex houses shops, restaurants, gardens, gyms, etc., etc. Here a “dispensable” is set up in an apartment and their every need/want is seen to (unless what they want is freedom). Did I mention that there are cameras and microphones everywhere? Oh, and there’s also the matter of being assigned to participate in experiments because they are dispensable members of society. These experiments range from pharmaceutical trials to operations to remove organs or skin to give to more valuable members of society. Eventually a “final donation” is required in which everything is harvested. Dorrit lives a happy life as a single woman in a cottage with a garden and a dog but once she hits 50 she has to give everything up and move to the Unit. I found this book to be extremely scary because everyone is so brainwashed that all the laws are for the health and safety of the society and there is no mean or evil people portrayed-if anything the people in power ooze kindness. As Dorrit looks back on her life she remembers being young when all this was set in motion and she and her friends were either apathetic, agreed to parts of the plan, and/or didn’t worry because middle age seemed so far away. A cautionary tale of government run amok and political correctness taken too far.

Stacy W.

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