Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Review - The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

The Unit
Author: Ninni Holmqvist (Translater: Marlaine Delargy)
Year: 2009
Page: 272
Genre: Fiction - Dystopian

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Yes
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? Sweden
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

I don't want to post the summary here because it'll spoil the novel... This really is a book you better not know anything about it and just read it!

First Sentence:
It was more comfortable than I could have imagined.

Why did I pick this book?
Read several reviews on different blogs and thought the premise sounded interesting.

My thoughts:
  • I liked this novel a lot - I am not into sci-fi book and I wouldn't really call this sci-fi because it is quite realistic, which makes it rather terrifying. I wish I didn't know much about the plot so I'd be a bit more surprised by what this book had to deliver

  • The only nitpick - I am not 100% about the ending. I thought it was an okay ending, and understood why the author chose it is, but I thought it is not as powerful as it could have been - now, I don't know how it could possibly end to have more impact (I have an idea in my head but of course didn't know all the details) just that it seems a little anti-climatic. But, it was still an okay ending. At least I didn't feel like tossing the book across the room :)

  • I thought the translation was done quite well - I'd read some other translated books before where the language seemed too literal. When I read this book, it didn't make me feel like I was reading a translated book at all

  • This was a thought provoking story - how would you feel if we do live in a society like so? I think what makes it horrifying is that at first glimpse, you almost felt like, hey this may not be a bad idea at all... that you saw value in an arrangement like so... but of course, when you think deeper, there were a lot of ethical issues involved...

"I know it sounds crazy, but that's just how the human psyche works: we generally see what we are prepared for, what we expect to see." (p203)

"You have given my life a meaning, do you know that? The meaning of my life is you." (p216)


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  1. I loved this book! And it actually did make me cry, but more becuase of personal connection as opposed to the narrative.

  2. Christa, thanks for pointing out your review to me. I think I agree with you on all points.

    I'm leaving a link to my review so others can see it too, if they're interested.

  3. @Carin - I must have missed your comment! I didn't see it until now, sorry! I could see why this book could be very sad... it's not a pleasant thought to think some are more deserving than others.

    @leeswammes - thanks for posting your link to your review! I like reading reviews of the same book just to read the different thoughts.

  4. Sorry I'm just getting around to your review now!

    I didn't mind the ending. I thought it was quite moving, but I think if the main character had made a different choice, it might have been more powerful. Ah, we'll never know.

    And I agree, the translation was well done. I usually feel like something's been lost in the translation, but not this time!