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Borderliners is the English translation of De måske egnede, a novel written by Danish author Peter Høeg in 1993. It is about three children – Peter, Katerina, and August – who attend a private school in Copenhagen in the mid 1970s. It is not long before the children realise they are part of an experiment initiated by the school. The objective is to show how damaged children can be saved and converted into fine citizens. The children choose to fight the experiment.
Peter is a student at Biehl's after spending all of his life in children's homes and reform schools. He is a borderline case, along with Katarina, whose parents both died in the past year, and August, who is severely disturbed after killing his abusive parents. Although allowed no social interaction, the children conspire to conduct their own experiment to discover what plan is being carried out at Biehl's. Høeg touches on some of the same themes as in his acclaimed Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow – neglected children, scientific experiments, and technology – but Borderliners is not a thriller and may not appeal to the same audience. It is instead a fascinating intellectual puzzle that explores the themes of social control, child assessment, family, and the concept of time.
The book is also somewhat autobiographical, as it reflects Høeg's own schooldays at a Copenhagen private school.
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